Wednesday, February 28, 2018


The president betrayed his allies today, but he's still a conservative:
President Trump stunned Republicans on live television Wednesday by embracing gun control and urging a group of lawmakers at the White House to resurrect gun safety legislation that has been opposed for years by the powerful National Rifle Association and the vast majority of his party.

... He called for comprehensive gun control legislation that would expand background checks to weapons purchased at gun shows and on the internet, keep guns from mentally ill people, secure schools and restrict gun sales from some young adults. He even suggested a conversation on an assault weapons ban.

At one point, Mr. Trump suggested that law enforcement authorities should have the power to seize guns from mentally ill people or others who could present a danger without first going to court. “I like taking the guns early,” he said, adding, “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”
Is he becoming a Democrat again? No, not really.

You have to remember where Trump comes from. Here in New York City, even tough law-and-order guys are pro-gun control. Rudy Giuliani was when he was mayor in the 1990s. So were all Giuliani's police commissioners. Before that, in the 1980s and late 1970s, so was an earlier pugnacious mayor, Ed Koch, a Democrat who occasionally acted like a liberal but spent much more of his time in office bashing liberals.

In New York during the Giuliani years, gun control at the local and state levels and support for nationwide gun control were seen as components of a law-and-order approach to governing, in a Trumpian way. Giuliani and his police commissioners talked about "getting guns off the streets." A big part of that was stop-and-frisk, until its decline started (under court order) late in the mayoralty of Mike Bloomberg. Bill de Blasio, a stop-and-frisk opponent, is mayor now, but I'm sure Trump looks back most fondly on the Giuliani years. The mayor was a hard-ass and a racist, but he was anti-gun. That's what Trump is remembering when he advocates gun control. The disregard for due process on gun seizures shouvld be a tell. Trump appreciates gun control, but not in a liberal way.

No comments: