The PJ Tatler

Did Trump Just Set Back the Gun-Rights Cause?

There are plenty of appropriate ways to respond to the irrational rantings of gun-grabbers. But this probably isn’t one of them, as reported by the New York Times:

[Donald Trump] sounded uncharacteristically resigned on Sunday when it came to last week’s mass shooting in Oregon, saying such shootings will continue in the United States “no matter what.”

In interviews on the Sunday morning talk shows, Trump rejected calls from President Obama to pass tougher gun laws, saying they would do nothing to stop an attack like the one that killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.

“No matter what you do — guns, no guns, it doesn’t matter — you have people that are mentally ill, and they’re going to come through the cracks, and they’re going to do things that people will not even believe are possible,” Trump said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

His air of resignation sounded not unlike the reaction of Jeb Bush, a presidential rival Trump has often criticized, who said after the Oregon shooting that “stuff happens” in suggesting that government is not always the solution to such problems.

The substance of Trump’s point has merit. Laws don’t prevent criminal acts, clearly. However, the callousness with which the point was delivered provides an opening for gun-grabbers to claim that theirs is the sensitive and proactive position.

While it may be true that criminal attacks will occur “no matter what,” there are specific and proactive policies which could mitigate the risk. Instead of merely opposing restrictive gun legislation, gun-rights advocates should argue for enabling of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and others.

Generally, gun-rights activists do advocate such. However, when highly visible figures perceived to be representative of the movement offer only indifferent resignation, the proactive message gets lost.

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