On December 17, an astonished New York Times observed that President-elect Donald Trump actually supports “arming people to defend themselves in gunfights.”
The NYT is not wrong in their observation: Trump does support law-abiding citizens being allowed to carry concealed handguns for self-defense in more places. During the campaign, he reacted to firearm-based terror attacks in Paris (November 13, 2015) and San Benardino (December 2, 2015) by stressing that armed citizens remind bad guys that “bullets go both ways.”
Following the Orlando Pulse attack (June 12, 2016), wherein 49 innocents were gunned down, Trump pointed out that armed concealed carry permit holders could have saved the day. He said:
If some of those great people that were in that club that night had guns strapped to their waist or strapped to their ankle–and if bullets were going in the other direction, aimed at that guy [for whom this was just] target practice–you would have had a situation which would have [been] horrible, but nothing like the carnage that we as a people suffered this weekend.
Yet the NYT is taken aback by Trump’s support of law-abiding citizens being armed in more places and describes the NRA’s support of the same as “regressive.”
Take note of the NYT‘s reference to “gunfights,” i.e., Trump supports “arming people to defend themselves in gunfights.” Currently, there are no gunfights. There is just slaughter. There is an armed party–the terrorists and criminals–and an unarmed party–the victims. Trump believes we level the playing field by making sure would-be victims have an opportunity to be armed if they choose. They did not have that opportunity in the attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, and Orlando. Instead, gun-free policies rendered them sitting ducks.
Seen in this light, armed people defending themselves in “gunfights” is a step up. At least it gives the law-abiding citizen a fighting chance and may diminish the magnitude of a given attack–as Trump suggests–or prevent the attack altogether.
The NYT’s criticism of Trump and the NRA’s support of more concealed carry in more places appear in an editorial on the emergence of a coalition of attorneys offering pro bono work for gun control. It is the second time in as many weeks that the NYT has covered this pro bono work. The coalition, the Firearms Accountability Counsel Task Force (FACTF), plans to use the court system to “attack” pro-gun laws and policies on behalf of gun control groups. The NYT cites Trump’s support of concealed carry as proof that the FACTF could not have arrived on scene at a better time.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.