After yet another weekend of horrific mass shootings in a country where gun violence has become numbingly routine, The New York Post has called for an assault weapons ban. The U.S. tabloid, owned by conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, made its case on the cover of its Monday issue, writing directly to President Trump: “America is scared, and we need bold action.”
The corresponding editorial, which urges the president to “do something — help America live without fear,” follows a pair of deadly shootings made even more shocking by their quick succession. On Saturday, a gunman fatally shot 20 people in an El Paso, Texas Walmart, leaving over 25 more injured; on Sunday, another gunman killed at least nine and injured at least 27 — in approximately 30 seconds — after opening fire in a popular nightlife district of Dayton, Ohio.
The previous weekend, on June 28th, a shooter killed three and injured more than 12 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California. Gunmen in all three massacres used assault-style rifles, according to authorities.
In the Post‘s blunt editorial, the paper reasons that Trump is “positioned to assuage” America’s national fear of mass shootings. “On gun control, you are a pragmatic centrist, someone who knows there is a vast majority of Americans who are not to the extreme left or right on this issue,” the newspaper writes. “They just want the killings to stop.”
The piece acknowledges that Trump “regularly praises the Second Amendment and received the National Rifle Association’s support” in the 2016 presidential election. But it argues that the president should “appeal now” to the majority of gun-owners who use weapons for hunting or self-defense and are “appalled by the endless string of mass shootings.”
“An assault weapons ban is aimed at the likes of the El Paso shooter, who coldly plotted how to kill as many as possible, as quickly as possible,” the editorial reads. “Let’s make that a lot tougher for the next monster.”
The New York Post‘s stance is noteworthy given that Murdoch is a noted Trump supporter (and, reportedly, unofficial adviser) and that the president frequently praises and cites the Fox News Channel, which Murdoch also owns. And it’s not the paper’s first direct plea to Trump following a gun-related massacre: In February 2018, after the Parkland, Florida shooting, a Post cover read, “Mr. President, please act. We need sensible gun control to help stop the slaughter.”