Instead of focusing on measures to limit the sale of firearms,
Mr. Trump’s later remarks at the White House ticked through a list of proposals that Republicans have long endorsed as alternatives.
They included unspecified action to address “gruesome and grisly video games” and “a culture that celebrates violence.”
Trying for a somber tone at the White House, Mr. Trump repeated his past endorsement of so-called red-flag laws
that would allow for the confiscation of firearms from people found to be mentally ill
and said mental health laws should be changed to allow for the involuntary confinement of people at risk of committing violence.
He gave no indication of how he would pursue any of his goals.
Mr. Trump also warned that the internet and social media provide “a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts.”
But the president has himself amplified right-wing voices online with histories of racism and bigotry.
Mr. Trump also emphasized steps to better identify and respond to signs of mental illness that could lead to violence,
repeating a familiar conservative formulation that de-emphasizes the significance of widely available firearms.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” Mr. Trump said.
Calling those who carry out mass shootings “mentally ill monsters,”
he also said he was directing the Justice Department to propose legislation calling for the death penalty for “those who commit hate crimes and mass murders.”
He added that he had “asked the F.B.I. to identify all further resources they need
to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism — whatever they need.”
Gun control groups reacted sharply to Mr. Trump’s address.
“Let’s be clear: This is not about mental health. It’s not about video games. It’s not about movies,”
said John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group.
“Those are all N.R.A. talking points. This is about easy access to guns.”
Mr. Trump has previously denounced racism with scripted remarks that sounded out of tune with his typical language.
After the killing of a counterprotester at a white-power rally in Charlottesville, Va., two years ago,
he called white supremacists “repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”