Well, let’s just say that yesterday’s meeting between President Trump and members of Congress on gun control was a disappointment. Trump seemed open to raising the limit of the purchasing of firearms, universal background checks, and the confiscation of firearms from people who might be a danger without due process. The president said that the time it would take to obtain a warrant might be too long, so take the guns and due process later. No, that’s not how this works. He also killed any hope that concealed carry reciprocity will be added to the bill, noting that it would burn its attempt at passage. To Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s delight, Trump said he would look at her assault weapons ban provision (note: there is no such thing as an assault weapon).
Trump wanted to know if he could add Feinstein’s provision into Manchin-Toomey, which has seen new life in recent days after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Shooter Nikolas Cruz killed seventeen people on February 14. The bill, crafted by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), expands background checks, something that pro-gun control Democrats have been working on for years. The original legislation failed to get 60 votes after Sandy Hook. So, in short, Trump promised to give Democrats almost everything they wanted on gun control.
Manchin is a more conservative member of the Democratic Party. When pressed on the AR-15 ban by NBC’s Willie Geist, he walked a careful line, saying that he doesn’t know anyone who owns one, but to the best of his knowledge no one that he knows has used one in a crime. As a result, he wouldn’t vote to take their gun away if a vote were before him right now. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), on the other hand, is open to raising the limit on the purchasing of shotguns and long guns, stripping Americans of voting age (18-20) of their Second Amendment rights (via Free Beacon):
We just had Congressman Tom Cole on as well, and he kind of walked up to the line where you're walking right now," Geist said. "He said raising the age to 21 is okay, bump stocks are okay, but banning the sale of an AR-15 is where he draws the line. Do you agree with that?"
Manchin said it was "difficult" for him to answer the question because there aren't enough votes for it.
"How would you vote if that came up?" Geist asked.
"Well right now, I would say that I don't have any friends that own the gun right now. I don't know anyone's committed a crime with it, so I wouldn't take their gun away," Manchin said.
Manchin is for barring Americans on no fly or other terror watch list from buying guns. Yeah, sounds good on its face, but there is no due process. People on these lists don’t know how they got on them; it’s mere speculation. These are secret government lists in which the people on them have not been convicted of a crime. Second, most people on the list—the vast majority—aren’t even American citizens. They can’t buy firearms. So, what we’re doing here is using a secret government list containing the names of some Americans who might have done something sketchy—and even that standard is bogus since we have toddlers being thrown onto these lists—and denying them their Second Amendment rights without due process. Yeah, sounds grossly unconstitutional to me—and something that will not stop future mass shootings.