There are certain promises Donald Trump can keep simply by doing nothing. His predecessor embarked on any number of ideological crusades, one of which was to attack gun rights in every manner and in every circumstance available to him, It become incredibly tiresome to see Obama take to the podium and go on an anti-gun rant every time there was a horrific gun crime - as if the crime only happened because Republicans had refused to pass Obama’s gun bans.
Gun control is one of the Democratic Party’s Holy Grails - up there with abortion and unionization. Every chance they get to push it, they will, regardless of how disingenuous or unconstitutional the effort may be.
People concerned about Second Amendment rights supported Trump in large part because they didn’t really need all that much from him. There is very little of an affirmative nature that a pro-Second Amendment president needs to do, since the Constitution itself guarantees that our right to keep and bear arms will not be infringed. All we need is a president who’s not searching for a way to curtail that right, and at the NRA Leadership Forum on Friday, Trump made it clear he has no intention of following his predecessor’s footprints:
Trump seems to understand implicitly that he has no reason to attack gun rights. Despite left-wing rhetoric, there is no reason to think banning guns would actually decrease violent crime. Time and again when Democrats demanded the passage of gun laws in response to mass shootings, it became clear that the shooting in question would not have been stopped by the law proposed. So the whole thing was invariably an attempt to gain the rhetorical upper hand rather than to actually solve the problem.
Obama was clearly a true believer in the anti-gun cause, but he also had a political interest in that every move to ban or otherwise restrict gun ownership served as a pander to a major component of his left-wing base. These were people who would defend Obama on otherwise indefensible matters because they knew he was on their side on the gun issue. Trump stands to gain no such political benefit, even if he was willing to try.
Quite the contrary, NRA members are often single-issue voters, and they’re the mirror opposite of the anti-gun types Obama liked to pander to. As long as Trump is on their side on the Second Amendment, they will support him on just about anything else because he’s their guy on the one question that really matters to them. A president who’s going to attempt very difficult and controversial changes needs supporters like that.
Which is not to say Trump isn’t genuinely in favor of Second Amendment rights. There’s nothing in his history to suggest otherwise, and logically there’s little to argue in favor of gun control unless you’re just predisposed that way because of your deep commitment to all things left-wing. A president who decides not to go after gun owners is not only doing the right thing, he’s also wisely avoiding a needless fight when he can use that political capital for more urgent matters.
So if Trump simply does nothing on the gun question, he’s already kept his promise to Second Amendment advocates. That’s the nice thing about following Barack Obama. There is so much good you can do simply by ceasing the things your predecessor insisted on doing.
Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain.com
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