President Trump is visiting Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, today following the mass shootings over the weekend which killed at least 32 people, including the Dayton gunman. Resistance to Trump’s visit has been mounting among Democrats and many residents of the two cities. This is Dayton’s Democratic Mayor Nan Whaley.
Mayor Nan Whaley: “You know, he’s made this bed, and he’s got to lie in it, you know? His rhetoric has been painful for many in our community, and I think that people should stand up and say they’re not happy if they’re not happy that he’s coming.”
Sunday’s mass shooting in Dayton killed nine people, including the gunman’s sister. The police shot the gunman at the scene. The FBI has opened an investigation and said the gunman was “exploring violent ideologies.” After facing protests from his constituents, who disrupted his speech with chants of “do something” Sunday, Ohio’s Republican Governor Mike DeWine backed changes to gun control laws, including expanding background checks and allowing courts to prevent certain people from getting or keeping their guns. Ohio Republican Congressmember Mike Turner, whose congressional district includes Dayton, also said Tuesday he backs an assault weapons ban and imposing magazine limits.
In El Paso, Texas, Democrats and many community members are also protesting Trump’s visit today. Before the shooting rampage, which killed at least 22 people, the alleged El Paso gunman, Patrick Crusius, posted a manifesto saying he was “defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion” — echoing the language used by Trump to describe immigrants. Democratic Congressmember Veronica Escobar turned down an invitation to join Trump in his motorcade when he visits, tweeting, “I refuse to join without a dialogue about the pain his racist and hateful words & actions have caused our community and country.”
Meanwhile, the gunman’s family released a statement Tuesday denouncing the mass murder. It reads, “Patrick’s actions were apparently influenced and informed by people we do not know, and from ideas and beliefs we do not accept or condone. … [T]he destruction Patrick did is not limited to the victims and their families. It touches the entire El Paso and Ciudad Juárez communities, the state of Texas and this country.” He is charged with capital murder, and the case is being investigated as an act of domestic terror.