Excerpt from speech:
We must recognize that the Internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts. We must shine light on the dark recesses of the Internet, and stop mass murders before they start. The Internet, likewise, is used for human trafficking, illegal drug distribution, and so many other heinous crimes.
The perils of the Internet and social media cannot be ignored, and they will not be ignored. In the two decades since Columbine, our nation has watched with rising horror and dread as one mass shooting has followed another — over and over again, decade after decade. We cannot allow ourselves to feel powerless.
We can and will stop this evil contagion. In that task, we must honor the sacred memory of those we have lost by acting as one people. Open wounds cannot heal if we are divided. We must seek real, bipartisan solutions. We have to do that in a bipartisan manner. That will truly make America safer and better for all.
First, we must do a better job of identifying and acting on early warning signs. I am directing the Department of Justice to work in partisan — partnership with local, state, and federal agencies, as well as social media companies, to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike. As an example, the monster in the Parkland high school in Florida had many red flags against him, and yet nobody took decisive action.
Nobody did anything. Why not? Second, we must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.
Cultural change is hard, but each of us can choose to build a culture that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every human life. That’s what we have to do. Third, we must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment, but, when necessary, involuntary confinement.
Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun. Fourth, we must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms, and that, if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process. That is why I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders.
Today, I am also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty, and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay. These are just a few of the areas of cooperation that we can pursue.
I am open and ready to listen and discuss all ideas that will actually work and make a very big difference. Republicans and Democrats have proven that we can join together in a bipartisan fashion to address this plague. Last year, we enacted the STOP School Violence and Fix NICS Acts into law, providing grants to improve school safety and strengthening critical background checks for firearm purchases.
At my direction, the Department of Justice banned bump stocks. Last year, we prosecuted a record number of firearms offenses. But there is so much more that we have to do. Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside — so destructive — and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love.
Our future is in our control. America will rise to the challenge. We will always have and we always will win. The choice is ours and ours alone. It is not up to mentally ill monsters; it is up to us. If we are able to pass great legislation after all of these years, we will ensure that those who were attacked will not have died in vain.
He finished his statement by saying, “May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo,” where no attack even occurred.
Example of Death Caused by ‘Red Flag Laws’