I haven’t made a secret of the fact that I don’t trust our president when it comes to guns. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t see a lifelong New Yorker understanding how important gun rights are to many in this great country. He’s expressed more willingness to “compromise” on guns than I’m comfortable with as well.
However, he also hasn’t embraced the anti-gun arguments like I feared he might.
Yet after Odessa, I had concerns. Would President Trump more fully embrace gun control?
Well, I have my answer.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP said Sunday the package of gun-related proposals that he and Congress are considering won’t be affected by the mass shooting this past weekend in Texas.
‘We’re doing a package,’ he told reporters. ‘….That’s irrespective of what happened yesterday in Texas.’ He was referring to a mass shooting in which a gunman killed at least seven people and wounded 22 around Odessa. This followed other recent mass shootings in August, including one in El Paso, Texas and another in Dayton, Ohio.
‘For the most part, as strong as you make your background checks, they would not have stopped any of it,’ Trump said.
So, the president appears to be still considering at least some degree of gun control based on what happened in El Paso and Dayton, but he’s not shifting more to the left on gun control than he already is.
While I’d rather see the president refuse to budge at all on guns, that’s not where he is at the moment. Instead, he’s looking to pass a bit, probably enough to quell concerns during the general election but not much more than that.
For better or worse, that’s the best we can hope for right now.
Now, I can hear someone out there talking about how the president is playing 4D-chess right now and all that jazz, but I’m not interested in hearing it. He’s playing 4D-chess with our right to keep and bear arms. He’s proposing measures like red flag laws that mean someone can claim I’m a threat and then the police will take my weapons away and I will have to prove I’m not a threat in order to get them back. He’s been back and forth on things like universal background checks. Hell, he’s already managed more gun control than the Obama administration with the bump stock ban alone.
I don’t want to hear about 4D-chess.
That said, I do understand political realities. While I oppose any gun control, I also understand that politicians also feel pressured to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do or support. I get that.
But don’t sell me that this is part of some “grand design.”
There’s been little reason to take the president’s word that he’s a gun-rights supporter from the get-go. He was just better than the alternative. He’s still better than what the alternative would have been. Trump’s proposals aren’t a drop in the bucket compared to what we’d be dealing with if Hillary had won, and we all know it.
All of that said, the fact that he’s not latching onto Odessa to justify still more gun control is something of a relief. It means that we’re not going to see assault weapon bans, for one thing. It also reduces the chance of seeing universal background checks in his gun control package.
While we don’t know quite what form that package will take just yet, it’ll still be far better than it could have been.