Friday, April 28, 2017

Donald Trump speaks to the NRA, says the assault on gun rights is over.

Trump supporters at the NRA speech. Miami Herald/AP.

President Donald Trump gave a speech today at the NRA and says that the assault on gun rights is over. Miami Herald. Trump's 30 minute speech was a love letter to the gun community and promised that gun rights would be a priority. Trump spoke highly of three pro-gun officials that he had put into office, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Zinke, on his first day in office, removed the ban on led ammo on federal lands. Trump also promoted a pair of NRA backed bills that would grant concealed carry reciprocity through all 50 states and removing restrictions on suppressors. Though Trump has not gotten much media attention for his actions on gun rights, he has loosened restrictions. The NRA was an early supporter for President Trump and they ran quite a few adds in support of him. Trump is the first president to speak at the NRA convention since Ronald Reagan. 

My Comment:
A quick note on the source for this post. I don't usually use the Miami Herald, but the national articles I read on this topic were all pretty terrible. This one was bad enough since they gave gun control groups a platform for their idiocy, but that's fairly standard. What isn't is the fact that a throwaway line insulting Senator Elizabeth Warren got almost all of the media attention. Though calling her Pocahontas is both hilarious and apt, it's not the big story here at all. it's just another incident in a long running rivalry between the two. The media won't ever give credit where credit is due and for gun rights supporters, Trump deserves some here.

Donald Trump hasn't gotten enough credit for his work on gun rights. Though he hasn't accomplished everything gun rights supporters have wanted, he has certainly rolled back some of the regulations put into place by the Obama administration. Obviously, the ones that have to go through congress first are taking more time, but Trump has used his appointments and executive orders to get rid of a few odious regulations. 

In addition to removing the ban on lead ammo, Trump has also removed Obama's executive order that banned people from owning guns if they couldn't handle their finances. That order was horrible since you should not lose the right to self defense just because you can't handle your spending habits, but it's gone now. Also gone are the ATF's wider definition of what a fugitive is, allowing more people to own firearms. 

I am also happy about the two laws working their way through congress right now. I am especially happy that the ban on suppressors (aka silencers) is on the way out, assuming it passes. The ban never made any sense whatsoever. Silencers are a major misnomer since they hardly make a gun silence. Instead, they reduce the noise from ear damaging levels to simply very loud. That's right, a suppressor is a safety feature that was banned because stupid people thought it was too scary.  Here's an example of a suppressed firearm:

The other bill is great too. Concealed carry is a great thing and it makes zero sense that we lose our rights to carry when we visit a different state. If someone has the ability to carry a firearm in one state, he or she shouldn't lose if when they go somewhere else. It should be the same as a drivers licence, good for all 50 states. 

I do think that Donald Trump owes the NRA a bit. Though there was almost no chance of anyone who supports even the vague concept of gun rights would ever vote for Hillary Clinton, the NRA was key in increasing turnout. Trump made a lot of promises to the NRA and in return they spent a lot of money trying to get him elected. I don't think you can say for sure that Clinton would have won without the NRA but I do think they did play a role in getting Donald Trump elected. Trump certainly owed them at least a speech. 

With gun control on the back foot, it is easy to be complacent. While we have GOP majorities in congress, the Supreme Court and in many state Governors offices and state legislatures, the opponents of gun rights still exist and we still have the media against us. Even the relatively fair Miami Herald story I used as a source for this post still gave a platform to gun control groups. As long as those groups still exist the human right of self defense will be under threat. 

That being said, it does feel great to finally have a president that supports gun rights. I don't think I have had it in my lifetime. The best of a bad bunch was George Bush (43). He didn't really do much other than let the assault weapons ban expire. The rest of the presidents were actively against gun rights and even Ronald Reagan was in favor of some gun control. Trump is on our side and the side of human rights and I am so happy that is the case. 

And it is important to note how important the Supreme Court is. Trump will likely get at least one more justice on the bench before his first term is up and that number could go up when he wins a second term. That means that gun rights should be safe even if the Democrats win back power for almost a generation at least. That doesn't mean we have won, but it does mean that we scored a massive victory for gun rights when Donald Trump was elected... 

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