Back in May when the NRA endorsed Trump at their annual meeting, I said I wasn’t sure that either side gained that much by an endorsement that in the past never occurred until nearly the end of the Presidential campaign. And while I don’t like to indulge in Trump-like ‘I told you so’s,’ thanks to the terrible night in Orlando, it’s beginning to look like the Trump-NRA partnership may be more of a millstone than a milestone for both sides.
As soon as it came out that the shooter had not only pledged fealty to ISIS during the attack, but had been interviewed by the FBI, Trump mounted his ‘we have to fix this, we have to fix that’ horse and basically supported denying terror ‘suspects,’ no matter how suspect, access to guns.
Taking away gun access to anyone other than a convicted felon, habitual drug user, crazy person or fugitive (in other words, the ‘prohibited’ categories used to deny 4473 transactions by the FBI,) is an absolute no-no when it comes to Gun-nut Nation, in particular the NRA. The closest the NRA will come to any degree of compromise on this issue is their support of a bill introduced by an NRA Senatorial puppet, John Cornyn (R-TX), which basically says that someone who is on the Terror Watch List must wait 3 days to get a gun, during which time either a decision is made to deny the transfer or the gun walks out of the store.
This is the same procedure which is currently in place with FBI-NICS when a gun purchaser may or may not actually fall into a 4473 ‘prohibited category’ and the FBI needs additional time to decide which way the decision should go. And the overwhelming number of these three-day delays are ultimately approved simply because the information needed by the FBI to make a final determination simply isn’t there. Cornyn’s bill mandates a three-day delay window, but since it really doesn’t create any kind of mechanism for figuring out whether someone on the No-Fly List or Terrorist Watch List might be a threat if he could get a gun, the bill doesn’t change anything at all. Which is why the NRA supports the measure, because they love gun-control laws that don’t do anything to control firearms access at all.
Now here comes Trump, who no matter what issues he grabs, immediately becomes the veritable bull in a china shop, and invariably hurts himself more than he helps. He attacked a Federal judge whose parents, not him, were from Mexico, and his support among Hispanics, if he had any support, disappeared. He told LGBT that he was their ‘best friend,’ because if they can scratch up the $100,000 membership fee they can join his Palm Beach club. And what he got for that bit of comic relief was a ringing denunciation from the Christian Rght, whose support for Street Thug stands right now at 62%, and by the way, these same voters supported Romney to the tune of 79%.
But running alongside their newly endorsed candidate is even more problematic for the NRA. They don’t have to worry about the liberals, they’ll thrive on that until the cows come home. It’s the chickens that could come home to roost from the Right if Fairfax appears to be bending, because it wouldn’t be the first time that other gun-owning organizations challenged the NRA.
Back in 2014, a bunch of Gun Crazies walked into a Chili’s with their ARs and AKs, the NRA chastised them for their ‘weird’ behavior, and then quickly issued an apology when the emails and phone calls started rolling in. Take a look at comments made by Larry Pratt, who happens to head something called Gun Owners of America, who has also tangled with the NRA. He makes Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox sound absolutely benign.
So we’ll soon find out if the NRA endorsement of Trump ends up as a blessing or a curse.