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Yes. Trump's gun control debacle was pretty much as bad as described
Make no mistake. If Barack Obama had said the things President Trump said in this week's Gun Control meeting, conservatives would be taking the pitchforks and torches to the streets. Their outrage would be loud, unanimous, and justified.
So, let's tackle the President's comments one at a time.
First (and most egregious) is Trump's assertion that we should "take the guns first" and then worry about due process later. Pence was arguing that we need to maintain a little thing called "the rule of law." If you want to take someone's rights away, you need court orders, warrants, etc. Trump had a different idea:
"Or, Mike, take the firearms first and then go to court. Because a lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court, to get the due process procedures—I like taking the guns early.
Like in this crazy man’s case, that just took place in Florida, he had a lot of firearms, they saw everything—to go to court would have taken a long time, so you could do exactly what you’re saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second."
There's so much wrong with that idea that I don't know where to start. First of all, the 2nd Amendment is "unalienable." If you're going to "take the guns" you'd better have a damn good reason. I'm in favor of strengthening the mental health system, and I'm also in favor expanding our ability to use specific, codified, mental health diagnoses as a reason to restrict gun ownership. We do some of that already, and we should do more. However, that in itself is a form of due process. A determination is made and a court order issued. If that's too slow, we need to figure out a way to speed up the process - not ignore it.
Due process comes first or it isn’t due process. This is true no matter which party is writing the bills or in control of the White House.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 1, 2018
Secondly, this is a President who - just two weeks ago - was complaining that accustaions, coupled with a lack of due process, was destroying lives. He was right. There's a reason due process works the way it does, and he seemed to know that as recently as February:
Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
So, while we may be open to broadening mental health disqualifications, no. We should never support a plan to take peoples' rights away by abandoning or delaying the basic tenets of due process.
Then there's the plan to raise the firearm-buying age to 21.
"You're afraid of the NRA," President Trump slams senators in a stunning exchange over whether they would introduce legislation raising the age to buy firearms from 18 to 21 https://t.co/6Env0DFfYH pic.twitter.com/LBvj4xi8ic— CNN (@CNN) February 28, 2018
I've previously said that I'm ok with an age increase if the overall age of majority moves with it. That means voting, selective service registration, the whole thing. However, the "afraid of the NRA" comment is ridiculous and, whether Trump knows it or not, is solely designed to pander to the left.
Millions of law-abiding Americans are NRA members. If Congressmen are unwilling to take a position because millions of Americans don't want them to do so, that's not a bad thing. It's the way it's supposed to work. You'll never hear Democrats apply the "you're afraid of" argument to the UAW, Planned Parenthood, or a host of gay rights organizations because those groups - for better or worse - represent their base. Why is the NRA different?
Finally, we have the bizarre moment where Dianne Feinstein cackles with glee when Trump says some of her proposals could be attached to Manchin-Toomey.
As a general rule, if something makes Feinstein shake with joy, it's going to be terrible for the country. Remember, "assault weapon" legislation is just what she settles for. This California leftist has been at teh forefront of a career-long crusade to ban and confiscate firearms. If it was up to her, the 2nd Amendment would be gutted or eliminated and "Mr. and Mrs. America" would be forced to "turn them all in."
The simple fact is that Trump's comments yesterday represent something far further down the anti-2A road than Barack Obama ever openly suggested. It's likely right in line with what we would have gotten from President Hillary, and it should be resisted by everyone who places any importance on constitutional protections.
Trump fans who are trying to give the President a pass should take a good hard look at themselves. They NEVER would have tolerated this from a President with a "D" after his or her name.
They shouldn't tolerate it from Trump, either.