Donald Trump is an unlikely gun rights hero. Lest we forget, the once and future real estate magnate supported the Clinton-era assault weapons ban. (No surprise there, he was a Democrat at the time.) I remain unconvinced that Mr. Trump has the courage of my convictions, or the political nous to get sh!t done. Still, as Bachman Turner Overdrive sang, I’ll take what I can get. B-b-b-baby you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
It remains to be seen if the author of The Art of the Deal can deliver undiluted national licensed concealed carry reciprocity — our best bet for gun rights restoration in states behind the Iron Curtain 2.0 (e.g., New Jersey, Hawaii, California). At least until a more conservative-minded Supreme Court judge can further tip the balance towards respect for Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
Anyway, national reciprocity is on the table. If Mrs. Clinton had won the election, the odds of a reciprocity bill becoming law would have been lower than the chances of Billary flying Jet Blue. Post election, there’s lots of pro-gun legislation under consideration, as Trump-enabled gun rights advocates gear-up to repeal and not replace infringements suffered by The People of The Gun since the National Firearms Act of 1934. And before.
Right now, I’m cautiously optimistic about gun reform (to use the antis’ term), in a Show Me State kinda way. But also prepared, of course, to hold the Trump administration’s feet to the proverbial fire if The Donald fails to deliver on his pro-gun promises, or waters down gun rights legislation to appease the opposition. Actually, make that when.
Remember candidate Trump’s pledge to the NRA convention to “get rid of gun-free zones” on day one of his new administration? A promise that Mr. Trump repeated at subsequent campaign stops. “My first day, it gets signed, OK? My first day. There’s no more gun free zones,” Trump pronounced at a Burlington, Vermont rally. “You know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That’s bait.”
You go, girl! Only . . . Mr. Trump retreated from that position when Mrs. Clinton made it sound like her rival wanted to hand guns to adults as they passed through the school gates. “Clarifying his position,” Trump told CNN that only school resource officers and/or trained teachers should be “allowed” to carry a gun in school.
Hey! You know what that sounds like? A compromise! A deal! Kinda like the “no federal database” deal that the NRA cut to support National Instant Background Checks for all new gun sales. How great is that?
Back up a second. What exactly could President Trump sign on day one to eliminate “gun free zones,” anyway? An executive order cancelling Bush the Elder’s Gun Free School Zones Act? Not to coin a phrase, that’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. Question: does Mr. Trump know how government works?
Let’s be charitable and say not yet, and assume that President-elect Trump’s Beltway swamp drainers will effectively manipulate the levers of power on his (our?), but definitely not their own behalf. Shepherding common sense gun reform (I love stealing the antis’ verbiage) through the slow-motion horse-trading whorehouse that is the United States Congress.
Still, no matter how you slice it, rolling back gun control isn’t going to be the cakewalk some on the pro-gun side imagine it to be under President Trump. Especially not with California going full retard on gun control. (Background checks for ammo sales? Really?) And Nevada’s looking decidedly intellectually challenged on the firearms freedom front, what with its forthcoming Universal Background Check law.
Not to put too fine a point on it, gun rights restoration via federal fiat or a Supreme Court edict risks a political civil war between Uncle Sam and the states. As if that’s not in the cards anyway….
Suffice it to say, The Truth About Guns will remain hyper-vigilant on behalf of gun rights advocates during the Trump administration. As far as I’m concerned, it ain’t over ’til the fat lady can legally carry her gun anywhere in the United States without any sort of local, state or federal permission slip. Trump or no Trump, we’re a very long way from that blessed day.