On September 18, Donald Trump released an in-depth position paper on his gun policy, but many people never saw it because the media was too fixated on one comment about Muslims from a Thursday town hall meeting to dig into it.
Breitbart News dug into the position paper, reporting Trump’s contention that “concealed carry is a right, not a privilege” and his belief that “assault weapons” bans and “high magazine” bans are wrong-headed moves that only reduce the firearm and self-defense options available to law-abiding citizens.
But CNN is focused on the fact that a questioner at Trump’s September 17 town hall meeting made a comment about Muslims without Trump countering the questioner’s claims. The questioner suggested Muslims are “a problem in this country”—claiming Obama is Muslim—and then talking about how important it is to get rid of alleged training camps in the U.S. where Islamists hone their skills of attack.
Trump responded to the mention of the training camps by saying, “We’re going to be looking into that.”
CNN quoted Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN-5th) criticizing Trump for not criticizing the comments about Muslims, saying, “I don’t know if Trump is using dog-whistle politics to win support in the polls, or if he genuinely believes the racist things he says. Either way, he showed a complete lack of moral courage in that clip, and he has shown once again that he is completely unqualified to be President of the United States.”
MSNBC did not even save their criticism of Trump for an article, Rather, they used the criticism for a title, writing, “Donald Trump fails to correct man who calls Obama Muslim.” And The Guardian reported that Trump “created a furor” by not correcting claims that Obama is Muslim.
The exception to the rule was NBC News’s Chuck Todd, who said, “What if he was Muslim? This is about, we are about freedom of religion in this country.” But Todd also criticized Trump, intimating that he will never draw more than 30 percent of GOP vote if he fails to respond to questioners who raise issues about Muslims and/or Obama’s faith.
And while the media was fixated on these things, Trump’s campaign was circulating an in-depth position paper in which Trump sets forth, not simply his opposition to gun control, but also the reasons behind the opposition. For example, Trump used the paper to say that he will not support an expansion of background checks and to explain the reason for this lack of support is that background checks are a burden on law-abiding citizens rather than criminals—and they don’t work as advertised. He explained why the ability to defend one’s life needs to be expanded, not reduced, and that “the right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway.”
In a word, Trump used his position paper to communicate details on gun policy in a way that every American can understand. But CNN, MSNBC, NBC News, and The Guardian are laser-beam focused on a questioner who asked about Muslims and Obama’s faith without being rebuffed by Trump.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.