President Donald Trump was still appearing a little dismissive earlier today when he discussed the possibility of addressing gun laws in the future following the massacre in Las Vegas. Although his supporters were quick to say it was a “write off” and he would never enact gun control, Trump’s history before his campaign shows him to be not quite as friendly to gun owners as some may hope.
Trump merely said he will be “talking about gun control as time goes by,” but that’s hardly comforting to gun owners who know his history on the second amendment, and it isn’t all flags and patriotism as would believe. More likely than not, some gun control laws will be written at the state level in places that are massive democrat strongholds, like California, New Jersey, or New York. But the possibility of more federal laws now looms over our heads too.
Back in 2000, Trump laid out his views on gun control. In a page-long explanation of his stance on guns in his book The America We Deserve, Trump assessed the differences between the two main political parties’ gun policies. He called what he said was the Democratic party‘s desire to “confiscate” guns “a dumb idea” and said Republicans “refuse even limited restrictions,” noting that they “walk the NRA line.” Instead, he cast his stance as something of a middle ground. “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun,” he wrote. And if that isn’t evidenced enough, Trump also agreed with Barack Obama, one of the most anti-gun presidents in modern history, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
President Obama spoke for me and every American in his remarks in #Newtown Connecticut.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2012
He then made it clear that he wanted to get rid of gun-free zones, but maybe he just hasn’t had the time. We can give him the benefit of the doubt on this one, right? “My first day, it [gun-free zone ban] gets signed, OK? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones,” he said in January of 2016.
To be fair, after his election, Donald Trump did roll back an Obama-era regulation that required “mental illness” social security checks on people “unable to handle their finances.” Had this rule officially taken full effect, the Obama administration anticipated that 75,000 would be added to list of those who would lose their gun rights.
Dismissing Trump’s statements outright is simply for those who don’t know what his stance on guns was BEFORE he campaigned for the presidency and how wishy-washy he can be on the issue. Those who do know, are not being so calm about his comments. Of course, there’s no real reason to be up in arms (no pun intended) just yet, because nothing has been proposed, but it isn’t hard to see it popping up, and soon.
That isn’t to say that gun control will get passed and become law. Barack Obama failed to do anything even remotely meaningful when it came to new regulations, and some Republicans won’t be swayed. But it is important to remember Donald Trump’s history on the issue and how he’s changed sides. It’s hard to say which side he’s on now that he is president and it’s difficult to assess what exactly he meant when saying the US will be “talking about gun control.”