We are engaged in another national screamfest on guns and at Resistance HQ they turn their lonely eyes to... Trump?
Another Shooting, Another Gun Debate. Will the Outcome Be the Same?
Maybe not! Partly because rather than try to propose something specific that we can evaluate the gun control side has opted to hide behind emotional teenagers. Are we talking about banning "assault weapons", AR-15s, semiautomatic rifles, or what? Don't ask - it's for the children!
However, the Times notes that help may arrive from an unexpected source:
Another difference [in this debate] is an unpredictable president who belongs to the National Rifle Association and promotes the N.R.A.-favored solution of arming trained teachers but has also embraced a couple of modest gun control measures opposed by gun rights groups.
It's Nixon-to-China, except that Trump supported an assault weapons ban in 2000. Back to the Times, where (much later) we hear about Trump again:
In the days after the shooting, Mr. Trump consulted advisers as well as Chris W. Cox, the N.R.A.’s chief lobbyist. The president called Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the Republican whip, who was traveling in the Middle East, to discuss his bill with Mr. Murphy requiring states and federal agencies to report more often to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System offenses that would bar gun purchases.
“These kids, they’re organizing, they want action,” an aide told Mr. Trump.
“I want action, too,” he replied, according to another aide. “That’s why I ran for president.”
What about #Resist?!?
At the request of Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, Mr. Trump called a girl wounded in the attack, and afterward, the call seemed to remain on his mind, as he kept bringing it up with aides. Last Friday, he visited a Florida hospital and met victims, a visit still on his mind when he had dinner Saturday night at his Mar-a-Lago estate with his sons Donald Jr. and Eric, his daughter-in-law Lara and the Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera.
The president noted that the injuries he saw were more grisly than those portrayed in the movies. “He was definitely horrified by the severity, the savagery of those wounds that the children suffered,” Mr. Rivera recalled. “And he kept saying, ‘How do you recover from that?’”
Mr. Trump mentioned tightening background checks. “He brought up how absurd it is that someone can buy a gun even though they’re on the no-fly list,” Mr. Rivera said. Asked for his opinion, Mr. Rivera suggested raising the minimum age to buy an assault rifle to 21 from 18.
Eric Trump, who like his brother is a big-game hunter, seemed to push back, noting that there are already more than 300 million guns in circulation in the United States, implying that new restrictions might be pointless.
But the president, in defiance of the N.R.A., has since publicly embraced the age increase and ordered the Justice Department to develop regulations to ban bump stocks.
By Thursday, Mr. Trump seemed to be following the lead of the N.R.A. again, talking enthusiastically of its proposal to arm highly trained teachers to fortify schools. Still, he has taken different views of gun laws before. In “The America We Deserve,” published in 2000 when he briefly ran for the Reform Party presidential nomination, Mr. Trump called both major parties extreme.
“The Republicans walk the N.R.A. line and refuse even limited restrictions,” he wrote. “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”
Mr. Trump owns guns and has had a concealed weapon permit since 2010. When he set out to win the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, he was pressed by voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to support gun rights, an experience that aides said hardened his views. He dropped support for an assault rifle ban. “I love the N.R.A.,” he declared. “I love the Second Amendment.”
If The Resistance has finally figured out that Trump is a sucker for praise but digs in like a mule when criticized, well, the Never-Trumpers better be ready to host a lot of new guests from the right.