In the meeting with members of Congress today about the future of gun control in this country, President Trump made a lot of off-the-cuff remarks, of course, considering the meeting was conversational, not scripted. A recipe for slipping masks.
In this case, it resulted in at least one particularly frank and revealing moment that couldn’t come at a worse time.
Trump was lamenting that the age to buy a handgun is higher than the age to buy an AR-15, and he noted that the NRA does not favor raising the age to purchase any guns. He was speaking specifically to Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).
“I’m a fan of the NRA,” he said. “There’s no bigger fan. I’m a big fan of the NRA.” That’s a nice sentiment. Then it turned.
“They love our country, but that doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything,” he said, and then stated that the difference in age requirements doesn’t make sense. He asked Sen. Toomey if he and Sen. Manchin had done anything about it in their bill.
TRUMP: “I was just curious as to what you did in your bill.”
TOOMEY: “We didn’t address it Mr. President.”
TRUMP: “You know why, because you’re afraid of the NRA.”
And he laughed, as he does, in that “I’m being cute but also I mean it” way that he has. He repeated several times that people were afraid to address the issue, that they were afraid to confront the NRA about it, and that the NRA were the ones who opposed it.
He ceded the ground. He showed what he really thinks. This is step one of putting all the blame on the NRA that he’s such a “big fan” of. There is this totally dangerous thing, he is saying, and we could fix it if the NRA wasn’t controlling Republicans.
It is THE Democrat talking point. He agrees. It’s what he thinks. Not “the government failed at every level in Florida” but instead “The government could fix this easily if not for the evil NRA.”
Lovely. Good thing the organization supported and supports him so fiercely, since he obviously has their back.
This is where we roll our eyes.