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America on Edge, Trump to Hold Summit on Violent Extremism

08-08-2019
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(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In the wake of last weekend's mass shootings, nationwide pressure is mounting on Congress and the president to combat gun violence. 

President Trump has invited internet and technology companies to the White House Friday for a roundtable discussion on violent extremism. 

On Wednesday, the president and first lady made trips to El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio to console victims and encourage first responders.

At Dayton's Miami Hospital, the president praised those who aided the victim's of Saturday night's mass shooting there.

"All over the world they're talking about the job that you have done as police as law enforcement, as first responders," he said.

Outside the Dayton hospital, protestors gave the president a less welcoming response. They want something to be done to stop the mass shootings.

Two mass shootings in less than 24-hours first, at a Walmart in El Paso left 22 people dead. And the second in Dayton killed nine people. At least 80 people were injured in the two incidents.

The president also faced a cool response in El Paso, where Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke gathered at a memorial for victims there. He explained why some people didn't welcome the president to the city.

"For the community at large to have been so regularly attacked and vilified and demonized by this president, for him to have created the conditions that made an attack like this possible and ultimately likely, it's very insulting to us that he was here," O'Rourke insisted.

But in his manifesto, alleged shooter Patrick Crusius said President Trump's remarks had nothing to do with his motive for the shooting. 
And Crusius' mother reportedly called police weeks before the shooting, apparently expressing concern over her son's legally purchased "AK-like " assault rifle. 

The two attacks have the country on edge.

Mayhem occurred in New York's Times Square Tuesday night, as people stampeded through the streets in a panic after they mistakenly thought they heard gunshots. Police said a motorcycle had backfired.

And workers at the USA Today building in McLean, Virginia were evacuated Wednesday after police received reports of a possible active shooter there.  Heavily armed swat teams cleared the area and found no gunman.

Before President Trump made his stop in Dayton Wednesday, members of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team were on the ground bringing comfort to the families of victims and community there.

"We visit with police and firefighters.  There's a lot of anxiety a lot of frustration a lot of fear among many many people on this street," explained team member Strib Boyton.

Many Americans and members of Congress believe something needs to be done to stop the panic and carnage. Some are calling for the reinstatement of the national ban on assault rifles. President Trump opposes that idea, but he supports expanding background checks for gun purchases--requiring them for gun shows and internet transactions.  

And there’s support for a bipartisan bill on “red flag” laws – which let courts issue temporary orders banning potentially dangerous people from possessing a gun. 

But members of Congress are on summer vacation--few want to end their time off to return to Washington. and while new gun legislation will likely be proposed when Congress returns, it is expected to face an uphill battle in the Senate.
 

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