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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Trump Flipflops On Gun Violence: "Stuff Happens"


"On 'Meet the Press' on Sunday, Donald Trump explained that there was no sense in even tinkering with our gun laws. 'You know, no matter what you do, guns, no guns, it doesn’t matter. You have people that are mentally ill. And they’re gonna come through the cracks,' he told Chuck Todd.

"His comments on 'This Week' were similarly fatalistic. 'No matter what you do, you will have problems and that’s the way the world goes.'

"When host George Stephanopoulos noted how uncharacteristically can’t-do this attitude was for Trump, the latter insisted: 'Now, George, I could say, oh, we’re going to do this and that and it’s never going to happen again. You have sick people in this country and throughout the world, and you’re always going to have difficulty.'"

(Catherine Rampell. "On guns, Trump finally meets his Kryptonite."
The Washington Post. October 06, 2015.)

As Catherine Rampell -- writer, winner of the Weidenbaum Center Award for Evidence-Based Journalism, and Gerald Loeb Award finalist -- notes, here is a presidential candidate who claims he has the solution to every problem facing the nation, yet "on this issue, and this issue alone, Trump is -- like every other Republican contender -- strangely passive."

Rampell understands that although Trump claims he is unrestrained by special interests, it is evident he answers the question about gun violence "paying  obeisance to perhaps the most powerful special interest in the country, the gun lobby (from which he seems to have cribbed his own gun policy proposals)." Trump's position mirrors many of the National Rifle Association’s talking points.

Did you know that Trump has not always spoken so strongly in favor of guns or the Second Amendment?

During his bid for the Reform Party nomination in 2000, Trump had what seem like much more reasonable views on gun ownership. In fact, in his book, The America We Deserve, Trump laments the Columbine shooting and says “anyone could feel that it is too easy for Americans to get their hands on weapons. But nobody has a good solution.”

He also criticizes a fairly common Republican position on guns, calling for a ban on assault weapons and longer waiting periods. Trump writes:
“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 72 hours if a potential gun owner has a record.”
(David Matthews. "Donald Trump was not always such a strong supporter of gun ownership.
Fusion Media Network. Yahoo - ABC News. October 05, 2015.)

Donald Trump's flipflopping has some sites like Gun Sources asking questions like this: "So which Trump would actually show up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue if elected?"

Guns and Problems -- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Roxanna Green, whose child was killed two years ago, appeals directly to the camera: "My 9-year-old daughter was murdered in the Tucson shooting. I have one question for our political leaders: When will you find the courage to stand up to the gun lobby?"

Standing up to the gun lobby is seen by gun control advocates to mean not only banning assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, but restoring some teeth to the ATF.

(Brian Naylor. "Gun Control Advocates Say ATF's Hands Have Been Tied."
National Public Radio. January 08, 2013.)

"The restrictions on ATF are absurd," says Jon Lowy of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "They're not allowed to use computers in doing their trace work. They're not allowed to do more than one spot inspection on a gun dealer."

Other gun law issues faced by ATF agents include the following:

*
Congress refuses to allow a centralized gun database, so tracing a weapon used in a crime means a lot of legwork.
Former ATF agent William Vizzard says, "They have to contact the manufacturer or importer, who tells them, 'Oh, on July 14, 2009, we shipped that gun to Buckeye Sporting Goods, a wholesaler.' Then you contact Buckeye Sporting Goods, and they say, 'Oh, yeah, we received that gun four days later and we shipped it out to Billy Bob's Bait and Tackle Shop.' Then you go to Billy Bob and you say, 'OK, what do your records say?' "

* The lack of gun-trafficking statutes hampers charging those suspected of supplying guns to criminals.
"It's very frustrating when you see people that you know are criminals and buying guns for the criminal element, and you don't have ... a statute to prosecute them under,"  Bouchard says. "You have to be creative and try to make other statutes fit."

* Advocates believe the ATF should be allowed to inspect firearms dealers more than once a year, and that dealers should be required to keep track of their inventory.
Jon Lowy of the Brady Center says that more than 100,000 guns are missing from dealers' shelves.

According to Bouchard, "There's a great likelihood that most of those guns were sold off the books to criminals. (An) easy way to fix that is to simply require dealers to do an inventory every year of their stock. ATF is prevented from even requiring dealers to do that. That makes absolutely no sense."

So, Mr. Trump, I believe saying "No matter what you do about gun laws, you will have problems" is a copout and a sign you have sold out your personal convictions to the gun lobby. All of your blustering about every other politician except you being controlled by special interests, lobbyists, and donors is bullshit braggadocio coming from your own mega-egotistical mind. Indeed, you are a "puppet" grandstander.
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