Trump Tries to Take Back the Wheel After Driving the GOP's Gun Narrative Off a Cliff

Illustration for article titled Trump Tries to Take Back the Wheel After Driving the GOPs Gun Narrative Off a Cliffem/em
Photo: AP (Evan Vucci)

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump cooly drove his own party’s narrative about gun policy off a cliff, likely without even knowing the damage he was doing. On Thursday morning, he tried to emphasize that he definitely still likes guns:


Among the seemingly out-of-left-field suggestions the president made during yesterday’s sitdown: demanding that cops be allowed to “take the guns first. Go through due process [the courts] second”; flatly rejecting Republican House Whip Steve Scalise’s argument that a giveaway to the NRA should be folded into a bipartisan background checks bill; and approvingly suggesting that there should be discussions about an assault weapons ban.

In video of the meeting, you can see Trump’s fellow Republicans straining not to react his ideas—which were taken as cause for celebration among Democrats. Of course, none of these things fit together to form any cohesive theory of how Trump really feels about guns, because he almost certainly doesn’t actually have much of an opinion about them, just as he doesn’t have a settled opinion about nearly anything.

During his time in the public eye, Trump has publicly espoused both sides of almost any issue you can come up with: abortion, immigration, the Electoral College, and, once again, guns. It’s clear that Trump’s understanding of a given issue is impressionistic and ever-moving. And, most importantly, it doesn’t matter: None of this stuff is going to get passed by a Republican-held Congress, even if the president seems to think a conversation about banning assault rifles is a good idea, for now.

Check back tomorrow, when Trump tweets about putting revolvers in the hands of every student in America.



Managing Editor, Splinter

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