AP Photo/John Minchillo
To say it was a rough weekend for gun rights would be a bit of an understatement. Two mass shootings, one in El Paso, TX and one in Dayton, OH, are going to heighten the anti-gun rhetoric we’ve been hearing since Parkland from the media. While I hate to talk about politics when so many people lost their lives to mass shootings, our opponents haven’t wasted any time jumping on the bodies of the slain to advance their agenda.
However, perhaps the most troubling aspect of this may be President Donald Trump signaling a potential willingness to work toward gun control.
Wrapping up an out-of-sight weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., President Donald Trump said Sunday that “perhaps” more needs to be done with respect to gun control.
“Hate has no place in our country and we’re going to take care of it,” Trump told reporters as he prepared to board Air Force One to return to Washington, D.C.
Trump said he will make a statement Monday on the two mass shootings over the weekend and what can be done in response. Trump said he has also spoken with Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray about the mass violence.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the president has indicated his willingness to sell-out the gun rights advocates that worked so hard to put him in the Oval Office.
On the same token, however, USA Today fails to give us the President’s exact words, which don’t explicitly say anything about gun control. South African website IOL, however, does.
While connecting “hate” and mental illness to the shootings, Trump made no direct mention of gun laws, a factor brought up by Democratic officials and those seeking their party’s nomination to challenge Trump’s reelection next year. He also ignored questions about the anti-immigration language in a manifesto written by the El Paso shooter that mirrors some of his own.
Trump tried to assure Americans he was dealing with the problem and defended his administration in light of criticism following the latest in a string of mass shootings.
“We have done much more than most administrations,” he said, without elaboration. “We have done actually a lot. But perhaps more has to be done.”
Now, to be fair, I have a feeling he actually does mean gun control. After all, he’s done more for gun control than Obama did in his eight years in office with just the bump stock ban. Further, well after the USA Today was published, the president tweeted:
….this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019
However, he didn’t say that until earlier this morning. Before then, he may well have been talking about any number of things. That includes mental health–something the president has cited repeatedly as the reason for these attacks–and any number of other potential issues.
USA Today, however, simply editorialized their own opinions and presented it as fact.
Right now, things are very tense. I expect to spend a good bit of time over the next few weeks talking about these events and discussing gun control and mass shootings to an even greater degree than we have been. I welcome a frank and honest discussion.
What I don’t welcome are supposed journalists muddying the waters and trying to turn the right against itself by editorializing and presenting it as unbiased reporting. Then again, what else should I expect from the people who thought a chainsaw bayonet was a legitimate AR-15 accessory?