Donald Trump is not a man of ideological principles, conservative or otherwise. He's a reflexive authoritarian who thinks the answer to virtually every problem is more government involvement, at least and especially if "winners" like himself are in charge. Case in point: Trump is backing a gun control measure fervently supported by Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.
And he wants the NRA to do the same.
Earlier today, Trump tweeted:
I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2016
A spokesperson for the NRA replied that the organization is happy to meet with Trump, though the NRA will remain opposed to using the no-fly list, or terror watch list, to deny constitutional rights to American citizens.
On this issue—the issue of whether people should lose their rights because the government merely suspects them of doing something wrong—the NRA shows more respect for civil liberties than most Democrats. Denying guns to people on the no-fly list is an obvious violation of due process that, if allowed to stand, could easily imperil other rights. As Mark Joseph Stern writes at Slate:
If the government can revoke your right to access firearms simply because it has decided to place you on a secret, notoriously inaccurate list, it could presumably restrict your other rights in a similar manner. You could be forbidden from advocating for causes you believe in, or associating with like-minded activists; your right against intrusive, unreasonable searches could be suspended. And you would have no recourse: The government could simply declare that, as a name on a covert list, you are owed no due process at all.
President Obama and Hillary Clinton are wrong to think that arbitrary lists are a valid and legal means of stripping Americans of their gun rights. It would be nice if the Republican Party had chosen as its standard-bearer someone who could articulate the conservative case for the Second Amendment and due process. Instead, it chose Trump. Now gun rights will be in jeopardy, no matter which of the two charlatans currently seeking the presidency prevails.