1. “I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks.” That sounds like a worthwhile reform, though it would be a rather dramatic reversal for Trump, who, as Rachel noted on last night’s show, has weakened the background check system.
Indeed, the L.A. Times reported this week, Trump administration officials “have quietly chipped away at the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the federal system that stores consult to make sure buyers are eligible to purchase guns.” The piece added, “In his recently released budget for the coming fiscal year, Trump proposed slashing millions of dollars from the budget for the background check system.”
2. “…with an emphasis on Mental Health.” Again, Trump is the one who, shortly after taking office, took steps to make it easier for the mentally impaired to buy guns. What’s more, as the Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell explained last week, Trump’s proposed budget calls for significant cuts that, if implemented, would limit access to mental-health services for many Americans.
3. “Raise age to 21.” There seems to be a growing number of Republicans who can’t answer questions about why a young adult can buy an assault rifle, but not a beer. The NRA, however, has not yet signed off on the change.
4. “…end sale of Bump Stocks.” If Trump is serious about this, he could endorse the pending legislation banning bump-stock modifications. So far, he hasn’t
I am finding myself wondering if those who support guns in schools, churches, malls, etc. have they ever, personally, been in a war zone. A quote from a very close friend:
Before I went to Vietnam, I went through six months of extensive weapons training, and then SERE (survival, escape, resistance, and evasion) training. Even so, I’m not embarrassed to admit, I still pissed my pants in my first firefight with the VC. Yeah, I came home, but some did not. Are we now expected to train our educators to the same standard? Why on earth would I want my daughter [an university instructor] subjected to the same terror? Would you? I do not.
Then I am beginning to wonder if the focus upon Second Constitutional is more about a distraction that comes from stirring up emotive distance while the gun industry is silently expanding their market shares. The easing of the federal background checks, removal of criminal records, budget cuts, opening up gun ownership to “mentally impaired” individuals, easing interstate carry of weapons, and now arming school teachers…all in all has the hidden benefit of expanding the market share. Did the NRA begin lobbying politicians as the gun industry saw potential loss of revenue due to market saturation?
Before I labeled myself as an independent or progressive, I am foremost a parent, a grandparent, and more recently a great-grandparent. My youngest grandchild will graduate from high school this spring. I worry, as do most conscientious parents, grandparents and great grandparents, about the availability of these weapons falling into the hands of an irresponsible person and using it against helpless teachers and students.
My world of friends and family is rather small…yet, my life history includes the loss of a childhood friend after being shot by his brother, two teen suicides, and the deaths of three young sons by their father. I also have a dear, dear friend whose childhood family was taken hostage by her stepfather that ended when the police chose to use…not weapons, but tear gas. No one was seriously injured throughout this ordeal; yet, I wonder would the ending to this trauma be even more intense for her and her family if there had been a gun in the home…