AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Last week, the National Rifle Associaton basically told gun owners to breathe easy. President Trump wasn’t going to back universal background checks. Now, that didn’t mesh with a few other things we’ve seen in the news, but if the president said that, then he’s not going to provide cover for Republicans in the Senate to back such a bill, meaning it’s not going to happen.
However, it seems the White House is less than pleased with the NRA over its comments regarding the conversation.
White House officials were left aggrieved this week after what they saw as a rushed attempt by the National Rifle Association to flex its muscle—and box in the president—during the current debate over gun control reform.
The frustration stemmed from a Tuesday phone call held between Donald Trump and longtime NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre. According to early reports, Trump had given LaPierre assurances that he would not be supporting efforts to pass universal background checks legislation. Behind closed doors, White House officials were caught off guard by those early characterizations which—according to three administration officials and a source close to the president—they continue to privately blame on the NRA.
“[In the White House], it was widely seen as a d*ck move,” one of these officials, who deals regularly with advocacy organizations and gun-lobby envoys, said.
A senior White House official insisted to The Daily Beast on Tuesday night that “the call [between Trump and LaPierre] occurred” but quibbled with the technicalities of what the president did, or didn’t, reportedly take off the table. “The president has not mentioned supporting universal background checks,” the official said. “Meaningful background checks remain on the table.”
Now, the official in question didn’t tell The Daily Beast what “meaningful background checks” actually means, but they’re likely referring to universal background checks. Either that or they’re considering revamping the NICS with something more likely to catch felons like the shooter in the Aurora, Illinois shooting. However, since no one has been discussing the NICS database, universal background checks are far more likely.
Also, this is The Daily Beast. As a left-leaning publication, I’m not sure what access reporters have or how accurate what they’re saying may actually be. I’m not accusing them of lying, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is using them for misdirection. After all, Trump caught a lot of flak from the Left after the reports of the NRA call surfaced. This could be a misinformation campaign designed to quell a bit of unrest on the issue of guns.
Then again, it could be something else. Maybe the term “meaningful” background checks don’t imply universal background checks at all but something else. It’s possible that the information shared by the NRA is factual, and so is this.
Right now, things are more confused and muddled than they need to be. President Trump should still remember that gun owners were a sizeable demographic that supported his candidacy, a demographic that has shown they’re more than willing to sit home during November elections rather than back candidates who have voted for gun control, regardless of party.
As such, it doesn’t matter what “meaningful background checks” means.
We’ll have to wait and see what’s coming and who’s telling the truth before we can proceed. Then we can decide. Until then, we’re dealing with he said, she said stuff. Ain’t life grand?