Just a few days before the election and the beginning of the end of American democracy as we know it, Fuhrer Trump announced the formation of an advisory group, or what he called a ‘campaign coalition,’ that would advise him on matters of importance to the gun industry and to all those gun owners who were depending on Der Fuhrer to protect their 2nd-Amendment rights. The group was to be led by Donald Trump, Jr. and Chris Cox, chief lobbyist for the NRA, and its 62 co-chairs represented the true flotsam and jetsam of the gun world, including various self-appointed conservationists and outdoor types, heads of gun-rights organizations that had never been heard of before or since, a few gun makers from second-tier companies (none of the major industry players like Glock, S&W, Ruger, etc., were part of this cabal) and a number of members of the NRA Board.
The purpose of this group, as it was explained by co-chair John Boch in an interview with USA Today, is to provide “policy and legislative recommendations for the new administration through Donald Trump Jr.,” except that such activities take on a much different hue when the individual being counseled is no longer a political candidate but happens now to be President of the United States.
One of the many things that neither Trump nor his circle of advisors seem to understand is that you can’t run the Executive Branch of the Federal Government the way you run a private company because the people who elected you, and even the people who voted against you, have certain legal prerogatives to know just what the hell you are doing in their name. If an organization comes into existence for the purpose of advising the President, its structure and functions fall under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which might require the group to have a charter, hold public meetings, maintain open records, and have procedures for public input. So far, this particular group meets none of those requirements.
But the reason that the group doesn’t yet carry out its functions in line with the Federal Advisory Act is that, in fact, the group has never actually met and nobody seems to know whether it will ever meet or do anything else which might actually represent even the slightest effort to protect gun owners and their precious, 2nd-Amendment rights. The USA Today reporter who wrote this story couldn’t actually find anyone at the White House who knew anything about the organization; requests to interview Trump Jr. were ignored, ditto requests for comments from Chris Cox.
There’s a lawyer in Texas named Ben Langlotz, who has published the complete list of co-chairs on his website, along with an effort to identify what each of these folks actually does. Seven of the members of this gun coalition are described as ‘affiliation unknown,’ another is referred to as ‘musician, army veteran,’ another is a ‘retired police sergeant,’ and another is described as a ‘NRA volunteer.’ Of course there’s someone from the Tea Party and a gal named Theresa Vail who is described as a ‘television personality’ but is, in fact, a former Miss Kansas, now appearing on the Outdoor Channel, who was arrested in 2015 for illegally killing a grizzly bear. Her lawyer claimed it was an accident but later admitted that ‘errors of judgement occurred.’
Folks who believe that Donald Trump threatens to undo even the most benign gun regulations are probably not far from the truth. But let’s not forget that this new Administration is also showing itself to be politically inept to a degree never previously seen. So whatever plans they have for expanding the rights of Americans to go about killing themselves with their guns, there’s also a good chance that through sheer stupidity and incompetence many of those plans, like the aforementioned gun advisory group, will never see the light of day. Good riddance to bad rubbish.