Thursday, June 18, 2015

Donald Trump on Firearms

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There has been quite a buzz recently about Donald Trump announcing that he will be running for president.  As you probably would have guessed by now, your author is a fan of the Second Amendment.  I like guns, I like thirty round magazines, and I like carry permits.

I openly support the Second Amendment, and anyone running for President of the United States (or any political office) should have a similar view that I do on the subject for the greatest chance of a vote from me.  So where does Trump stand on this issue?  Well, it depends where you look, and when he spoke.  There seems to be some conflicting views.

Trump has toyed with the idea of running for president a few times now.  One of said times was back in 2000 where Trump did say some pretty specific things about firearm rights:
It’s often argued that the American murder rate is high because guns are more available here than in other countries. After a tragedy like the massacre at Columbine High School, anyone could feel that it is too easy for Americans to get their hands on weapons. But nobody has a good solution. This is another issue where you see the extremes of the two existing major parties. Democrats want to confiscate all guns, which is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed. The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions. 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 seventy-two hours if a potential gun owner has a record.
Technically, this really isn’t so bad.  First off, he doesn’t say there will be a confiscation, and probably one of the most eye open statements is the fact that he realizes that criminals would never turn them in anyway.  Holy cow!  Someone actually realizes that this kind of stuff only affects law abiding citizens?

He also talks about the support of the assault weapons ban.  This was during a time when such a ban was in play.  Today, this is pretty much seen as a dark period in the Second Amendment history.  This was a long time ago, and firearms activists have taken a big step in the forward direction of defending our Constitutional right, so I am not sure if we will see something like this again (at least not on the scale of the Clinton Ban).

The waiting period point he makes again seems archaic in today’s world.  Background checks take a matter of minutes.  Waiting periods really have no point to me when in states like Florida, I can walk in a store with cash and out with an “evil black rifle” after passing a background check, but if I wanted to buy a .22LR target pistol (and didn’t have my concealed carry permit), I would have to wait three days.  I too am for background checks, but not waiting periods.

In 2012, Emily Miller of the Washington Times interviewed Trump, and he again stated that he has a concealed carry permit that’s effective in New York City.  This really does not mean too much.  He’s ridiculously rich, and people like that tend to have an easier time getting permits in the “un-free” states.  However, the fact that he is open about it shows he is not exactly against them.

It is however next to impossible to get concealed carry permits in New York and New Jersey.  I was talking to an ex New Jersey cop I know, and I asked him what it would take to get a concealed carry permit there.  Now, in New Jersey, to get a permit you have to be over twenty-one, pass a background check, and you must show “justifiable need” to have one.  My friend pretty much said this: “To get a permit, you have to basically be carrying millions of dollars worth of uncut diamonds at night every night.  Even at that, a judge will say that with that kind of money, you can hire armed body guards, and you won’t get one.”

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.  Fast forward to 2015… We all remember the very unfortunate terrorist attack on Paris in January.  Trump actually had some very interesting comments to say about the issue that he tweeted to the public such as, “If the people so violently shot down in Paris had guns, at least they would have had a fighting chance.”  Also, “Isn’t it interesting that the tragedy in Paris took place in one of the toughest gun control countries in the world?”  These tweets (naturally) were taken negatively by many people.  Then again, is that surprising?

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So, what about now?  What about today when he actually announces that he is running for the Oval Office?  Let’s start off with him saying, “Fully support and back up the Second Amendment.”  He goes on to talk about the two criminals who recently escaped from prison:
Now, it’s very interesting. Today I heard it. Through stupidity, in a very, very hard core prison, interestingly named Clinton, two vicious murderers, two vicious people escaped, and nobody knows where they are. And a woman was on television this morning, and she said, “You know, Mr. Trump,” and she was telling other people, and I actually called her, and she said, “You know, Mr. Trump, I always was against guns. I didn’t want guns. And now since this happened” — it’s up in the prison area — “my husband and I are finally in agreement, because he wanted the guns. We now have a gun on every table. We’re ready to start shooting [in self defense].”

I said, “Very interesting.”

So protect the Second Amendment.”
Now, of course this was a very fast statement for an important topic to many.  Many politicians have said in the past that they aim to protect the Second Amendment, but only with the firearms they see as reasonable to own, or the magazines they think are fair, and so on.  Does Trump mean this?  He did use the word “fully”.  Regardless, Trump is a very skilled negotiator, and knows how to get what he wants.  Now, add politician to that mix, and we all know how that goes.

All in all, it seems like Trump is now all for firearms.  Though, is he saying that now for support, because he didn’t sound as supportive in 2000?  Again, times have changed, and so far, I like the views he has regarding the Second Amendment.  Let’s see where Donald Trump goes with this as time continues.


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