Make America's Guns Great Again
I am rarely worried when I write these editorials, but this time I am. Here, we are all Brothers and Sisters of the Gun, a community of folks who like to read about, shoot, maintain, accessorize, and buy and sell handguns, rifles, shotguns, and parts. There are few, if any, anti-gun readers sitting in their parents’ basements in their pajamas — really, what would be the point of subscribing? So, with that said, I’m simply doing my job here and filling this space with gun-rights-related material because, sadly, politics matter in our ability to enjoy firearms freely.
But any time Donald J. Trump’s name gets mentioned, folks tend to get agitated for him, or about him, or against him. I’m merely making sure that my readers know what the putative Republican presidential nominee has to say about firearms because it might get overlooked otherwise. Straight from his website, here are the major points of Trump’s recently released gun-policy ideas headlined “Defend The Rights of Law-Abiding Gun Owners.”
GUN AND MAGAZINE BANS. Gun and magazine bans are a total failure. That’s been proven every time it’s been tried. Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like “assault weapons”, “military-style weapons” and “high capacity magazines” to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.
BACKGROUND CHECKS. There has been a national background check system in place since 1998. Every time a person buys a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer – which is the overwhelming majority of all gun purchases – they go through a federal background check. Study after study has shown that very few criminals are stupid enough to try and pass a background check – they get their guns from friends/family members or by stealing them. So the overwhelming majority of people who go through background checks are law-abiding gun owners. When the system was created, gun owners were promised that it would be instant, accurate and fair. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case today. Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system – and it should go without saying that a system’s only going to be as effective as the records that are put into it. What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended. What we don’t need to do is expand a broken system.
NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I [Trump] have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.
MILITARY BASES AND RECRUITING CENTERS. Banning our military from carrying firearms on bases and at recruiting centers is ridiculous. We train our military how to safely and responsibly use firearms, but our current policies leave them defenseless. To make America great again, we need a strong military. To have a strong military, we need to allow them to defend themselves.
All in, I’m heartened by Trump’s positions. I’m eager to hear your thoughts on these ideas, and please suggest any others you might want to see him adopt if he wins the general election in November.