Donald Trump could rest easy yesterday when he addressed the assembled crowd at the National Rifle Association conference in Houston, Texas. The Secret Service had already made sure that the gun-loving attendees at the NRA confab wouldn’t be totin’ any weapons in the venue that day, seemingly contradicting just about every piece of pro-gun propaganda that the lobbying association for gun manufacturers generally issues about the necessity of permitless open carry to ensure everyone’s personal safety.
Still, the NRA members, staff, and executives were anxious to hear what the bombastic former president would have to say about gun rights — just days after yet another mass school shooting right across the state in Uvalde, Texas — despite being temporarily separated from the security blankets of their weapons.
If these single-minded supporters of the 2nd Amendment were expecting a full-throated defense of their insatiable gun lust and a vicious attack on Democratic politicians who are simply attempting to prevent further mass killings by pushing to enact “common-sense” gun regulations, Trump delivered exactly what they came to hear.
“Now is the time to find common ground,” Trump said. “Sadly, before the sun had even set on the horrible day of tragedy, we witnessed a now familiar parade of cynical politicians seeking to exploit the tears of sobbing families to increase their own power and take away our constitutional rights.”
“Clearly, we need to make it far easier to confine the violent and mentally deranged into mental institutions,” Trump offered as an alternative solution to simply making semi-automatic weapons less acessible to people with mental health issues.
As seductive as it may be to enact regulations that would allow government officials to involuntarily institutionalize “deranged” people like Trump, Marjorie Taylor Green, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Mike Lindell, and other perpetrators of incessant, factually deficient Republican messaging, the human rights abuses that such a policy would allow make Trump’s suggestion about as valuable as his idea of injecting disinfectant into one’s veins to fight COVID.
Of course, filling the nation with a new set of loony bins for violent psychopaths wasn’t the only solution that Trump offered to counter Democratic calls to regulate arms sales.
Trump also suggested ignoring everything modern society has learned about fire safety by only allowing a single point of entry and exit at schools that should be protected by fully armed guards, surrounded by sturdy fencing, and have metal detectors deployed for everyone to pass through.
“This is not a matter of money. This is a matter of will. If the United States has $40 billion to send to Ukraine, we can do this,” Trump said, although perhaps he wants to ask for a favor first.
Even worse, Trump wants to eliminate gun-free school zones, claiming that these types of safe spaces merely leave potential victims with no way to defend themselves.
“As the age-old saying goes, the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Trump said, repeating the hoary NRA slogan to the audience who developed that now so-obviously false adage which was totally discredited by the inaction of the Uvalde police force on the scene for over an hour while the gunman was holed up in a classroom with a few surviving students.
“The existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens,” Trump continued.
On the other hand, others may say that the existence of evil is the primary reason to never vote for an NRA-owned Republican political candidate ever again.
It is those people, not Donald Trump whose advice our nation should be following in the wake of the endless spate of gun-related tragedies.
Original reporting by Arathy Somasekhar and Kanishka Singh at Yahoo! News.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.