NBC News notes that Donald Trump still has some convincing to do when he takes the stage at the NRA Annual Meeting today, as he takes the stage at the NRA-ILA Leadership forum sponsored by Townhall News/Bearing Arms.
Donald Trump will have another chance to reassure wary conservatives still reluctant to back a candidate who once expressed support for an assault weapons ban and contributed to anti-gun Democrats when he speaks at the National Rifle Association’s national convention Friday.
Since expressing support for the ban and a longer waiting period for gun purchases in 2000, Trump’s done an about-face on the issue. He’s since called gun bans “a total failure,” opposed an expansion of background checks and called for concealed carry permits to be valid across all 50 states.
He’s also vowed to eliminate gun-free zones in schools and on military bases on his first day in office, and never fails to emphasize the importance of the Second Amendment during a stump speech.
But skeptics remain. His flip-flop on an assault weapons ban was constant fodder for then-opponent Ted Cruz to question his conservative credentials, and some critics went further. The founder of pro-gun rights website Bearing Arms declared that Trump would “be the death of the Second Amendment.”
And Trump’s speech comes at a pivotal time for the presumptive GOP nominee, as tries to build bridges to the party establishment and reassure conservatives, while still maintaining the outsider appeal that helped earn him the party’s nomination.
As a point of order, I’m the editor of Bearing Arms, not the founder, but that’s neither here nor there.
What matters is that Trump is making the effort to convince NRA members that he’s truly changed his position on gun rights, which will put him in direct opposition with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the two anti-Liberty candidates battling it out for the Democrat nomination.
Will Trump succeed in winning converts from conservatives and libertarians in the NRA with his speech today?
We’ll be there, and we’ll give you our impressions this afternoon.