“Take the guns first, go through due process second.”
That’s what President Donald Trump said Wednesday at a meeting with congressional lawmakers.
Yes, the President of the United States, the same man who received more than $30 million in campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and still supports arming teachers, actually did the very thing many Republicans accuse Democrats of wanting to do–confiscate people’s guns.
What’s more, he suggested doing it illegally, suspending Americans’ constitutional due process protections.
Not even a Democrat has ever publicly taken that position, putting Trump immediately at odds with his base, Republican lawmakers, and the NRA.
In a break from the NRA narrative, Trump called for a “beautiful” comprehensive bill to expand background checks on gun purchases via gun shows and the internet, remove guns from the mentally ill, increase school security, and restrict young people from purchasing certain weapons.
Within hours, far-right news outfit Breitbart accused Trump of being a “gun grabber” who “cedes” to Democrats.
But hold that sigh of relief a little longer. This volte-face does not indicate Trump is heeding the outcry for radical gun reform after the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Yesterday, the NRA reminded Trump where he is supposed to stand on the issue.
NRA top lobbyist, Chris Cox, claimed late Thursday Trump had departed from the gun-control measures the NRA discussed at a meeting with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the Oval Office day before.
Just after 9 p.m., Cox tweeted:
“We all want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep guns away from dangerous people. POTUS & VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don’t want gun control. #NRA #MAGA.”
About an hour later, Trump tweeted:
“Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!”
Some are suggesting the tweets indicate it took the NRA a little over a day to persuade the president to walk back the previous day’s statements, one of which accused Republicans of being “petrified of the NRA.”
Well, no surprise, he is apparently as well.
Image credit: The Hill