President Donald Trump appeared determined to sign some kind of gun control legislation into place. Democrats in the House have already passed a slew of bills toward that end. It seemed the only thing keeping gun control in check following a spate of mass shootings during the summer was the United States Senate.
To be fair, the Senate did just that and we haven’t seen gun control advance.
Now, though, it seems there’s another roadblock to the anti-gun agenda. President Trump is no longer on board with it.
The president no longer asks about the issue, and aides from the Domestic Policy Council, once working on a plan with eight to 12 tenets, have moved on to other topics, according to aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private deliberations.
Four White House officials said there haven’t been substantive discussions in weeks. And a person close to the National Rifle Association said discussions between the White House and the group have gone silent in a sign that the powerful gun lobby is no longer concerned the White House will act. Trump was pressed repeatedly by NRA President Wayne LaPierre this summer and early fall to not propose any gun-control measures.
“President Trump quietly moved gun control to the side and let it be replaced by breaking news,” said Dan Eberhart, a major GOP donor who said Trump is better off not advancing proposals at this time.“I suspect that was the plan all along.”
The White House’s position is a marked, if not wholly unexpected, change from when the president vowed he would make a push to pass more restrictive laws after two gunmen killed scores of people in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso in early August, creating national outrage.
Of course, that leads one to ask just why there was such a change.
There are a number of reasons, of course. One is that while polls suggest people do support gun control, I suspect someone pointed out to the president that it won’t win him many votes but could lose him millions.
Also, there’s this whole impeachment thing going on.
Trump could always reverse course and embrace changes to gun laws, particularly if there is another shooting, but the president and his top aides are intensely focused on the impeachment inquiry and moving to aggressively shore up Republican support in the face of new revelations about his dealings with Ukraine that are central to House Democrats’ efforts to remove him from office. Administration officials are also weighing a new proposal about legal immigration to be released around the holidays, as well as a new round of tax cutsand pushing forward on a U.S., Canada and Mexico trade deal that administration officials have touted — issues they believe will appeal to GOP lawmakers and the president’s base of supporters.
The truth of the matter is that the Democrats shot themselves in the foot (no pun intended) on gun control by playing the part of a squirrel with ADD and jumping at the next shiny object to present itself. In this case, impeachment. They couldn’t remain focused on getting what they wanted from the president, so now they’re not going to get anything.
It’s not surprising that Trump has stopped even asking about gun control. It wasn’t a winning move for him in the first place, but now it would be absolutely ridiculous for him to hand Democrats such a victory at the same time they’re gunning for him.
So, to the gun rights community, I guess we can’t say Democrats have never done anything for us.