Listen: How has Trump handled his response to the latest mass shootings?
"Horrific mass shootings over the weekend and el paso texas and dayton ohio shakeup american politics takes how much will really change as a result in either the law or the american political debate welcome paul zhigo with the wall street journal and i am here here again with kim strassel. Oh kim hi paul and the esteemed bill mcgurn. How are you bill. No common motivation <hes> <hes> we don't know the motive yet of the dayton ohio killer a young man who managed to kill nine and his sister <hes> el paso <hes> the motive seems seems to be <hes> somewhat <hes> anti immigration anti hispanic anti-corporate <hes> and <hes> <hes> some people are saying white supremacists. There's no question he was the killer is <hes> anti-immigration but <hes> both disturbed deeply disturbed curbed young men <hes> and <hes> immediately though this being america circa two thousand nineteen the the episodes devolved into a discussion about <unk> out <hes> who's to blame which <hes> which politicians whose hate speech <hes> much of the debate focused on on donald trump <hes> and and <hes> and of course immediately debate into gun control and <hes> other things <hes> bill a how do you think the president. I handled this in his remarks on on monday. Well i think two things one i thought he handled it reasonably well in his remarks but i think it doesn't matter <hes> in the sense of how they're going to be greeted i mean don't you think it's important that the united states would dissociate himself so forcefully and clearly yes i do but i also think he has. I think it's unfair. Do you think the president is a white supremacist i don't so who do you think you should disassociate yourself from white supremacy because i think i think this is toys debate. Hold it to second bill i do. I think we should have so dissociate the m._o. Editorial page now yes i do. We're not accused of it. We're not sure look. There's a political purpose to doing all this and i think this contributes to frankly. I'd say the larger contribution you should is if we talk about identity politics and assumed people to the country is built on white national night. You're gonna encourage <hes> crazy the young men to think that way so i think it's important i agree with you in the sense. I think it's important for trump to say the right thing but i don't think frankly. There's anything that he's going to say day. That's not going to be twisted. I mean elizabeth. Warren is tweeting out that fox. News is machine fair fair point bill. I mean th there's the the there's some critics you're you're not going to placate but a lot of them a lot okay yeah but i would say a forty five of fair enough but that's not the the audience the that trump necessarily needs to speak to he needs to speak clearly to the vast american public thing who want to believe that at their country is not going to hell and that there's not a race war going on and they wanna know what what how what kind of president because he is approach the president any president has an outside role to play in american political debate so is he going to be a calming force or not well. I would just go if that's true. Much of this rhetoric is coming from democrats who want to be president. I would just like to see people will help the same standard and to me. I don't think it's even close. I think the journal we had a great editorial today saying don't blame elizabeth warren. If this crazy guy turns out we did not blame the dayton fell. A left-winger left-winger describes himself as left and we also. I don't think we were blaming bernie sanders. When one of his supporters shots legalese we certainly did not but that we do not see that kind of responsible behaviour on on the other side. I think this i think this is derangement. That's why i'm saying. I think the president has to say these things. I'm not sure it matters in the sense that it's going to get a good reception. You're driving. We'll know today later when he goes down to visit right what you know how he's going to visit el paso today or tomorrow wednesday so kim <hes> <hes> you want to mediate this. I'm just enjoying this. You don't need to bring me in well. Well look. I mean i think the great tragedy of this whole discussion. <hes> that we're even having right now is that it's taking focus off what we are slowly slowly. Groping our way to understanding is the real problem here which is very troubled young men <hes> and the the issue here is that i mean somehow our culture has changed. It was remarkable speaking to a friend of mine who's been older. I am <hes> but it was remembering that when he was growing run up <hes> you know he grew up in rural pennsylvania they used to go to high school and they'd have their hunting rifles in their trucks to go out after school they would be unlocked talked to nobody would have dreamed of going out to get a gun and bringing it into a school and shooting up a people so it's not that there were significantly can't leave fewer guns back then something about our culture is changed and there's a a copycat element. This social media plays a role probably violence in in our culture plays a role. A lot of things are playing a role <hes> and what we're beginning to understand is that in that rests some of the solutions solutions if there are any to try to prevent some of this in the future and it's why the debates about sort of racism and white nationalism or the debates about gun control are beginning to sound very tired especially in the face of the reality of the very big problem we have of a generation of younger ran who feel isolated from society and unfortunately have the means to go out and cause great carnage well. I happen to agree three with all of those points kim but i think that our our our friends in the left would say aha here the right wing now talking of the conservatives are now going to root it causes <hes> and <hes> because they don't they're repairing to root causes of this because they're big causes and big problems albums. Take a long time to solve and you don't wanna do anything now about the immediate issues at stake which we want to do something about like gun control or laws on on this or that or going after the white supremacists that's what they would say. How much of that is because. I'm not whoa my view of this. The root causes point is not that it's a counsel of despair and to do nothing now but that it is happens to be beat be true that there is particularly for young men nation that has taken place that causes people to to want to kill their fellow human beings by the way yeah exactly and that's completely bogus their argument. Look we have a choice here. We can move forward and attempt to address the people who are doing the slain attempt to find them isolate them. Give them help or we can try to tackle uselessly <hes> as we know from all the statistics the close to four hundred million firearms that are in civilian possession in the united states now which of those seems like a more reasonable approach. I can tell you which one i think is gonna work. Better and there are immediate ways that you can address. This privacy laws us <hes> congress has an enormous job to go out and deal with hip and for these are privacy laws that make very difficult at times for health professionals this college administrators high school administrators to share information of troubled teenagers and souls with with their parents <hes> with others in the community with law enforcement they need to dealing with that. We're now having a useful discussion out there about red flag laws which are designed to highlight some of these troubled individuals and make sure that we limit their ability to get to a firearm. I still have some issues with the due process of many of those laws but they're at least looking in the right direction these days rather than more waiting periods are background checks which are are not going to help because as we know most of these killers those were they managed to get get a hold of these guns. Legally the red flag laws refers to <hes> the ability of some. I think it's a dozen states. Maybe fourteen states have laws which whittle allow police departments law enforcement or family members to be able to petition a court and say that <hes> john is <hes> is danger we think to his family himself or his community and we would <hes> petition the court to take away his gun now that usually most of these laws the person has a chance to make his own case against that but <hes> as you say there are some due process issues but i as a matter of principle bill. I actually support this. <hes> this kind of law i think in may need to go even further in the sense of not just <hes> making it difficult or for for this person or someone in his or her family to have a gun in the house but <hes> i you know i think we we need to revisit force commitment into institutions amount to help it. Look there's bigger problems with a lot of these kids. Fatherless homes president obama used to talk about that and people people assume it's the black community and that's not true we see a lot of these troubled youth <hes> kind of estranged from their dads and i think the american people would be for anything that they thought would work but a lot of these policy things are as kim sorta sadder just thrown out and no one really believes they'll work. Mark and of course politicians also want the easy soft quick solution. We've passed long. We fixed it and this this is obviously going to require a a multiplicity of efforts along mental health the law and so forth to try to identify these people and we have to be realistic. Even if we have a system in place we're not going to identify everyone right so it's going to be off the grid and get through were talking about the fallout from the mass shootings on the weekend and you're listening to potomac watch from the wall street journal"