Trump and the NRA: his anti-gun control stance, why we must defeat him.
Since Trump became a politician, he has continuously had strong support from the National Rifle Association (NRA). For the upcoming 2020 Presidential election, the NRA plans to “spend tens of millions of dollars on 2020 elections. They plan to spend heavily in battleground states to help re-elect President Donald Trump with a focus on Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.”
Forbes reported, based on the most recent profit statistics calculated, that in 2018 “Gun stores had revenue of about $11 billion” (IBIS world in its 2018 report). Gun and ammunition manufacturers had revenue of $17 billion, with the majority of that revenue coming from the defense side of the equation: arms sales to the U.S. and foreign governments.” Forbes concluded that the gun business is a “$28 billion industry that contributes to making gun violence an even bigger industry.” These findings are why many corporations in 2018 withdrew support for the NRA (more details here.) However, they still have many corporate sponsors ( more details here.) Some famous individuals continue to use their star power to support the NRA, such as Chuck Norris, Tom Selleck and Miranda Lambert (more information here.)
Recent years have seen some of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. They include a 2017 shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas that killed fifty-eight people, a 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed seventeen, and a shooting at an El Paso, Texas, shopping center in 2019 that killed twenty-two people.”The United States could benefit from at least some gun reform.
According to The New York Times, “Federal law requires that licensed gun dealers conduct a background check, through a database run by the F.B.I., to see if the customer is among those prohibited from owning a gun. Yet, the system has major holes in it, among them incomplete listings of criminal cases. Perhaps the biggest hole is that small-scale sellers, including many who do business at gun shows, are not required to do background checks — the so-called gun show loophole.”
Violent Policy Center wrote that “In May 1999, the United States Senate passed legislation which would have effectively closed the loophole. A measure sponsored by then-Senator Frank Lautenberg passed as an amendment to juvenile justice legislation. The NRA offered competing proposals that would have significantly weakened existing federal gun laws. Unfortunately, the Lautenberg proposal failed in the House of Representatives, and Congress never took final action on. On the state level, in November 2000, voters in Colorado and Oregon endorsed state-wide referenda to close the loophole by requiring background checks at all sales at gun shows. “
The New York Times also noted that “The law’s provision on the mentally ill is extremely porous too. It prohibits gun possession by a person ‘adjudicated as a mental defective’ by a court or other authority. Most people with serious mental illness never receive such adjudication, and those who do can petition courts to have it reversed. Many mass shootings have been carried out by people who were recognized by those around them as being deeply disturbed, yet were able to own guns legally.”
Also, “from 1994 to 2004, federal law banned the sale of many types of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, but the law expired and never renewed. A few states have assault weapon bans of their own that remain in place.” Since 2004 PBS reported that “a handful of states have passed laws to regulate guns and ammunition more strictly. Nine states restrict high-capacity magazines that can hold more than ten rounds, and seven states restrict or ban assault weapons, according to Ari Freilich of the Giffords Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Two states — Minnesota and Virginia — require background checks before a person can purchase an assault weapon.”
In late 2019 after the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, “Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer tweeted that he wanted to take action to end gun violence and for McConnell to have the Senate take up the House background check bill. The bill, which passed the House earlier that year in a 240 -190 vote, but stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate,” Mitch McConnel has even said, “I don’t think at the federal level there’s much that we can do other than appropriate funds.”
In 2019 when Trump faced impeachment charges, “Trump met with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association, and discussed how the NRA could help Trump fight the ongoing impeachment inquiry in exchange for him backing off gun reform.” The Atlantic also reported that during this same phone call, “Trump cemented his stance that we already have background checks and that he did not want to dwell on this anymore.”
The source for The Atlantic also said that “in this call, Trump said he wanted to focus now on increasing funding for mental health care and directing attorney generals across the country to start prosecuting gun crime through federal firearms charges from the Justice Department.” Several sources said that before this phone call with LaPierre that Trump was in favor of having more thorough, universal background checks. Trump will never support a law proposing more thorough background checks if it means he will lose his power. This phone call highlights for the umpteenth time his corrupt nature and how he will not put the safety of his people first.
The New York Times noted that one of the key reasons people support gun control is that “The United States has far more gun ownership than other developed countries and far more gun violence. In 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The nation had more than 33,000 firearms deaths. Seventy percent of all homicides (70% was 11,208 ) in the United States that year were by gun. More than half of all suicides (half was 21,175) in the same year were also by gun.”
When comparing the United States to countries such as Japan, “gun control advocates regularly cite Japan’s highly restrictive firearm regulations in tandem with its extraordinarily low gun homicide rate, which is among the lowest in the world at just three deaths in 2015. Under Japan’s firearm and sword law, the only guns permitted are shotguns, air guns, guns for specific research or industrial purposes, or those used for competitions.”The New York Times also noted that “gun-rights advocates say more people armed equals a safer society. However, people who favor gun control argue that the opposite is true, that the more people carrying weapons, the more likely it is that an everyday dispute can escalate to lethal force, which is supported by global statistics (See chart below).”
The U.S. cannot afford to have a President who cares more about maintaining his power than the safety of his people. For Generation Z specifically, who has now seen the growth in tragic mass shootings, Gun Violence is now a lethal issue in the 2020 Presidential race that demands attention. Gen Z needs to voice their pro-gun control views by voting and defeating Trump in this upcoming election! We can reverse his 2016 electoral college victory. Do you vote in one of the five crucial electoral college swing states — Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina or Wisconsin? We need your vote against Trump in this upcoming election to beat him. Let’s flip 38 electoral votes!
DT Visual Disobedience Campaign consultant
Facts from this post primarily from this article on opensecrets.org, this article from Business Insider, this article in The Atlantic, this article in The New York Times, this article on cfr.org, this article from Forbes, this article from VPC.org, this article from CNN
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