Many people warned Donald Trump would slip back into his Democratic ways at times if it meant getting something done on an issue. At the very least, he’d signal support for something to get the good press before turning it against it and then blaming Democrats along the way.
Trump received the enthusiastic backing of the NRA, but in his zeal for people to like him, he’s now showing an openness to support measures the NRA implicitly opposes. Not only that, some of Trump’s rhetoric sounds shockingly bad, even for somebody with an authoritarian streak.
In a meeting with members of Congress, Trump said the following with respect to the idea of seizing guns without due process:
“Take the firearms first and then go to court,” Trump said. “Because that’s another system — 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.” He added, “I like taking the guns early. Like, in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida. He had a lot of firearms, they saw everything. To go to court would have taken a long time. You could do exactly what you’re saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second.”
Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska said that dog would not hunt:
“Strong leaders don’t automatically agree with the last thing that was said to them,” the Republican senator from Nebraska said in a brief statement. “We have the Second Amendment and due process of law for a reason. We’re not ditching any Constitutional protections simply because the last person the President talked to today doesn’t like them.”
But he’s 100 percent right. This idea of grabbing the guns and then worrying about due process is the stuff of tinpot dictators. Ironically, Trump will find support for this kind behavior among gun grabbers who don’t care one whit about the second amendment (and by extension, the first, fourth, fifth and tenth amendments).
Senator Sasse is right to call out Trump on such nonsense. The NRA should speak up as well. This is not the time for them to go silent.
What’s truly stunning is President Trump took a lot of heat for undoing an Obama era regulation that would allow a bureaucrat from the Social Security Administration to deny second amendment rights to a person receiving benefits who requires assistance with their finances. Yet here he is suggesting the government do something even more draconian.
His apologists will argue it is part of this way of “negotiating,” but it’s a negotiation in faith if he’s advancing ideas that are complete garbage in order to get a deal that’s only half-garbage.