Is Trump the GunVoter Pick?

By Jeff Knox

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
FirearmsCoalition.org
FirearmsCoalition.org

Buckeye, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- As early jockeying in the Republican Presidential Primary competition heats up, front-runner Donald Trump recently made big points with GunVoters by releasing a detailed manifesto declaring his support for the Second Amendment.

The statement is clear and unequivocal, unlike the mushy “I support the Second Amendment” sort of statement we so often hear from candidates, particularly northeastern Republicans.

The Trump statement declares opposition to any new or expanded gun control laws, supports proposals for national recognition of concealed carry licenses, and calls for enforcement and prosecution of existing laws. It could have been written by someone at the NRA.

Trump’s clear statement has been well received by supporters of gun rights, but before we all rush out to get “Trump for President” yard signs for our lawns, let’s look at what else Mr. trump has said about guns and gun control.

In his brief foray into presidential politics in 2000, Mr. Trump also expressed strong support for the Second Amendment, then backtracked offering caveats like support for expanded “background checks,” waiting periods, and banning so-called “assault weapons.” Those aren’t positions that serious GunVoters can get behind.

Perhaps Mr. Trump did some research on Second Amendment issues in the years since taking those positions, and has come to a more principled understanding of the issues. That is always a possibility, and I would never criticize someone seeking a position of trust for educating himself and revising a position based on what he learned. On the other hand, there is the real possibility that Donald Trump is simply pandering to GunVoters for purely political reasons. It is well known that GunVoters can be a powerful political constituency, and Trump is a master at providing red meat for special interest groups.

The big problem is that we have no record on which to judge Mr. Trump. He has never held political office, has never been a major contributor to pro-rights efforts, and has never used his power and influence to advance the debate on rights issues.

While he has long held one of the few concealed handgun permits doled out by the city of New York, and we have seen photos of his sons on trophy hunts in Africa, we have never seen any substantive action from Trump in support of gun rights for average citizens. In short, we have nothing but his statements – which have changed over the years – upon which to judge him. That’s not all that reassuring. The fact that his position statement so closely follows the talking points of the NRA – a group that Trump specifically singled out as having undue influence on other candidates during the 2000 campaign – should also raise some red flags. Anyone can go to the NRA website or look at their candidate questionnaire and copy their positions.

What assurance do we have that these are Mr. Trump’s actual beliefs, or that his position won’t shift again when tested by some future calamity?

While Trump has been getting major exposure, both from traditional and social media, many of the other candidates in the Republican field have taken similar positions on gun rights, and some of them actually have records to back up their statements.

We all know that politicians have a propensity to pander. And we also know how Joe Average Gunowner loves to be pandered to. It’s part of the nature of the game. What we GunVoters – educated gun-owning voters who understand Second Amendment issues – need to do is gauge their sincerity and commitment to given issues, and lend our support and votes accordingly. It’s still very early in the Presidential Primary process, so there is plenty of time to carefully evaluate the candidates and dig deeper into their statements, their records, and their attitudes. At this point Trump has the momentum, and it could be enough to carry him through to win the primaries, or it could wane as some other candidate surges to the front. The one thing we should not do is commit to any candidate without thoroughly vetting them first, and giving full consideration to their opponents as well.

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Volunteer and make a difference at GunVoter.org

That’s one of the reasons we created GunVoter.org several years ago, to give candidates, their supporters, and their detractors a venue to share information about firearm-related issues with voters concerned about those issues. GunVoter.org is a user-driven, forum site where anyone is welcome to post information about their favorite candidate, or ask questions about any candidate’s position, statements, or record regarding firearm-related issues. While site administrators and moderators make some effort to gather information about candidates, it is the users and forum members who must drive the discussions and provide the bulk of the information.

If you are interested in participating in this voter education experiment, I’d like to personally invite you to visit GunVoter.org and join the discussion. Registering for the site will not sign you up for emails or advertisements, and your privacy is always assured.

Picking a President, or any other elected office, is a big responsibility. Be sure you’re armed with the knowledge to make wise decisions, and that you share your knowledge with fellow voters who need to know. GunVoter.org is a way to do that. I hope we’ll see you there, so together we can identify and back the best candidates in the coming elections.

About:
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition is a project of Neal Knox Associates, Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org

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JohnC

Greg, points well taken. I suspect that both of our fears are worse than what would really happen. I am fearful that Trump’s mouth will get us into war. I hate war and believe that we should fight only in self defense, not pre-emptively. No I am not in favor of further welfare spending. Congress will slow that down. As far as guns , I do not think gun confiscation will happen in the fore-seeable future. Some tightening of laws, yes. I still would prefer that over a global war. How about we campaign for someone else than Dems or… Read more »

JohnC

Mr. Trump is not a complex person. He simply is an ego-maniac. Trump is whatever he thinks he is. That is certain to change should he actually be elected. If he is, God help us all.

Greg

John, you may be right about Trump, however, the two democratic candidates will be far worse than Trump could ever be. They will take the country over the cliff with welfare, and bankrupt us all. You may, or may not, be in favor of that, but I assure you I am not. If you think guns are an issue now, think what it will be like then. The criminals, who don’t buy guns in gun stores, will still have, and use, guns in crime. John, Do you want to be unarmed?

Vanns40

I’ve been echoing Jeff’s views ever since Trump got in the race. No one in the MSM has tried to nail him down on his inconsistencies. It’s just been Trump mania and a free pass.

lowell

Assuming Trump can continue to grandstand on nationalist populism and the economy continues to degrade exponentially he just might squeak out a win against the rest of the Republican field, and then go on to an easy victory against whoever the democrats throw out. From there on expect him to toss every conservative principle that he’s spouting right now if he can use it as a bargaining chip for a tax break or something. He won’t surrender ANYTHING, but he’ll trade it all away to make the deal.