The good news is that she didn’t cough during the debate – not once. The better news is that he behaved like an asshole – so what else is new? But I keep thinking that the reason the polls have narrowed is because voters who want to exercise what David Sedaris calls the ‘shit with glass bits’ option don’t really care how he behaves. Trump’s supporters are much more forgiving of their candidate’s sins and omissions than HRC’s supporters are forgiving of hers. And the media have followed suit.
Yesterday Evan Osnos published a piece on Trump’s first 100 days, in which he imagined what Trump would do based on what he has said he would do during the campaign. And what appears to be taking shape is the issuance of a pile of Executive Orders that would effectively erase Obama’s legacy, in particular orders to cancel Obama-care, renounce the greenhouse emissions agreement, block the arrival of more Syrian refugees, re-start the Keystone pipeline and loosen gun regulations by relaxing background checks.
I just took a look at Trump’s website and while it contains the usual nonsense about defending 2nd-Amendment ‘rights,’ the only mention of the NICS background-check system is that all relevant mental health and criminal records are loaded into the system and used to disqualify certain groups of people who shouldn’t be able to own guns. But Evan Osnos wouldn’t have mentioned the possibility of ‘relaxing’ background checks if he hadn’t heard it from someone on the Trump team. And the NRA hasn’t ponied up millions of dollars to run Trump ads if they didn’t expect to get something in return. So what might be the net effect on the background-check system if, God forbid, the shit with glass bits option is chosen by 50% plus 1 voter who cast Presidential ballots on November 8th?
In fact, where the whole issue of gun regulations – pro and con – will probably be met is in the identity of the person who would be nominated by Trump to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court. And Trump has promised to appoint someone who will be a strong supporter of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ But while the Court with a 5-4 majority opinion written by Scalia pronounced gun ownership to be a Constitutional ‘right’ in 2008, this same Court with Scalia sitting on the bench has been unwilling to weaken long-endowed gun regulations, in particular the FBI-NICS system of background checks.
In 2009 an ex-cop in Virginia named Bruce Abramski walked into a local gun shop and bought a Glock. He claimed he was buying the gun for himself but in fact he was buying the gun for his uncle whom he then met at a Pennsylvania gun shop so that his uncle could take possession of the gun after going through a NICS-background check. Even though Abramski’s uncle passed the NICS check, Abramski lied when he bought the gun in Virginia claiming that he was buying it for himself. Five years later after various appeals, Abramski’s conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court.
There are other challenges to current gun regulations floating around federal courts, in particular a decision that came out of Texas (Mance v. Lynch) and would, if upheld, allow dealers in one state to sell guns to residents of other states. But while such a legal revision would make it easier for gun nuts like me to buy guns here, there and everywhere, I would still have to pass the FBI-NICS background check in order to get my hands on the gun.
Trump’s penchant for saying whatever pops into his head without regard for the slightest concern about the truth is not only a staple of the stump speech he delivers at his Klan rallies, but is also what his campaign will feed to anyone and everyone who might represent a potential vote. Gun-sense Nation may be frustrated in their efforts to expand NICS checks to secondary sales, but the NICS as it currently operates isn’t going away.