Trump Draws the Big Guns
File this one under the No Brainer category, but Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has decided that gun rights are essential! Let’s put it this way: any Republican in favor of more gun control should probably be disqualified on the basis of gross incompetence. You might as well campaign on a platform of higher taxes. It ain’t gonna happen.
Still, it should reassure voters who have wondered where The Donald stands on gun control. His critics have pointed out his earlier support for certain gun control laws, as written in his book, The America We Deserve:
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. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72 hours if a potential gun owner has a record.
That’s not the kind of rhetoric Republican voters want to hear, although it’s not like he was calling for a federal gun registry or anything. He sounds like the average semi-informed American who wants to ride the fence on this issue. You could probably find a Republican or two in Congress who would actually agree with this kind of gun control proposal. Especially if you got them behind closed doors.
In any case, Trump released a policy paper on guns that falls right in line with the NRA position. In it, he asserts his support for the Second Amendment, his status as a concealed carry permit holder, and his opposition to universal background checks. He reverses course on his earlier support for assault weapons bans and condemns the media for making these guns out to be scarier than they are. He also proposes that concealed carry permits should be valid in all 50 states like drivers’ licenses.
Because this is a political campaign, Trump’s opponents will probably call him out on his flip-flopping. And to be fair, voters deserve to know that Trump has changed his position and it’s entirely fair to be skeptical. However, when it comes to gun control, his slide to the right is understandable and quite common. Once you immerse yourself in this issue and listen to intelligent proponents of the Second Amendment, you realize how distorted mainstream coverage of gun violence really is. It’s an awakening, and it actually can be an epiphany on the liberal media in general.
If Trump is wise, he can use this conversion to his advantage. He should tackle it up front. Talk about how his views have changed and why. Seeing as how it’s Trump, we’re probably not going to get a lot of specifics, but even a general overview would work. Because a lot of his supporters will probably see themselves in his story.
Really, this can extend to Trump’s liberal history beyond gun control. There’s a reason liberals become conservatives later in life, and it doesn’t just happen when business moguls want to run for president. You live, you learn, you stop dreaming about the way things ought to be, and you start dealing with the way things are. Whether you like Trump or not, we should be able to appreciate a man who finally sees through the veil.