Donald Trump

Donald Trump's Gun Platform: Some Good, But Bad on "Mental Illness" and Federalization of Crime

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Shifting himself slowly from unhinged id to "real politician with ideas and positions on public policy issues of the day and all that crap," Donald Trump's campaign has released a brief, long op-ed length position paper on where he stands on guns and the Second Amendment. It's not terrible, though far from perfect, sort of what you might expect from the average NRA member.

It begins with a bold declaration that, like the U.S. Supreme Court in interpreting the Constitution, he later backs down on: "The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period."

Then, some sops to the idea that a pro-gun politician has to show how serious he is about crime by being extra tough on any crime committed with a gun. He weirdly blames "the Obama administration" for local crime and local law enforcement decisions in "Baltimore, Chicago" and other cities" and calls for federally imposed mandatory minimums on crimes committed with guns, as per the old Richmond, Virginia, "Project Exile" which would, like all mandatory minimums and federalization of street crimes, doubtless lead to unnecessary injustices.

Trump admits the gun possession is not just a sporting thing but about self-defense, and after hat-tipping to the supposed value of cops says, correctly, "they can't be everywhere all of the time. Our personal protection is ultimately up to us. That's why I'm a gun owner, that's why I have a concealed carry permit, and that's why tens of millions of Americans have concealed carry permits as well. It's just common sense."

Trump then emulates too many Second Amendment defenders by shifting blame and unjust law enforcement from guns onto some other thing that seems handy, in this case the mental health system and the mentally unhealthy.

He insists that if only we paid attention to "red flags" (that don't rise to the level of actual crimes) and pre-emptively locked up people for curious behavior that only in retrospect is ever any kind of clear sign of "about to kill people with a gun" than all would be fine. 

Jacob Sullum explained most recently how untrue on every level that is last month after the Roanoke shooting. That stance also shows no real respect for the Second Amendment that Trump puts his "period" after above. Even the vast majority of those who have actually been adjudicated "mentally ill" in some fashion would never harm anyone else with a weapon they owned, and there isn't any obvious reason why they should be denied the right to self-defense or pleasure via gun ownership of anyone else.

For those who merely evince some sort of vague "red flag," pre-emptive extra-judicial locking up and Second Amendment violation sounds like "common sense" but arises from the same mentality that makes gun-grabbers think no one deserves to have a weapon.

Trump goes on with sensible proscriptions against specific type of gun or magazine bans, defends the current background check system but is against expanding it beyond licensed gun dealers, and calls for cross-state reciprocity on carry permits. Plus, allowing military on bases and recruiting centers to carry firearms, a side issue but one with great GOP resonance.

So, not perfect but good in many respects, a Second Amendment platform likely carefully designed to appeal to a modal NRA-sympathetic Republican primary voter. It fails for hardcore Second Amendment devotees who approach it from a libertarian perspective, not a "common sense safety" one.

Now if only anything about Trump's temperament or deportment make me believe the good parts are stances he'd stick to or move forward as president in any meaningful way. I'm willing to bet he'd push the bad stuff (more federalization of gun crime, more locking up or Second Amendment denial to people who've committed no crime) more than he'd stand strong on making sure Congress doesn't get away with doing the bad stuff he says he's against.

NEXT: Ahmed Mohamed's Ordeal *is* The Case for School Choice

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  1. Personally, I suspect we’ve already hit peak Donald, and given a few more weeks, his opinion on guns or anything else won’t matter any more than Bobby Jinjang’s.

    1. I suspect this is likely.

      Hope that’s not the case, as the rest of the GOP field is far too boring. And unfortunately I don’t see Rand going anywhere.

    2. Ross Perot “figgered” the electoral votes would be too split up and the looters in Congress would simply install their own boy. That’s the nice thing abt subsidized clowns instead of genuine third parties–nothing changes except voters get poorer and less free. John Anderson allegedly got 6% of the vote… y nada! If Ed Clark had landed 7% the popular vote, just imagine the laws the LP could have repealed! The Bushes might never have attacked Mohammed and the World Trade Center could still be there! Trump, Perot, Anderson, Bernie… imitation fake posturing to collect those BIpartisan bribes. That do the commie and econazi parties have to say about these Nixon campaign subsidies putting the blinders on voters?

      1. Actually, there as an attempt in ’95 under clinton to bring down the WTC. The better argument would be that the false prophet worshipers of isis wouldn’t be making inroads into the mid east.

    3. Haven’t they been saying that since almost day one?

      1. lol, some much needed humor…

    1. As soon as I put on the mask, Mrs. Gin Woodchipper would divorce me.

      1. Gin, as one might perspire given a strong enough affinity?

        I wondered whether you still posted.

    2. “Did i say you could touch that?”

      “Yes”

      “When?”

      “When you were drinking”

      1. I’ve had that conversation. I can’t recall how many times.

        1. At some point they’re playing you. I don’t trust little cretins.

  2. I’m really burnt out on the Trump stuff. I’m still trying to figure out if Goijira pulled off the greatest bit of performance art or actually went full Trump. Hell, maybe it’s all the same. I need a drink. Stupid being on-call.

    Well, let’s see what the college football slate looks like:

    ND vs GT: Man, I really thought my grad school alma mater would pull off the upset last week. Tough loss. I have ND in this but can Kizer keep it together for a full 4 quarters? We’ll see.

    Auburn vs LSU: I’ll take LSU. Auburn is one of those teams that just disappoint some years. I think last week’s struggle against Jacksonville State is more a sign of where this team truly is rather than an aberration.

    Ole Miss vs Alabama: Alabama. I don’t think it will be a rout but I think Alabama wins comfortably.

    Stanford vs USC: I’ll take Stanford. I always like the Cardinal and that week one loss to Northwestern isn’t as bad as it seems. The Wildcats are good this year.

    1. Peak Donald is in the air everywhere.

      Like last summer’s hit song, it only stays at the top of the charts for a little while.

      And talk about overexposure. He’s a textbook case of overexposure.

      He kept using the same tactics that got him noticed in the first place. They’re tired and boring now.

      And there’s no compelling reason for a boring Donald to exist.

      1. Peak Donald is in the air everywhere.

        Everywhere but the actual polls:

        http://www.breitbart.com/big-g…..son-drops/

    2. “I’m still trying to figure out if Goijira pulled off the greatest bit of performance art or actually went full Trump.”

      Performance art, but probably a kernel of truth there. It was hilarious. I kept waiting to see how many would agree with him.

      The kernel is this: I too am sick of mendaciousness and passive aggressive bullshit from all sides, but mostly the left. Hell, that is all the left has got.

      If you can’t stand up straight, look me in the eye and call things what they are; if you can’t be honest, then SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP.

      JJ just blurred the lines a bit by tossing in a dash of ecological fallacy. His performance was magnificent.

      1. What’s this in reference to? I haven’t been paying attention today

        1. He went on an epic “I’m sick of feminists/fags/immigrants” rant that lured in a lot of criticism.

          1. Yeah, but where? which thread

            1. Let me google that for you.

              1. Thank you. I’m not sure what I was supposed to have googled. “HURR DURR, FAGS”? Also, Gojira is just godzilla’s real name in japanese, so there’s all the .jp i’d have to wade through as well…

                It seems like he’s channeling the ID of trump supporters and giving it an honest voice.

                (in contrast to the “HDB” thing i pointed out, which is the fancy word that these ‘cuckservative’-term-using types use to describe their fanatical racism)

      2. I thoroughly enjoyed it too.

    3. I hope you’re wrong about Stanford vs. USC (SC grad here). I’ll be at the game tomorrow. We have (narrowly) won the last 2 years, hopefully the streak continues.

      1. Oh, so now somebody’s a graduate?

        1. In the Marines we say that you “graduate” from basic training. Does that make me a graduate too?

        2. I know, sometimes it surprises me too.

      2. I’m always a little bullish on Stanford because I like seeing them do well. Should be a good game regardless.

      1. I just got into it sort-of last season – watched more games than in the previous 20 years. Can’t believe it’s back already and looking forward to it.

    4. *wince* the joke was on you. But that doesn’t mean I forgive him from living in Dallas, by choice!

      1. By choice? You can’t choose who’s going to throw a sweet consulting gig in your face.

      2. It seemed way too over the top to be real but he seemed so damn serious at the same time. Maybe I got taken for a ride. I stand by everything I said, though.

    5. What, Florida-Tenn don’t get no love?

  3. More slippery slope nonsense designed to criminalize what one might do. First, counselors will be required to report those “red flag” patients. Then, one nut will kill someone and it will turn out Dr. X or Rev. Y didn’t believe the nut had crossed the reporting threshold. So the Dr. or Rev. will be sued. Next, “zero tolerance” : every patient will be reported just in case. Then the list must be made available to employers or mortgage lenders or admissions offices, because “we can’t have potentially dangerous people” on our premises or taking out loans.. Eventually, the jails are stuffed with “potential criminals” and absolutely no one seeks out professional help or even their BFF when something about life troubles them.

  4. “…and calls for cross-state reciprocity on carry permits. ”

    Good. I am still waiting for someone to call for cross-state reciprocity on constitutional carry.

    “I’m willing to bet he’d push the bad stuff (more federalization of gun crime, more locking up or Second Amendment denial to people who’ve committed no crime) more than he’d stand strong on making sure Congress doesn’t get away with doing the bad stuff he says he’s against.”

    Name someone who doesn’t.

    I am glad he gives lip service to being pro-gun, but I don’t see him getting the whitehouse. I still think he is a stalking horse for The Hildebeast. Given her likely impending implosion he will switch to stalking horse for the Dems. If they pull that off (unlikely) The Donald will end up being the richest man who ever lived without having to fuck around with being President.

    1. I don’t see any reason to think he isn’t still an anti-gun dem like he was, say, 10 years ago.

      1. Corning seemed to think that touting Trump’s Second-Amendment pandering was somehow a cutting rebuttal to people pointing out Trump’s open-mindedness re: Obama’s religious affiliation

        (* because CNN is for suckers!!… even if their video clip is the same as anyone else’s)

        It didn’t make any sense at the time, and still doesn’t, but there you go.

        IMHO, every GOP candidate is absolutely required to make super-strong pro-2nd amendment statements in order to be a viable contender. The issue is, Do You Believe Them? In trump’s case, i don’t believe a fucking word out of his mouth re: policy… mainly because he seems entirely disinterested in any policy at all, other than “Winning”.

        1. This exactly.

          Trump had some GOP advisors tell him what to write on this issue and I doubt he could remember half of it off the top of his head. Once he wins he will have forgotten whatever else he may have remembered by then.

        2. Actually it was a rebuttal to you aping MSM that he is a “derpy derpy idiot because look at all these cherry picked quotes compiled by MSM.”

          1. It’s about ethics in pandering by crony billionaires.

            1. What is that? I can’t understand your mumbling with Suderman’s dick in your mouth.

              1. It’s about ethics in cocksucking.

                1. I always wanted to meet an ethical cocksucker just to have that conversation with her.

          2. Your response had nothing to do with the link Gilmore posted in that thread. Did CNN manipulate that tape that is the same as it is on every other site? You have completely gone off the deep end.

            1. “You have completely gone off the deep end.”

              It amuses me that you make that claim in the comments of perhaps one of a handful of maybe 100’s (1000’s) of articles at Reason about Trump that isn’t simply a new way of saying Trump is a big poo poo head (ass-mouth).

              But yeah sure stand strong and proud for soon to be Pulitzer prize winning and enlightened coverage that includes such gems as “How to white night for a Fox bimbo against a sexist monster” “Weigel finds nativist racists in a Virginia alfalfa field” “Trump goes to India through transcendental projection” and “restrictionist xenophobe hiding under my bed makes me piss my magical rainbow cosmotarian pants”

            2. “Your response had nothing to do with the link Gilmore posted in that thread.”

              You are right it is about the quote Gilmore posted in that thread and his comment “shit is on”

              1. It still made no sense. Gilmore quoted what Trump said in the video, and was making fun of him for having such a meaningless nonsensical answer and you acted as if he was “buying MSM spin.” The MSM didn’t put those words in Trump’s mouth. For someone who constantly bitches about “white knighting” you do something that looks an awful lot like it a lot for Trump.

                1. “”Gilmore quoted what Trump said in the video, and was making fun of him for having such a meaningless nonsensical answer””

                  Exactamundo

        3. So you’re saying he is like everyone who runs for the high orifice? Which of these idiots in the running do you believe?

      2. I don’t see any reason to think he isn’t still an anti-gun dem like he was, say, 10 years ago

        I don’t see any reason to think he isn’t still for legalizing ALL drugs like he was, say, 25 years ago.

  5. Did someone order the vocals for David Bowie’s Let’s Dance? ‘Cause if not, I’ll just leave them here.

  6. I would think mental illness would be a state responsibility, subject to constitutional civil-liberties limitations of course.

    No, silly me, it’s a federal responsibility.

  7. The problem with Trump the Deal-maker is that everything’s negotiable when getting the deal done is what matters most. We all know politicians will do anything or say anything to get elected and you can’t trust them enough to know where they really stand on any issue, Trump is running on this being his biggest strength, his best selling point. You seriously expect him to have a line in the sand on the Second Amendment – or any other ideal – when being flexible is what deal-making is all about? “I’m going to go out there and get the best deal I can for selling off your rights and your freedoms; everything’s on the table and all offers will be considered.” Well, is there a better offer from any other candidate? They’ve been selling off our rights and freedoms piece-by-piece and bit-by-bit and I haven’t seen a nickel out of the deal, maybe putting Trump in charge of the Great American Going-Out-Of-Business Sale will net me a few bucks for a steerage-class ticket on a steamer back to the Old Country and we can try this great experiment in liberty some other lifetime.

    1. Maybe it is time for a businessman to run the country, run it like a business. Politicians haven’t done such a cracker jack job so far.

  8. Trump is not going to go serious politician. This guy is just pulling back for the moment in order to pack a bigger punch with his next spit flecked tirade. A master demagogue will demagogue. What’s his next big move? Got me, but he is a master bullshitter and underestimating the amount of bullshit many Americans will gut is a uuuuuge mistake.

  9. That’s why I’m a gun owner, that’s why I have a concealed carry permit, and that’s why tens of millions of Americans have concealed carry permits as well. It’s just common sense.”

    Must be nice to be able to easily *ask and get* permission to exercise your basic rights.

    Personally, I’ll stick to AZ where I don’t have to ask for permission before I stick a gun down my trousers and blow my bollocks off.

    1. Also, that whole “how many other people have a CCW in NYC? Could I, as a commoner, get one?”

      1. If you have to ask…

  10. Dude says whats on his Mind, I like that.

    http://www.Full-Anon.tk

  11. The older I get, the more I tend to hear “common sense safety” as “come to Daddy, I’ll keep you safe”, which makes me want to kick the speaker in the fork so hard he’ll suddenly go deaf (nod to the late Sir Terry Pratchett). Government should not be in the business of evaluating the mental health of citizens if for no other reason than that is a complex and subtle subject and while government does complex, it doesn’t do it well, and it flat out SUCKS at subtle. So any law that gets government into that swamp will do little good while granting the government more power to abuse, should it be so inclined.

    Regardless of his stated positions on pretty much everything, Mr. Trump strikes me as the sort of politician highly likely to “Grow in Office” one he’s in Washington. Sort of like kudzu, or mold, but without the attendant benefits.

  12. For around 200 years the only qualification for any constitutionally guaranteed and protected right was citizenship. If we allow government to make us qualify for one right it won’t be long before we have to qualify for every right. We’re trading our rights for privileges, and the majority seem to be just fine with that.

    1. Citizenship is only a requirement to hold certain offices and vote.

      Our legal rights aren’t even predicated on citizenship, and our natural rights would exist even if there wasn’t any government.

  13. Brian could do Trump articles by simply search and replacing Perot with Trump. Ross Perot also promised to toughen up on “crimes involving” guns. Even the surrounding stories in those old papers are the same as today (Medicare fraud, bid-rigging…). The AIDS crisis replaced the Hepatitis crisis after banning needles failed to bolster prohibition. Other than that the only real difference is that thanks to LP spoiler votes hemp is today approaching legality in state after state–like beer from 1924-1932. The sameness shows just how effective the Nixon Campaign Finance Law was at drowning out the Libertarian Party. Perot and John Anderson simply mixed and matched Dem and GOP planks, and served only to draw attention away from the drivers of change. John Anderson received $6.6 to help Reagan ignore the LP and beat the dems. Perot helped the Dems ignore the LP and defeat Bush The First. Subsidized bipartisan fraud.

  14. If there weren’t… and counterfactuals do not prove that legalizing murder and rioting would work in the future tense.

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  16. Doherty’s arguments are rather thin and brainless. It should be obvious that by “mental health issues” he’s not talking baout foot fetiches, but behavior which would lead any reasonavble person to want to restrict that individual to gun ownership. Obviously Trump’s earlier statement that citizens have a right to gun ownership is not superceded by gun control , which he, and practically every other living soul, agree with. Doherty’s point about the 2nd amendment is therefore nonsensical. Nor is there any reason to doubt that a minimum punishment for using a gun would not work out. Forever armed robbery has been treated differently tthan unarmed robbery in out legal system. Basically, the only weakness in Trump’s statement is his failure to detail exactly which cases of mentall illness need be paid attention to. That omission is hardly a big deal
    and the issue would be fleshed out in Congressional debate.

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  18. Because this circus monkey is leading the polls. Why are you guys so afraid of a pro vaccine choice candidate? When the pharmaceutical industry has the right to exercise medical experiments on your children without informed consent tyranny has taken hold. I don’t want government making my medical decisions for my family. Trump isn’t taking away your right to vaccinate your child. A few candidates have hinted at taking away your religious and philosophical freedoms.

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