Today senate majority director Mitch McConnell stated he’s anticipating the president’s determination on the gun violence bill he’s willing to support. The White House is supposed to have a decision by next week, but a big unconcluded question is how long any appropriate position on firearms from president Trump will last. Trump has two totally conflicting instincts when it comes to gun legislation, and he does not reconcile them particularly well. Trump simultaneously desires to be perceived as “doing something” about mass shootings and wants to keep the backing of the NRA and the country’s gun owners. This decision is not a needle he can thread.
Democrats and their allies in the media think gun control, including outlawing particular classes of firearms, is the only useful tool to prevent further mass shootings. Any legislation that does not incorporate that will be dismissed as meaningless window dressing. While, the NRA and most of the gun owners will see any step in that course as punishing law-abiding civilians for the actions of the evil and deranged, and a step towards firearm confiscation.
The America We Deserve, his 2000 book, Trump composed, “I generally oppose gun control; however I support the ban on assault weapons, and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to obtain a gun.” The National Rifle Association and gun owners in 2016 put aside any lingering uncertainties and supported Donald Trump, because he had the undeniable and sterling quality of not being Hillary Clinton, and he seemed like an ally, at least lately. When Trump is before the NRA convention attendees, he most frequently says the right things. He has selected judges who understand the Second Amendment, and his organization has generally driven federal system in a pro-gun direction.
After the Parkland mass shooting in March 2018, Trump held a televised meeting that lasted an hour in the Oval Office with legislators of both parties. During that meeting, the president supported the Assault Weapons Ban, endorsed raising the age to purchase firearms to 21, endorsed background checks for private sales at gun shows, and declared the top priority of the NRA since Trump’s election, concealed-carry exchange, “will never pass.” (This bill would guarantee that if you have a valid concealed-carry license in your home state, you are entitled to carry a concealed weapon in any state.) Trump quarreled members of Congress were “petrified of the NRA” and that he was not. “They have great power over your people. They have less power over me.”
Also, during that conference, Trump contradicted his vice president’s pledges about due process and basically disputed that the government should take guns from citizens it deems threatening and go back and get legal reason later. “Take the firearms first, and then go to court,” Trump said. “Because that’s a different system. Because a lot of occasions, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court, to get the due-process procedures, I like taking the guns early.”
This is the kind of talk that regularly leaves NRA leaders and gun owners enraged. But the following day, Trump talked on the phone with heads of the NRA, and eventually, nothing came of his openly displayed pro-gun control stances.
After the shootings in Dayton and El Paso Last month, Trump declared that “Democrats and Republicans must come together and get strong background checks” but then two weeks later after another phone call with the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, Trump stated, “people don’t realize we have very strong background checks right now.” When it comes to gun law, it’s not just a concern of what the president wants to do; it’s a question of how long until he changes his mind.