On Wednesday, President Trump met with Congressional Democrats and Republicans to discuss measures to bolster student security in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida massacre. There, Trump proceeded to make an anti-Second Amendment statement so radical that it put President Obama’s gun control sermons in the shade.
“I don’t want mentally ill people to be having guns,” Trump said. He continued:
You have to do something very decisive. Number one, you can take the guns away immediately from people that you can adjudge easily are mentally ill, like this guy. You know, the police saw that he was a problem, they didn’t take any guns away. Now, that could have been policing. I think they should have taken them away anyway, whether they had the right or not. But I’ll tell you this, you have to have very strong provisions for the mentally ill.
Just in case you missed the part where Trump explicitly denounced due process of law, he repeated it again.
After Vice President Mike Pence explained that Republicans in Congress wanted legislation that could allow friends and family members to apply to a court to suspend Second Amendment rights for the dangerously mentally ill, and stated that with such due process, Second Amendment rights would not be endangered, Trump stepped in.
Or, Mike, take the firearms first, and then go to court. Because that’s another system, 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. … 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.
Then Trump proceeded to rip on the National Rifle Association, and suggest that Republicans were in their thrall — just as Democrats have been maliciously claiming for years.
Oh, and for good measure, Trump dumped all over the idea of concealed carry reciprocity — the ability to carry your gun across state lines concealed if you have a license back home.
This is all disgraceful nonsense.
The Constitution guarantees due process. Trump can’t waive it, and to suggest that we simply ignore due process in order to seize guns is both fascistic and idiotic. If Obama had done the same, Republicans would have started drawing up articles of impeachment. Nearly as stupid is Trump handing Democrats a propaganda victory by tearing into fellow Republicans as tools of the NRA. The NRA never should have allowed itself to become a Trump-centric organization — and this shows just why. Trump cannot be trusted to have their backs, since he’s too busy patting his own.
The only comfort here is that Trump has said similarly doltish things before in front of Democrats, and his own party has constrained him. During the immigration debate, for example, he stunned Democrats by stating publicly that he wanted a clean DACA bill that wouldn’t include border security; he had to be tut-tutted by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
So yes, this is Trump just mouthing off. But it proves once again that on matters of governing philosophy, Trump is no conservative. He’s just a guy who says stuff he thinks will play for the audience in front of him.