Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t trust Donald Trump to cash a twenty, never mind defend and extend Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. But the Our Principles anti-Trump ad above misrepresents The Donald’s views on guns by slicing out an unrepresentative bit out of a larger Town Hall-type encounter on MSNBC. Here’s the transcript of the entire exchange [via factcheck.org] . . .
Question: Mr. Trump, I’m an avid outdoorsman from upstate New York where your new golf courses are going. I’m very proud of my Second Amendment right to bear arms. If you’re elected, would you uphold this right, or do you see it as a societal ill?
Trump: Well, I think you have to have the right to have a gun. Now, I hate the concept of guns, I’m not in favor of it, except for one thing: the bad guys are going to have them. So …
Matthews: Do you have a gun?
Trump: I do.
Matthews: Do you keep it near you?
Trump: Depending on where I am, yes, I have it in different—I actually have a couple of guns. And I believe you need it.
You know what, if everybody would just give it up, the bad ones, the good ones and everybody in the middle, no guns, I love it — but it’s not going to happen. The good ones, you go into a licensing — the good ones are going to — are they going to do everything by the book? They get rid of the guns. So now the good folks are sitting out there with no protection, and the bad guys have the guns. I don’t like that. So I am in favor of the ability to have a gun.
All’s fair in love and war and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign certainly qualifies for both categories. But as suspect as Mr. Trump’s motives are, as much as I worry that he would play Let’s Make a Deal with our gun rights, it’s unfair to fault his general support for firearms freedom. Especially when you play dirty tricks to do so.