“Donald Trump would force schools to allow guns in classrooms on his first day in office” Fact or Hillary Spin?

(courtesy détroit.cbslocal.com)

With the notable exception of Eugene Volokh, the left-leaning Washington Post is not a friend of ours. So when their Fact Checker examined the above Tweet from “gun safety” champion Hillary Clinton — “Donald Trump would force schools to allow guns in classrooms on his first day in office” — you knew which way they’d come down. Fact! And so they did. But how Michelle Ye Hee Lee gets there is funny, in a sad sort of way. Because nailing down Donald Trump on a point of fact is like catching a greased pig (no offense to the pig). Like this . . .

Trump has argued against gun-free zones at military bases since last October, but he has been less vocal about repealing gun-free zones at schools.

The one time he talked about it publicly was at a January 2016 rally in Vermont: “I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools — you have to — and on military bases. My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones.” His campaign did not respond to requests by the media to clarify his proposal.

Our colleague Jenna Johnson reported at the time that the proposal “raises a number of questions, such as: Would this apply to all public schools, from elementary to college? How would schools deal with the likely logistical and safety concerns created by having guns on the grounds?”

While the military’s policy on weapons on bases IS under the command and control of the Commander-in-Chief, I don’t think the President of the United States can simply declare a major piece of federal legislation — in this case the Gun Free School Zones Act — null and void with the stroke of a pen.

Not that Trump is bothered by such Constitutional considerations (see: initial comments on the military’s rules of engagement). As for clarification on “gun-free zones” sought by The Post’s Fact Checker, I say to the WaPo ask and ye shall receive! Trump’s great at clarification. And modification. And modification of clarifications. And clarifications of modifications. And so on.

[Note to Trump supporters: don’t get your knickers in a twist. I get it: Trump wants to get rid of “gun-free zones.” That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. And his opponent, Ms. Clinton, has this strong some might say irrepressible desire to disarm all Americans everywhere.]

The only specificity the Post could find on the subject of Donald Trump and “gun-free zones” came from his interview with  . . . wait for it . . . The Outdoor Channel. And it went a little something like this . . .

“I’m going to get rid of the gun-free zones on the military bases. I’m also going to do it in schools. You say you have a school, and it’s gun-free. The criminals are out there saying, ‘This is incredible. This is perfect. There’s no guns in there. I’m the only one that’s going to have guns.’ You can’t do it. I’m going to work with the states, and if I have to, I’m going to try and perhaps override the states if I have to, if I’m allowed to do that. . . . But we can’t have gun-free zones where, I see schools advertise, ‘We are a gun-free zone.’ And then you have these crazy people out there saying, ‘Boy, this is the most incredible thing,’ and that’s happening.”

Yup, the man who wants to be President of the United States doesn’t know how to be president. At least Mr. Trump’s heart’s in the right place. Now. For now. But the main point is clear: no one really knows what Mr. Trump will do about “gun-free zones.” Least of all Mr. Trump. And that’s a fact.


  1. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    He knows more than McCain, Romney or the Bushs’. Trump +5 nationally over Clinton.

    So much anti-trump butthurt around here it is starting to resemble a proctologists office.

    1. avatar TravisP says:

      TTAG has always been anti statist for a large part.

    2. avatar LHW says:


      Play nice please.

    3. avatar Cliff H says:

      As RF stated above, just because Trump is a better choice than Hillary does not mean he gets a free pass to do or say whatever he wants. If he wants to get elected then he needs to hear and understand the opinions of the people he hopes will vote for him.

      1. avatar clickboom says:

        At least he is admitting that he’s not sure exactly how to implement his pro-gun agenda, as it is a complex initiative.

        There are a number of ways to go about it, and he’s saying he’ll try.

        I fail to see how this is a bad thing.

        Hilary wants to disarm all the plebes, Trump says he stands firm with the 2nd and wants fewer restrictions and seems to understand the futility of implementing laws for responsible people that criminals l, by definition, will not follow.

        Hilary or Trump. The choice isn’t that hard.

        1. avatar DDay says:

          Trump says it? He lies about everything. Obama said people could keep their healthcare. Don’t trust a single word trump says.

    4. avatar DDay says:

      Are you seriously making hay of a poll 6 months before an election? Oh brother. smh

  2. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    The WaPost does not make a distinction between him saying he will do something and him actually doing it. By this logic they should declare “Make America great again” fact as well.

  3. avatar Mike J says:

    Well, actually, Mr. Farago, if you scroll down a bit in your own linked Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-Free_School_Zones_Act_of_1990#Challenges), you’ll notice that the Supreme Court has already voided the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990. I can’t imagine why the modified 1994 act would be any less of “an unconstitutional exercise of Congressional authority.” At least, it wouldn’t be if Antonin Scalia were still with us.

    I think that a President Trump could toss out the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1994. Of course, lefties would file lawsuits, which would be appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supremes, with their conservative majority restored by Trump’s nominee, would probably go with stare decisis.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Read on. The Act was challenged and modified. It’s still the law of the land, duly enacted by Congress and signed by the President of the United States. If you doubt that please feel free to exercise your gun rights in a school where carrying an otherwise legal firearm is banned under federal statue (states can opt out of the GFSZA). Let us know how you get on.

      1. avatar Mike J says:

        The act was modified before the 1995 Supreme Court decision, wasn’t it?

        Reading further, “Although the amended GFSZA has yet to be challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court, …”

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          You are correct. Further, there has NEVER been a challenge to the amended law. the defect the Supreme Court identified was that the law failed to establish (by appropriate invocation) the authority of the federal government over matters one would normally think of as a state concern. The amended act inserted an “appropriate” jurisdictional statement.

        2. avatar Hannibal says:

          Yeah, in other words, it stands.

      2. avatar Binder says:

        Why don’t you actually read the stupid thing and then ask yourself if is constitutional or just a stupid mockery of any limits on the federal limits. OK here is a good one. Everyone with the name Robert Farago must pay the federal goverment 1 million dollars in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce. There how is that for a constitutional law.

  4. avatar Katy says:

    I don’t think it came off as elitest either, but I do think you missed a subtle but of PR in Trump’s phrasing (assuming it was intentional).

    By not knowing how to President, Trump cements himself as the Beltway outsider, who has ideas and solutions and will do what it takes to make it happen, regardless of political roadblocks and realities. “If I’m allowed to,” is not only effective on the stump, it also lets him modify his modifications, as needed.

    Again, assuming this is all intentional.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I don’t think so.

      IMH (non-elitist) O, Mr Trump is flying by the seat of his pants, making stuff up as he goes along. And then changing it. Self-fund campaign, not self-fund campaign. Lower taxes, raise taxes on hedge fund managers. Ban Muslims from the U.S., don’t ban all Muslims.

      Now that he’s hired establishment political strategists, maybe he’ll maintain some ideological consistency. But will that mean his underlying squishiness will have gone away? I doubt it. And so I fear for our gun rights under Trump. Not NEARLY as much as I do in a Clinton administration. But some.

      1. avatar Katy says:

        No disagreement with anything you say. I suspect that everything, and anything, is a bargaining chip to be deployed as needed. With a Schumer-Congress, guns would get traded for something else that Trump wanted, and he wouldn’t feel bad about it.

        I think the squishieness plays to his constituency, giving all of them what they want. Muslim-hating gun control activist? He agrees with you. Muslim-friendly gun rights supporter? He agrees with you.

        Had this all been intentional, he would be a political genius – he’s making things that shouldn’t work, work.

        But, you’re undoubtedly right. This isn’t intentional and he’s just making it up as he goes. I hate thinking that of someone, but it is what it is. The important thing is that we will get through this. Look at some of the more forgettable Presidents, and the Republic survived them. It will survive this.

        I hope.

      2. avatar What The Heck Is That says:

        With Donald J. Trump, EVERYTHING is negotiable.

        There’s nothing you can say to convince me that he won’t sell us out for the right price.

        1. avatar RealityCheck says:

          Yeah, but … but… he’ll make a GREAT DEAL that will make America great again! Can’t you just imagine a proud Trump declaring that he has secured “peace for our time.” Wouldn’t that be so great? Sigh. The worst part is that he, like Neville Chamberlain before him, would probably believe it and really truly believe he’d done something great.

  5. avatar Detroiter says:

    Hmm. While his statements to the outdoors channel is disappointing because it sounds like he doesn’t understand a damn thing about the .gov and what he is entitled to do, I feel an accurate paraphrase would be: “I want to get rid of the law that makes schools gun free zones on the federal level, and work with the states to do the same. I’ll fight a court battle to do that if I have too. I’m not sure I can swing the votes in congress to do it, but I’ll try”

    I do respect trumps candor and lack of polish, but it a few more minutes with advisors to get the details straight wouldn’t hurt……

  6. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    Well, you do have that Skull and Bones ring you go around making little people kiss;-)

  7. avatar Defensor fortismo says:

    This is the same idiot who says that he doesn’t support the G.I bill because he wants to support small businesses. He’s clearly just spouting off whatever he thinks will get him votes, regardless of reality.

  8. avatar Kyle says:

    All the above comments aside.

    i hope that:
    a) Trump wins. I have nothing in common with Hillary, and I, at least, have a chance of agreeing with whatever stand Trump takes in a given year.
    b) He gets rid of gun free zone’s. As stated, ad nauseam, they dont work anywhere they are ever tried.

  9. avatar David says:

    It’s funny because this is exactly how I have felt about the last several “conservative” republicans. The truth is nobody really knows that Hillary won’t have a complete change of heart if she is elected, either.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      That’s assuming she has one.

    2. avatar Kyle says:

      I gotta play the odds

    3. avatar SteveInCO says:

      The truth is nobody really knows that Hillary won’t have a complete change of heart if she is elected, either.


      But we do know that she hasn’t ever had one in the past, whereas Trump has one about as often as most people change their underwear. So who is more likely to have a change of heart in the future?

  10. avatar rammerjammer says:

    No, it is pretty clear Mr. Farago understands Trump and his supporters. They are morons who have been conned by a hustler. They may be right in being upset about the condition of our nation but Trump and his lackeys consistently show a clear ignorance regarding the function and role of government.

    If you can’t see Trump for the con man that he is there is no argument to be had. Trump supporters don’t have the requisite knowledge or application of reason to engage in any form of rational debate.

    Trump and Clinton suck but for very similar and very different reasons.

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      Dont ALL elections seem to come down to the ‘lesser of two evils’ argument. Ive thought for a very long time that is just the way it always is, and probably always has been. The process of running for office, almost precludes a really great person of even holding the office.

      1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

        Wanting to be president should be a disqualification for being president.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          If only….

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      My only desired result from “supporting” Trump in the primaries was the destruction of the GOP establishment and the network of political consultants, op-ed writers and quislings who have been wrecking GOP candidates since 1992.

      Trump has accomplished this better than I could have hoped.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Establishment Republicans convinced me to re-register. As an Independent. I also refuce my chance of being audited by the IRS at the same time. It’s a win / win.

      2. avatar Geoff PR says:

        “My only desired result from “supporting” Trump in the primaries was the destruction of the GOP establishment and the network of political consultants,…”

        Yeah, but…

        He’s now in the process of hiring those very same political and campaign consultants in order to win the general election.

        Trump has hired Paul Manafort. This Slate article on him is well worth the read:

        “Paul Manafort made a career out of stealthily reinventing the world’s nastiest tyrants as noble defenders of freedom. Getting Donald Trump elected will be a cinch.”


  11. avatar John Smith says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Trump, but I will vote for him over Hillary.
    But I have to ask, why are sooo many articles on this site clearly biased?
    For a site call “The Truth” about guns I expect unbiased articles. Truth and bias are mutually exclusive concepts.
    Saying he doesn’t know how to be President isn’t unbiased. It is a totally un-necessary comment and clearly biased. Just because he says “if it can be done”. This is such a broad and generic statement. He’s not a lawyer nor should he be expected to be. He also doesn’t know if the states will comply or if he would be able to get enough votes in congress to force some states to comply. The man is not an idiot, he built a financial empire, I am quite sure he is aware he can’t write legislation on his own. That what he and every other president has had legal advisers for.

  12. avatar Swilson says:

    At least he’s not mandating all public schools let people use whatever bathroom they want like the current administration.

  13. avatar Sian says:

    “How would schools deal with the likely logistical and safety concerns created by having guns on the grounds?”

    I imagine the same way they do today.

    It’s not those who are carrying legally that are the problem.

  14. avatar Parnell says:

    That’s okay, the clown in the White House now doesn’t know how to be President either.

  15. avatar Jared says:


    Instead of supporting someone who put out a list of good judges and someone who keeps saying they want to repeal gun laws, let’s not. Since he hasn’t said he would repeal the NFA, let’s directly/indirectly support Killary who would confiscate as many guns as she could and overturn Heller/McDonald tomorrow.


    1. avatar Sian says:

      When Hillary puts 3 rabidly anti-gun justices on the court and destroys all import/export of firearms and ammunition by EO, at least the #nevertrump crowd can be secure in their smug moral superiority.

      1. avatar Dr Brainwash says:

        They’re fatalistic. They’re determined to die on the moral high ground. Not realizing there is no such thing in politics. Others will actively support Hillary in private, to punnish the people for daring to challenge the establishment.

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        There were two handfuls of candidates you folks could have chosen who wouldn’t make America look like a joke of a reality show or threaten to usurp powers. You decided to go with Trump. The die was cast the moment that happened.

  16. avatar Dr Brainwash says:

    “Not that Trump is bothered by such Constitutional considerations (see: initial comments on the military’s rules of engagement)”

    Correct me if I’m wrong. But I’m quite certain the military’s rules of engagement is not set by the constitution. If so, you need to inform every campaign of every war, ever.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      You’re wrong IF the rules of engagement violate the UCMJ, which Trump’s would have.

      “The Congress shall have Power….To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval forces.”

      1. avatar Dr Brainwash says:

        Uh yeah. That’s my point. The constitution delegates that power to the government. It doesn’t say anything about ROE. ROE is often dictated by the commanders on the ground themselves during a conflict. Calling it “unconstitutional” is quite a stretch. RFs simply grasping for straws

  17. avatar Ducati says:

    Trump 2016 end of story don’t make us vote for anyone else or Hitlery wins. It is really regarted and harmful to question what he will do when you only have one shot of winning against that witch

  18. avatar Ducati says:

    Regarded = retarded

  19. avatar Robert Duchien says:

    There is very little a president of the US can do without the approval of Congress. It’s NOT a dictatorship, Trump would be reigned in by a GOP Congress if he tried to do anything truly outlandish. So would Hillary.

    Hillary with a democrat Congress, on the other hand, equals the end of gun rights and ownership for most law abiding Americans. Coming next summer, as that will be their flagship legislation. Hillary’s SCOTUS appointees will uphold any and all anti-gun legislation. Hillary’s SCOTUS appointees will also be anti-capitalist, but that’s for some other blogsite.

    1. avatar soccerdad says:

      I’m sorry, have you been watching what Obummer has been doing all these years with his “pen”. and we HAVE a (supposedly) counter balancing force in both the house and the senate. they’ve done little to stop this president who is hell bent on ‘fundamentally changing America”. I’d argue that Obummer has had an incredibly successful presidency, in that he has achieved much of what he promised to do.

  20. avatar LHW says:

    Trump 2016!

  21. avatar CLarson says:


  22. avatar SteveInCO says:

    “Oh, SHIT!!!” versus “Hell, NO!!!”

    Guess I’d better pick “Oh, SHIT!!!”

    But I don’t understand those who haven’t figured out he’s “Oh, SHIT!!!”

  23. avatar Bob says:

    Trump = Shit sandwich
    Hillary = Shit sandwich full of razor blades

    Both will be unpleasant, one will clearly be our end. If the POTG can’t show up and beat Hillary, everyone will know gun rights voters are nothing more than a paper tiger.

    1. avatar LHW says:

      Be careful, you’re making sense.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        Ironically, he’s making more sense than the people who come over here lionizing Trump.

    2. avatar RealityCheck says:

      Excellently phrased.

      Look — there’s only two people any of us should actually be concerned about, and that’s our congressional representative and our senator (if you have a senator on the ballot). Whether Hillary wins or Trump wins, neither will be able to advance their agenda if their hands are tied by a sane and reasonable Congress (okay, I know, but let’s pretend “sane and reasonable” by comparison, okay?)

      The Republican majority in the Senate saved us from Hillary 1.0 (Obama); a majority in the Senate and in the House can save us from Hillary 2.0 (Hillary) or P.T. Barnum (Trump). Even if Hillary wins and nominates four justices for the Supreme Court, it won’t matter if the Senate won’t confirm them.

      The battle for gun rights, and for the soul of the country, is no longer hinged on the President. It’s on the Senate. And, unlike the Presidential race, this time you actually can do something about it. Presidential politics is decided by a few swing states, but in your Senator’s race you can actually get involved and make a difference.

  24. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “How would schools deal with the likely logistical and safety concerns created by having guns on the grounds?”

    How do schools deal with the logistical and safety concerns of NOT having guns (in the hands of responsible citizens who have no ill-intent) on school grounds right now?

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      They, uh….don’t. Not so you’d notice. Until it’s time to mop up the blood spatters. Then the bulldozers come in.

      (You’re an excellent straight man, sometimes.)

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Thank you, sir. I appreciate your comments and perspective as well.

        While we disagree on how to resolve a certain conflict of rights, even on that topic we both have the same motivation: to uphold rights and human dignity. The fact that we are fighting for individual rights is a really good thing, even if we have different solutions. And to be honest, either solution is a good one, albeit not perfect. (There is a conflict of rights after all, something has to give.) At any rate, neither of us is advocating for the Almighty Government.

        Note: two people will never agree on everything … even if we are talking about a person and a clone of themselves.

  25. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    By the way any President of the United States of America can order all federal law enforcement agencies to NOT enforce a particular law … just like Obama did recently ordering the various agencies to NOT deport certain illegal aliens.

    If a President Trump wanted to order all federal law enforcement agencies to NOT enforce the Federal Gun-Free School Zone Act, he could do that. And any decisions or orders from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the matter is moot since the nine Justices themselves have no actual power to enforce their decrees. (Reference the Worcester v. Georgia case where President Andrew Jackson told U.S. Supreme Court Justice Marshal to enforce his order himself.)

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Someone pointed out recently that the ONLY place Colorado doesn’t let you conceal carry, where it *could* let you do so, is the K-12 schools and courthouses. (Post office is forbidden, but that’s a federal law the state cannot exempt itself from.) Now a courthouse I could see (though I never did see a mechanism for checking your weapons at the metal detector), but it’d be nice to be able to not have to worry about it.

      Would Trump actually direct people to not enforce GFSZ? And would some state decide to pick up the slack? Who knows?

    2. avatar Sian says:

      Remember, the Supreme Court has the final say on the constitutionality of a law, but not its validity.

      That belongs to the people. Playing nice, a convention of states can amend the constitution. Not so nice, widespread civil disobedience.

  26. avatar AwesomeBillFromDawsonville says:

    Lol would vs will.

  27. avatar Accur81 says:

    I like that Trump is at least saying that he will eliminate or try to eliminate gun free zones. Regardless of the law, gun free zones are clearly unconstitutional on public school grounds. Hillary favors every type of gun control I’ve ever seen. Obamacare is also unconstitutional, but we still have it. Trump wants to eliminate that as well.

    That’s a pretty damn clear choice for POTG. I supported Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and other pro gun candidates. Still do. I’ll support Trump as long as he is pro-America and pro-gun. If Trump becomes anti gun, I oppose him and support pro-gun candidates in 2018 and 2020. I’m a lot more excited for Trump than Romney or McCain.

    It’s abundantly clear Hillary is virulently anti-gun. Bernie’s almost as bad on gun rights. Both are big government fans. In the real world, we chose from imperfect options. The stakes are high in this election, especially with 3-4 SCOTUS positions needing to be filled in the next 4 years. So I’m not going to waste my time voting for the “ideal” candidate who as no chance of winning. My choice is clear: Trump for POTUS and Hillary for prison 2016.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Trump for POTUS and Hillary for prison 2016.”

      I agree with Dyspeptic’s assessment on Hillary from a few weeks back.

      She is beatable in the general election.

      There is *zero* enthusiasm for Hillary on the Left.

      There is *considerable* enthusiasm for Bernie, especially from the young.

      I really hate to say it, but I really hope Hillary doesn’t get indicted (at least until after the election), we want the weakest candidate the Progressives have running.

      I fear Hillary will make Bernie her VP choice, just to attract the younger voters Bernie has locked up for himself.

      The good thing in our favor is that Hillary wants to be POTUS so desperately, that she will burn bridges in the process…

  28. avatar Libertarian says:

    And who force trumps to allowed legale carry in his buildings ??


  29. avatar Another Robert says:

    Looks like Michelle Lee is busily destroying whatever credibility Glen Kessler managed to build up for the WaPo “Fact Checker” (he occasionally lapsed into fits of even-handedness) with her consistently flagrant leftist bias.

  30. avatar ATTAGReader says:

    “I’m going to work with the states, and if I have to, I’m going to try and perhaps override the states if I have to, if I’m allowed to do that.” This is not he “doesn’t know how to be President.” This is “he is not a professional politician with a law degree”, which many would argue, whatever their political leaning, is the essence of the problem we have in both D and R parties, and why government at all levels is the nightmare that it is. This is a far more legitimate and honest response than let’s say, banning cosmetic features of mid-caliber rifles because they “make me feel scared.”

  31. avatar John says:

    Donald Trump in his book _The America We Deserve_, “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons.”

    Some will say, “Oh, he changed his position now.” Correct. And he changed his party affiliation *five* times. He changed his position on abortion literally four times in three days.

    1. avatar Nanashi says:

      and he’s worse than Cruz who CREATED a gun control bill (Grassley-Cruz) less than 3 years ago and STILL keeps trying to push it as a good thing because…?

      I never saw people get in this much of a wad when McCain and Romeny, who were FAR worse, got the nomination.

      1. avatar Mister Fleas says:


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