President Trump used a February 22 tweet to announce his support of “comprehensive background checks,” raising the age for long gun purchases, and banning bump stocks.
This is Trump’s biggest gun control statement to date, and it comes just one day day after he urged that we arm teachers to reduce the gun-free status of school’s around the nation.
I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue – I hope!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
“Comprehensive background checks” often mean universal background checks, but it is unclear whether that is Trump’s position here. His emphasis on “mental health” means he may be talking about overhauling our current background check system, rather than expanding it.
Democrats push for expanding background checks after every high profile shooting, even though high profile shooters almost always acquire their guns via background checks. Florida school gunman Nikolas Cruz acquired his gun via a background check.
On September 18, 2015, while campaigning for president, Trump made clear that he would not support an expansion of background checks. He hedged this pledge on the fact that we have had background checks since 1998 and they have not lived up to the promises of safety and crime prevention issued at the time of enactment.
In other words, background checks have been a fail, so why expand them?
Trump’s push to raise the minimum of age for long gun purchases from 18-years-old to 21 is almost certain to happen, and his support of bump stock gun control shared by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and other members of the GOP, making it likely.
Bump stocks do not convert semiautomatic rifles into fully automatic rifles and they were not used in the Florida school shooting, In fact, the October 1, 2017, Las Vegas attack was the only high profile shooting on record in which bump stocks were used. Yet they are increasingly targeted for a ban as the gun control outcry continues.
To put it another way, a bump stock ban would have done absolutely nothing to prevent the Florida school attack, Texas church attack (November 5, 2017), the Alexandria attack (June 14, 2017), the Orlando attack (June 12, 2016), the San Bernardino attack (December 2, 2015), the Umpqua Community College attack (October 1, 2015), the Lafayette movie theater attack (July 23, 2015), the Chattanooga attack (July 16, 2015), the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attack (Jun 17, 2015), the Santa Barbara attack (May 23, 2014), the Fort Hood attack (April 2, 2014), the D.C. Navy Yard attack (September 16, 2013), the Aurora movie theater attack (July 20, 2012), the Gabby Giffords (January 8, 2011) attack, or the Virginia Tech attack (April 16, 2007). But a ban of the firearm accessories is being pushed nonetheless.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.