Calling for gun control measures today in the wake of his nephew’s suicide, actor and comedian Tom Arnold pushed back against presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s opposition to gun-free zones.
“The problem with gun-free zones is it’s like offering up candy to bad people. They hear gun-free zones and they go in there with their guns blazing,” Trump said on May 23.
PJM asked Arnold if he agreed with Trump’s position.
“I happen to know how dangerous guns are. I happen to have fired guns a lot. I am sure Donald Trump has not. I have been in a lot of fights. I know how they can go sideways. I know that Donald Trump – I know his son has killed an elephant, but I am not sure that is the same thing. I just think people are very cavalier about this gun stuff and Donald Trump would never let his kids go to school – a public school, number one – that had armed – that would let people walk through there,” Arnold said on a conference call with Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence president Dan Gross.
“We’ll see how the Republican convention is. If everybody is armed there and walking around and if he’s president and lets people walk into private quarters armed, well then he does believe it, but he won’t. He won’t want any part of that. There are people I trust with guns and those are people that are in the military, people that are trained and police – but just any yahoo having a gun, it’s just that they are so darn dangerous,” he added.
Trump said in a May 22 interview, “I don’t want to have guns in classrooms, although in some cases, teachers should have guns in classrooms, frankly.”
He pushed back against Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s criticism of his stance on gun control.
“The way she said it meant like every student should be sitting there carrying guns,” Trump said. “If trained people had guns, you wouldn’t have the carnage that you’ve had.”
In March 2013, President Obama decided to close down White House tours when across-the-board sequestration spending cuts went into effect. The tours resumed after 7 months. Arnold, whose credits include True Lies and The Best Damn Sports Show Period and who last year joked about turning down Trump’s show The Apprentice, said Trump would likely close down White House tours to “normal” people.
“He’s an idiot. Donald’s an idiot. I mean, he’ll say anything to, you know, I am more disappointed with my friends who are going to support him who said he was the worst thing ever and now they are begrudgingly supporting him. He believes that Ted Cruz’s dad was involved with the Oswald murder; he’s a conspiracy theorist. So referencing him with gun control – and, by the way, when he’s president, if he’s president, they will probably close down the White House tours because he wouldn’t want any of those people in his house, you know, normal people,” Arnold said.
“What he does is listen to right-wing talk radio, this is a fact, and he hears the most absurd things. He grabs those, those become his talking points and that’s an example. He said that teachers need to be armed is the stupidest thing ever. Teachers need to be good teachers,” he added.
In August 2015, Arnold quipped that he made a mistake by refusing to be a contestant on The Apprentice.
“So stupid passing on Celebrity Apprentice. Woulda won & I’d B next VP sitting here with 1000 cool red & white Make America Great Again hats,” he wrote on Twitter.
During the conference call, Arnold revealed that his nephew, Spencer Arnold, legally acquired a gun in Iowa after being kicked out of the U.S. Army for a failed suicide attempt. His nephew had later committed suicide. Arnold said legislative changes are needed to prevent someone like his nephew from legally purchasing a firearm.
The Brady Campaign advocates for Congress to pass a law that would require background checks to be conducted for every gun sale.
“Policies such as expanding background checks to cover all gun sales would help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, felons, domestic abusers, and other illegal purchasers,” the Brady Campaign website said.