When a president appoints someone to a post that requires congressional approval, the assumption tends to be that the nominee shares the president’s politics. This is especially true when someone is the mean, fascisty-racist dictator-in-waiting that the left assures people President Trump really is. After all, aren’t megalomaniacal madmen known for not tolerating any dissent, especially within the ranks?
Yet President Trump’s Department of Defense nominee said something that’s very much not something you expect from the Republican side.
President Donald Trump’s nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Dean Winslow, said Tuesday it is “insane” that a civilian can buy a semi-automatic weapon like the gun that [the Texas church shooter] used in the Texas church shooting.
Winslow made the comments in his confirmation hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“I may get in trouble with other members of the committee, just say how insane it is that in the United States of America a civilian can go out and buy a semi-automatic assault rifle like an AR-15, which apparently was the weapon that was used,” Winslow said.
Law enforcement have said [the killer] used Ruger AR-556, which is a variant of an AR-15.
The Pentagon declined to comment on Winslow’s remarks.
Except for the fact that the man who appointed him appears to be fine with the idea, as are millions and millions of Americans. In fact, the AR-15 and its variants are the most popular rifle in the country. It’s not that way because people thinking owning them is insane. They find them enjoyable for plinking, valuable for hunting, viable for self-defense, or maybe they just want one because they think they’re cool. Who cares?
There’s absolutely nothing insane about it.
Though perhaps Winslow has fallen victim to the narrative overflowing from the media that fails to differentiate between the AR-15 and its variants and the M-4 in use by the military? Perhaps he thinks the notion that we can walk into a gun store and purchase a fully-automatic weapon insane, in which case, he’s right.
More specifically, the notion we can do that is what is insane, because we can’t. Those guns are so heavily restricted as to be nonexistent for most firearm enthusiasts who lack tens of thousands of dollars to spend on a single firearm. There are hoops to jump through before you can even think of forking over your hard-earned money to buy something you have no intention of hurting a soul with.
Luckily, Winslow is someone who, if confirmed, won’t be in any position to inhibit our right to keep and bear arms. He’ll be a bureaucrat within the Department of Defense, who doesn’t determine firearm policy for the civilian world. His comments are harmless, in and of themselves, but they’re worrying on another level.
After all, a Republican nominee voices opposition to the private ownership of AR-style rifles at a time when it feels like the GOP is more open to gun regulations? The president has made it clear that he opposes new regulations on guns, which is good, but I can see why some are concerned that the Republican party isn’t the friend to gun owners than many believed.