By David Codrea
But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep – (Robert Frost)
The people Hillary Clinton has called “a basket of deplorables”—and others in her camp have smeared as lowbrows, “ammosexuals,” racists and xenophobes—have won in their desperate campaign to keep an avowed enemy of the right to keep and bear arms out of the Oval Office. Despite best (worst?) efforts of globalists, Democrats, the media, academia, Hollywood, Silicon Valley billionaires, radicals, open borders extremists, gun-grabbers and assorted useful idiots (all aided and abetted by “Never Trump” establishment Republicans), Donald Trump has been elected 45th president of the United States.
He won convincingly, “big league,” showing that assorted chattering class pundits and pollsters really have no clue as to as to what drives traditional Americans they do not know but nonetheless feel superior to. And Trump’s win proves that, as Bill Clinton confessed after the Democrats lost control of Congress following the 1994 “assault weapon” ban, gun owners still pack clout when they’re sufficiently motivated.
With Hillary, they had reason to be. After all, she was on record saying the Supreme Court was wrong on the Second Amendment. Her lame debate attempt to clarify that by explaining she only wanted to keep “toddlers” in the District of Columbia safe from accidents was unconvincing: what SCOTUS had ruled on in Heller was that 2A is an individual right; in McDonald, they ruled it applied to the states. She disagrees.
“I believe weapons of war have no place on our streets,” Clinton elaborated. “If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you shouldn’t be able to just go buy a gun with no questions asked. You shouldn’t be able to exploit loopholes and evade criminal background checks by buying online or at a gun show. And yes, if you’re too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.”
In other words, she wanted to grab guns. She had even expressed support for an Australian-style mandatory “buyback,” a curious term to use for something the government never owned in the first place. She wanted to end private sales under the “background check” deception something the National Institute of Justice has admitted: “Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration…”
She wanted to presume guilt and ignore due process, using “terror” and “mental health” scare terms and secret lists, where no protections for the individual need exist. She wanted to destroy the gun industry by overturning the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, making manufacturers and dealers liable for criminal abuse of their products (attorney and author David T. Hardy noted archived evidence that this would have created irresistible leverage which could then be used to strong-arm the industry into complying with any and all demands). She’d previously supported a 25-percent tax on guns. And if she couldn’t get her goals done through Congress, she’d just bypass them and impose dictats via executive decree.
Directly related to all this has been Clinton’s support for “amnesty” and a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, and to opening the floodgates for so-called “refugees,” for which no comprehensive vetting is possible. The reason is obvious: Newly-made “citizens” from these groups, and their offspring, have proven to be overwhelmingly supportive of Democrats and gun owner control. Strategically supplanting the traditional American electorate with millions of such voters would ultimately mean an unstoppable majority and confirmation of Supreme Court judges who agree with Hillary.
That’s the bullet the firearms community just dodged with Trump’s win and with Republican control once more secured in the House and Senate. What remains to be seen is whether that will translate into mere holding actions against new infringements, if reversals of existing laws will succeed, and if advances will be gained for “our side.” Because the 2016 electoral sweep would not have happened without gun owners—candidly, he and they owe us.
Just because Trump polished his image with gun owners and won the NRA endorsement doesn’t mean he’s automatically ideologically in tune with their concerns. True, years back he obtained a rare New York City concealed carry permit, but that doesn’t mean anything except that he was taking care of Number One. You didn’t see him leading the charge to extend the “privilege” to ordinary New Yorkers, and besides, big lefty actor and Hillary-supporter Robert De Niro, who said he wanted to “punch Trump in the face,” is also licensed to carry.
To evoke a John Kerry-inspired meme, when it comes to “gun control,” Trump was for it before he was against it.
“I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun,” Trump had written in 2000, also endorsing a waiting period. “With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.
“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,” he acknowledged before dropping the other shoe. “The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions.”
That was then. His public statements have come a long way since, including endorsing national concealed carry reciprocity, condemning “gun-free zones” and claiming to be “a very strong person on the Second Amendment” (although still of concern should be his receptivity to “terror watchlist”-justified due process abuses). He has vowed to nominate Second Amendment-respecting judges to the Supreme and other federal courts. Perhaps such advocacy indicates learning and growth. Perhaps it merely reflects political pragmatism and telling people what they want to hear in order to get elected.
We’ll learn how sincere Trump has been with us once he assumes power, when we see his cabinet selections (at this writing, the extremely problematic Rudy Giuliani, who, when mayor, backed federal testing/licensing of gun owners, semi-auto bans, and suing manufacturers, is being floated as a leading candidate for attorney general). Will we see Justice Department lawyers begin prosecuting Second Amendment attackers the same way they’d go after civil rights violators?
What kind of leadership will Donald Trump provide to get Congress to take action? If they have the majority, why shouldn’t we who gave it to them expect to see leadership instead of status quo-maintaining deliberate indifference on the National Firearms Act, the Gun Control Act, the Hughes Amendment, the Brady Act, the Lautenberg Act and other clear federal infringements?
Importantly, will he do what he can where he can act on his own? Will he rescind any anti-gun executive orders imposed by Barack Obama or any of his predecessors? Will he overturn any import bans? Will he end the “gun-free zone” mandate at federal facilities, including, the ban at military cemeteries?
Will he keep a campaign promise made to the family of slain Border patrol agent Brian Terry, and “open the books” on Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking”? What will he do about the culture of waste, abuse, corruption and fraud that prompted ATF whistleblowers to come forward and that has never been resolved?
“Trump Vows To Protect The Second Amendment,” NRA President Allan Cors wrote in a piece designed to mobilize the troops. “[G]un owners can stop the Clinton machine, and we can elect the most pro-Second Amendment president since Ronald Reagan.”
Seeing that Reagan signed the Mulford Act, supported the Brady Bill and enacted import bans, let’s hope we see better promise-keeping than that from Trump. And as gun owners, let’s not think we can go back to sleep now.
That’s the bullet the firearms community just dodged with Trump’s win and with Republican control once more secured in the House and Senate. What remains to be seen is whether that will translate into mere holding actions against new infringements, if reversals of existing laws will succeed, and if advances will be gained for “our side.”
What remains to be seen is whether that will translate into mere holding actions against new infringements, if reversals of existing laws will succeed, and if advances will be gained for “our side.”