As our man Leghorn reported (before hoisting his third sheet to the wind), last night’s Presidential debate yielded little in the way of gun rights-oriented conflict. The main takeaway: Donald Trump agreed with Hillary Clinton “strongly” that Americans on the “No Fly” list shouldn’t be able to purchase guns, Second Amendment protections and due process be damned. Or at least barely mentioned.
In another answer, Ms. Clinton quickly promoted a renewed assault weapons ban, to protect “outgunned” police. The Donald left that one alone. Let’s think about that . . .
Ms. Clinton asserted that the police “in some places” are outgunned by criminals wielding “military style weapons.” She wants to ban these poorly indeed arbitrarily defined guns.
The obvious problem: laws restricting “assault weapons” sales don’t and won’t stop crazies, criminals and terrorists from obtaining them. As we saw in Sandy Hook, where Adam Lanza shot his mother in the head before stealing her AR-15 for his murderous rampage.
The less obvious but even more worrying problem: a federal ban on “assault weapons” would only apply to non-law enforcement Americans. Along with the aforementioned crazies, criminals and terrorists, the cops would still have them. That would skew the balance of power towards law enforcement officers.
Where do you find the worst police abuses in America? In cities with “strict” gun control (e.g. Oakland, Chicago and New York City). Correlation doesn’t equal causation, but the Second Amendment was created to forestall government tyranny. ‘Nuff said?
None of it was said by Mr. Trump.
Which is fair enough, I guess. There was a lot of ground to cover last night. And gun control is certain to come up as a “proper” question in one or both of the next debates. At which time the real estate magnate can explain that all gun control is ineffective and unconstitutional. (Except for the No-Fly, No-Buy” proposal, apparently.) And make a compelling case for firearms freedom.
But will the Republican presidential nominee do what really needs to be done: attack Ms. Clinton for wanting to leave Americans disarmed? I mean really attack her. Well, not really. Rhetorically.
We know that Mr. Trump has the ammunition for the task at hand; his assertion that Ms. Clinton should disarm her bodyguards goes right to the heart of the matter. Trump’s pointed out the tragic consequences of The Pulse Nightclub’s “gun free zone” policy. But will he — can he — bring the big guns to bear on the statist Secretary of State?
If last night’s debate is any indication, the answer is no. Trump failed to nail Ms. Clinton on her deleted emails. Benghazi. The “basket of deplorables” comment. Gun control. Government spending. Anything really. IMHO, Mr. Trump delivered a petulant performance in a situation where tightly-focused aggression against his opponent was the order of the day.
In short, The New York City concealed carry permit holder brought a knife to a gunfight. An exceedingly dull knife. Maybe even a wet blanket.
As Boss Rojak said in My Favorite Year, the fighting’s in rounds. Mr. Trump has time to review his first presidential debate and learn from his mistakes. Some might say that Mr. Trump lacks the humility to embrace that process but I couldn’t possibly comment.
Except to say this: I doubt last night’s debate moved the needle for either candidate. But it signaled to The People of the Gun that Mr. Trump’s forthcoming gun rights advocacy desperately needs serious firepower. Watch this space.