What the heck is Donald Trump up to?
The 2016 Republican Party Platform supports "the right of individuals to keep and bear arms," properly calling it "a natural inalienable right that predates the Constitution and is secured by the Second Amendment."
Yes, Mr. Trump has waffled over the years on such scams as an "assault weapons ban." ("Assault weapons" have selector switches which allow them to fire full-auto. Since the BATF won't allow them to be either imported or newly manufactured "for civilian use," they're so expensive as to be de facto banned for all but the wealthy or the extremely dedicated, already -– even before we start talking about requiring our fingerprints and that $200 "tax" and agreeing to let the BATF knock on your door and "inspect your weapon" at any time.)
The failed Democratic "assault weapons ban" of 1994-2004 was a lie. It merely tried to ban certain cosmetic features ("descending" handgrips, bayonet lugs) on certain SEMI-automatic rifles, accomplishing no reduction in crime . . . though it did produce such charming and bizarre work-arounds as the "thumb-hole stock."
But candidate Trump, who has a concealed carry permit and says he sometimes carries and who now says he believes trained teachers should be armed (a good step -– it's worked in Israel), said during the sixth Republican primary debate on Jan. 14, 2016, "I am a Second amendment person. If we had guns in California on the other side where the bullets went in the different direction, you wouldn't have 14 or 15 people dead right now. If even in Paris, if they had guns on the other side, going in the opposite direction, you wouldn't have 130 people plus dead."
After last year's NRA convention, Mr. Trump tweeted "To the N.R.A., I can proudly say I will never, ever let you down." The NRA gave his campaign $30 million and endorsed him. I've got to believe 95 percent of gun owners voted for Trump.
Yet there he was, holding a big "What can be done?" White House discussion group with both Republican and Democrat congresscritters on Feb. 28, after the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida.
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who was shot by a Democratic activist last summer because he's a Republican (Hey, "Love Trumps Hate"), suggested interstate recognition of concealed carry permits ("reciprocity," as with driver's licenses) would help. The President told him that couldn't be included in "the bill" because it would never pass. (What?)
But President Trump then advised geriatric fascist Dianne Feinstein of California and her cohorts about their renewed "assault weapons ban" -– they keep referring to one-shot-per-trigger-pull rifles as "weapons of war," when just by coincidence "weapons of war" are precisely what the Second Amendment protects –- that she should "go ahead and put it in."
This guy sat there and offered the scheming gun-grabbers more than they got under eight years of Barack Obama!
As recently as March 9, Mr. Trump was stumping for Republican Rick Saccone in a special congressional election in Pennsylvania, warning voters not to fall for Democrat Conor Lamb's claims to be a gun person. Once he gets in there "He's going to vote the party line, . . . they'll take away your Second Amendment rights," Mr. Trump warned the cheering throng.
Meantime, Mr. Trump almost simultaneously said he wanted to raise the minimum age for buying a long gun to 21, and that he wants to "ban bump stocks; they're going to be gone" . . . even though the Florida school shooter didn't use a bump-stock.
(Keeping track of this stuff is like watching high-level ping pong. Three days later, on March 12 –- the NRA having sued the state of Florida one hour after they enacted a similar provision — Trump indicated he'd send the age-hike proposal to be studied by a special commission headed by Chief Schoolmarm Betsy DeVos (the political equivalent to burying it out behind the barn), tweeting "On 18 to 21 Age Limits, watching court cases and rulings before acting. States are making this decision. Things are moving rapidly on this, but not much political support (to put it mildly)."
THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BURIED, COVERED UP ALL CRIMES
Come on. The reason Nikolas de Jesus Cruz was able to buy the gun he used to shoot up his South Florida high school on Valentine's Day was because schools officials there in Broward County -– and county government officials including the sheriff – were so upset to have their school district declared the most crime-ridden in Florida for the year 2010-2011 that they signed a formal agreement, no, not to actually reduce the felonies COMMITTED by their young charges (that might have required actually getting tough), but merely to stop ARRESTING AND CHARGING their young inmates for such crimes as housebreaking, burglary, assault, vandalism, elder abuse, torturing animals, putting a gun to someone's head, or posting Online (as young Mr. Cruz did repeatedly, using his own name) death threats, including a warning that he intended to become "a professional school shooter" . . . all so that the school district's STATISTICS would look better.
Broward County deputies missed between 20 and 39 chances (depending on who's counting) to arrest young Cruz on any or all of those charges. Then, when he suited up and started roaming the corridors of his high school, shooting to kill, Broward deputies, who voluntarily swear an oath to serve and to protect, hid outside the building, in stairwells or squatting behind their cruisers, squatted there with their thumbs up their butts, listening to the gunfire, allowing late-arriving officers from another jurisdiction to enter the school first.
The politicians' response to THAT? "Hey, these things happen."
I'm not saying –prior to his committing multiple murders, you understand — that this troubled young man necessarily should have gone to prison for decades, just for "acting crazy." But if normal procedures had been followed -– if THE LAW had been followed -– if his crimes had led to arrests and being processed through the courts, then even if he'd then received some kind of supervised probation, a paper trail would have been created which would have warned and blocked any federally licensed firearm dealer from selling him a firearm.
Instead of solving that problem -– the REAL problem -– both Donald Trump and the governor and state Legislature of Florida now want to raise the age for purchasing a long gun to 21?
Is that likely to reduce the crime rate?
Not by very much, since a) most teen-agers who commit crimes with long guns steal them, and b) most teen-age hoodlums who commit crimes with guns prefer handguns . . . which they ALSO acquire illegally.
WHY STOP WITH HALF MEASURES?
But let's concede, just for the sake of argument, that we could somehow really deprive every American aged 18 to 20 of any and all firearms. Since crime might go down A LITTLE, you can expect our sneaky totalitarian judges, whose courthouses are protected by lots of armed bailiffs, to say that would be OK, as long as it would "enhance public safety even a little."
Of course, we might have to raise the age for admission into the armed forces to 21, since it doesn't make much sense to let someone join the armed forces if we've just declared it's not safe to allow them to touch firearms. But is that such a bad idea? Twenty-one-year-olds are more mature and responsible, less hot-headed. So it makes sense they'd make better soldiers and sailors. Right?
In fact, you know what? Instead of dismissing that argument, I'm going to embrace it. Because if crime could be reduced A LITTLE by raising the legal age for possessing a firearm to 21, why stop there? Couldn't it be shown, statistically, that MOST irresponsible firearm use occurs among the young -– who certainly aren't as mature and responsible as they were in granddad's day, especially because of the way they're coddled and turned into useful idiots in today's mandatory socialist youth propaganda camps ("public schools") -– being bused to the Legislature at taxpayer expense and conned into thinking they're "helping write our firearm laws"? (Government by kiddies! Brilliant!) Couldn't crime be reduced a lot more (except for rapes, of course — the rapists, I'll admit, would love this), if we were to raise the minimum age for possessing a firearm to 35?
The Spartans didn't want a man risk his life in the army till after he'd fathered a child to carry on his bloodline. I think we'd have a much more mature and responsible armed forces if we restricted membership to those over 35 -– many of whom need the job opportunities, frankly, after 28 years of Democrat-RINO job-destruction.
And why stop there? If it's OK to deprive some younger Americans of a God-given, constitutionally-guaranteed right in order to "enhance public safety A LITTLE," what about driving? MOST reckless driving and drunk driving accidents involve drivers under 35. Why can't we raise the driving age to 35? What's a little inconvenience if it enhances public safety, even a little? Those young folks can hitchhike to work, or ride a bicycle. Be good for 'em.
And why not the drinking age, as well? Surely those 35 years old and older tend to drink more responsibly than a bunch of 18- or 21-year-old kids. Remember, "anything to enhance the public safety, even by A LITTLE!"
And I haven't even gotten to the most dangerous thing we foolishly allow these immature young stooges to do: voting. Won't you agree with me that this country would be a whole lot better off if we restricted voting to those more mature, more thoughtful, far less socialist citizens who are 35 or older? (Frankly, I think restricting voting to those over 55 might be even better, though I want to be reasonable, here; I'm willing to compromise at 35.)
I'm being a bit facetious, you understand, a bit sarcastic. But if instead of dealing with the REAL problem in Florida (let's recall our corrupt, useless FBI as well as the local police ignored NUMEROUS called-in tips — not anonymous rumors, very specific reports about how dangerous this Cruz kid was, by people willing to give their names) we're going to strip away the rights of millions of Americans who HAVEN'T committed any of young Cruz's many felonies, why stop with guns?
Police were called out to visit with the Florida "Valentine's Day" shooter-to-be THIRTY-NINE TIMES over the past seven years, for "mentally ill, domestic violence, assault, threats, vandalism, Peeping Tom, shooting animals, putting a gun to someone's head . . ." yet neither cops nor school officials ever made use of the Florida Mental Health Act of 1971 (as revised 2009 — "The Baker Act") to send him in for 72 hours' involuntary evaluation, at which point someone MIGHT have decided to submit his name to a list limiting gun purchases?
(That's what Mr. Trump was referring to when he famously said, back on Feb. 28, that we should "take their guns first, do the due process later." Indeed, temporarily securing the firearms of someone being sent in for evaluation under Florida's Baker Act probably does make sense. What Mr. Trump needs to remember, though, is that evil empires like the Soviet Union would routinely declare political opponents "mentally ill," sending them to "psychiatric facilities" to receive electric shock therapy, chemical lobotomies, whatever. By which time it goes without saying they'd long since been disarmed, while due process "waited awhile." Like, 73 years. This is why those of us who have read some history get nervous when the most powerful man in the world engages in such easily misinterpreted loose talk, Mr. President.)
A TROJAN HORSE CALLED 'BUMP STOCKS'
And that's not all. Mr. Trump also says he's going to get busy cooperating with the Democrats to ban bump stocks! "They're going to be gone," he said on March 9.
This part should be pretty obvious, so let's go through it quickly:
It wouldn't do any good to enact a law saying "Everything called a 'bump stock' is hereby banned," since it would take at most two weeks for everyone to simply switch to labeling their bump stocks "Trigger Helpers" or "Recoil Buddies," at which point such a law wouldn't be worth the paper it's printed on. So the task is figuring out to how to write a law that bans what the bump stock DOES. . . . which even Mr. Trump admitted on March 9 in Pennsylvania is "really complicated."
What they'll end up doing is trying to ban the manufacture, sale, or possession of anything that "increases a firearm's rate of fire."
Problem is, we've dealt with these sneaky, hate-filled gun-grabbers a lot longer than Mr. Trump. How creatively could you interpret that language, if you were a smug totalitarian gun-grabber, protected day and night by dozens of your own armed guards, but in reality wishing to strip the arms from every tax-paying peasant, so you could stop them from getting so uppity, control them as well as Stalin and Hitler and Mao used to do, slaughter a few million as an object lesson in obedience from time to time?
One thing that speeds up the ability of a shooter to reload a new round and get off a second and third shot in a hurry is a "gas-diversion system," which taps some of the exhaust gas from the barrel after it's sent the bullet on its way, directing that high-pressure gas back to push open the bolt, at which point a couple of springs can chamber a new round and close the bolt. In short, such language could be used to ban the "semi-automatic rifle," as developed by Thomas Crosslley Johnson and others for such firearms as the Winchester Self Loading Rifle, Models 1903, 1905, 1907 and 1910.
Ban that "speed-of-fire enhancement," and we could soon be limited to our manual turnbolt 1903 Springfields and 1898 Mausers.
But wait! Doesn't the manual turnbolt in fact speed up the rate of fire of the rifle, way beyond what would be possible without that breech-loading brass cartridge? I think it does. So wouldn't such a law allow the BATF to bar the magazine-fed breech-loading manual turnbolt rifle? I mean, Washington's Continental Army made do with muzzle-loading flintlocks, firing no more than two rounds a minute, didn't they? Why would you need to fire any faster than that?
Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America told Breitbart News in early March: "GOA is committed to fighting any regulation or ban on bump stocks. This issue goes far beyond stocks, because regulating devices that allegedly increase the rate of fire of a firearm can eventually be applied to match triggers, magazines or semi-automatic firearms. In essence, a bump stock ban opens the door to regulate and ban commonly-owned firearms and firearm parts. . . . That is why GOA is already looking ahead to a lawsuit challenging the regulation."
TRYING TO LAUNCH THE DISCUSSION
We all know what Donald Trump is trying to do. We can sympathize, up to a point. He ran for office not just against Crooked Hillary and the Depraved Democrat Party (whose platform is basically open borders, "sanctuary" cities for Muslim terrorists and child-rapers and Salvadoran murderers, and shooting up pre-pubescent children with inappropriate hormones to turn them into sterilized "trangendered individuals"), but also against a shrieking socialist media/entertainment complex that continues to ridicule him as a clueless oaf, predicting his demise on a daily basis, AND fully half of the REPUBLICAN Party – "Nevertrump" RINOS who would LOVE to see Trump die of a paralytic stroke (or by any other means) so the Democrats could again recapture the White House and both houses of Congress, so these strutting "Republican" poseurs could go back to saying "Of COURSE we'd love to repeal Obamacare and defend your gun rights and enforce the immigration laws, if only those darned majority Democrats would let us! (nudge nudge, wink wink)"
Trump is pragmatic, a deal-maker. He doesn't want to sit walled up in the White House like the Man in the Ivory Tower, issuing laughable (but doctrinally pure) edicts that everyone would ignore. He wants to "peel off" some of those RINOs and even some of those Democrats, get them to make some deals, "get stuff done." So he invites them to the White House and plays "Mister Middle-of-the-Road," getting giddy Dianne Feinstein all wet in the panties by telling her to "Go ahead, put your assault weapons ban in there, sweetheart."
Ironically enough, the only thing that saved him from making some BAD deals in his first year in office was the unwillingness of the short-sighted, anti-American Democrats to go along with ANY compromise. Look how they refused to accept even his generous offer on "Dreamer Amnesty," since it would have meant also adopting a sensible, merit-based immigration system like every other civilized nation, and REALLY "securing the southern border," as the Democrats have been promising to do, cross their hearts and hope to die, ever since they duped Ron Reagan into signing the LAST big amnesty ("and it'll be the last one, we swear"), back in 1986.
The solution, I submit, is not to disown Donald Trump as a traitor, but simply to say, "We respect you, Mr. President, we agree with you on a lot of stuff; we're glad you're there on trade and immigration; you saved us from Crooked Hillary continuing to accept tens of millions in Russian and Arab bribes through her "Clinton Foundation"; we certainly hope you get around to Uranium One and FISA-gate, but on this you're wrong. On this we have to part company, because we've dealt with these gun-grabbing scum for decades, and you cannot trust them to make and honor a deal, any deal."
Reaching a compromise with the gun-grabbers is like offering Czechoslovakia to Hitler because in exchange he promises you "Peace in Our Time." He's lying. He just needs a few months breathing space -– while you idiots continue to disarm and dance around the Maypole and figure everything's fine -– till he's ready to invade Poland.
In the past 80 years, no gun-grabbing politician in America has ever come out and admitted "What we really want to is to register every 'civilian' firearm by serial number so we can proceed to confiscate them" . . . have they? And when they get a half-step in that direction -– like, say, a huge, expensive, national "Instant Background Check" system (which would have done nothing to stop CIA patsies Lee Oswald or Sirhan Sirhan, even assuming their bullets did the jobs in question) -– do they ever tell their followers, "OK, we've accepted this compromise, so in good faith we have to be done with gun control for the next generation at least, time to move on to other issues"?
Of course not. The very next morning they're scheming how to use the NEXT crime committed by some lunatic with a gun -– some restless youth doped up on mood-altering drugs in his mandatory youth propaganda camp who gets ignored by these liberal bleeding hearts for his first 39 crimes so the background-check system THEY invented can't possibly work -– to take the NEXT giant step toward universal registration and confiscation.
Sorry, Mr. President. These people are never going to love you, respect you, work with you, or give you credit for anything you accomplish. We're joining or re-upping our memberships in the NRA and GOA, and informing our congresscritters in no uncertain terms: Make My Day. Go ahead and vote for ANY new gun control, baby. ANY of it. We're taking names. It's not "you or the Democrat," because we're going to bounce you in the PRIMARY, Bozo, sending a message to Nevertrumpers nationwide. And that message is "You too can be tending bar on the night shift at the Dew Drop Inn come February of 2019. You think we can't make it happen? We never did much like your lying ass, anyway."
Vin Suprynowicz was for 20 years an award-winning columnist and editorial writer for the daily Las Vegas Review-Journal. He blogs at www.VinSuprynowicz.com.