Buckle your seatbelt folks, things are about to get bumpy.
President Trump ruffled more than a few feathers yesterday when he made what many feel are controversial remarks on gun control. While some conservatives are sounding alarms over his remarks, it’s just too soon to jump to conclusions.
Yesterday, Trump held a bipartisan meeting with members of Congress to discuss school safety and gun violence. The first of three questionable statements came during a conversation on guns and the mentally ill.
“I don’t want mentally ill people to be having guns,” Trump began. He then offered his perspective on what went wrong in Florida and how to fix the problem:
“You have to do something very decisive. Number one, you can take the guns away immediately from people that you can adjudge easily are mentally ill, like this guy. You know, the police saw that he was a problem, they didn’t take any guns away. Now, that could have been policing. I think they should have taken them away anyway, whether they had the right or not. But I’ll tell you this, you have to have very strong provisions for the mentally ill.”
Vice-President Mike Pence followed-up making it a point to bring up due process. “Allow due process so no one’s rights are trampled, but the ability to go to court, obtain an order and then collect not only the firearms but any weapons,” Pence responded.
Trump’s rebuttal is where things got dicey:
“Or, Mike, take the firearms first, and then go to court. Because that’s another system, because a lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court to get the due process procedures, I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida. … To go to court would have taken a long time. So, you could do exactly what you’re saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second.”
Listen to the clip:
WATCH: President Trump: "I like taking the guns early … Take the guns first, go through due process second." pic.twitter.com/aydEZdAGq0
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 28, 2018
Now, on the surface that sounds and looks bad. But there is more to it at least when it comes to the mentally ill. The Florida Baker Act allows a person to be held up to 72 hours without a court hearing if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others. That decision must be made by a doctor, police officer, or licensed mental health professional.
Could we argue that the Baker Act violates due process? Sure. Would we be right? Possibly. However, the real question is: is it necessary? That answer is: absolutely. Though the system needs work, it does save lives. Guns save lives too, but that’s another story.
Moving on, the second controversial statement Trump appeared to make was during a conversation with California Senator Dianne Feinstein. The senator plans to reintroduce the ban on assault-style weapons and the president seemed to signal that he would support the measure.
Here’s a clip of that exchange:
— Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 (@RealSaavedra) February 28, 2018
Interesting, isn’t it?
The third and final statement causing alarm came in the form of an attack on Republican Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey. Toomey, along with Democrat Senator Joe Manchin are co-sponsoring a gun bill to improve background checks.
While discussing aspects of the proposal, Trump asked Senator Toomey if they included a provision that raises the age limit for assault rifle purchases. “We didn’t address that, Mr. President,” Toomey responded.
The president’s reply turned a few heads including mine.
“You know why? Because you’re afraid of the NRA,” Trump answered with a giggle. “It’s a big issue right now. A lot of people are talking about it. A lot of people are afraid of that issue — raising the age for that weapon to 21.”
So, was that chuckle sarcastic or is Trump really taking aim at the NRA? The answer to that question could, in all reality, make or break his entire presidency. But it’s hard to answer because of additional comments he made about the organization.
Here is that clip:
Trump after Sen. Toomey says gun control bill didn't include changing age restrictions: "You know why, because you're afraid of the NRA." pic.twitter.com/g09FgYllXQ
— Axios (@axios) February 28, 2018
Nevertheless, this is a lot of information to process. For all intents and purposes, Trump statements yesterday signal a big shift away from his previous position on the issue. If he is sincere, it’s going to cost him.
We can all agree that background checks and keeping guns away from the mentally ill are important elements of responsible gun legislation. We can also come together on the fact that no law will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and nothing will stop a person hell bent on killing mass numbers of people.
The problem is, this situation goes well beyond the issue of gun control.
Over the last year, Democrats have failed to support any of Trump’s initiatives to make America (and American lives) better and safer. They rallied for Obamacare. Then, they shut down the government to protect illegal immigrants and save DACA.
Next, they refused to fund the border wall. Tax cuts? Nope, they opposed those “crumbs” too. Democrats want to fund sanctuary cities and the baby murdering Planned Parenthood but they don’t want secure borders or a strong military.
Yet, suddenly they are concerned about the safety of schoolchildren? Give us a break. How many children are murdered by illegal immigrants every year? Apparently, their “one life lost is one too many” only applies when a gun is involved.
All of this begs the question: why would Trump give the Democrats one inch on gun control that we know won’t change a thing anyway? Really, that’s not even what the progressive left is after. They want to control people because an unarmed society is not a threat to their socialist agenda.
It goes without saying, or at least it should, that Trump is not a stupid man. With the 2018 mid-terms rapidly approaching, the president must be concerned with what happens to him if Republicans lose control of Congress. We know his supporters think about it.
Trump knows that Democrats, and more than a few RINOs, want him out. What keeps him strong is that the president’s base is fiercely loyal. No, we don’t always approve of everything he says or does but Trump is changing things.
At least he has been up to now.
It’s very possible, given who he is, that Trump is just stringing Democrats along on gun control. To be honest, I personally hope that is the case. If it isn’t, then we have a big problem heading our way later this year.
In 2020, that problem grows exponentially. In any case, all we can do now is wait and watch. Inevitably the “proof is in the pudding” at which point we have two choices-eat it or throw it away.
We’d love to know what you think about Trump’s remarks. Leave us a comment here and join the conversation on our Facebook page.