Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Second (Amendment) Look At Trump

I'll admit to flip-flopping on Donald Trump. I'm firmly in his corner when it comes to the issues he is raising, the corruption and dysfunction in D.C. that he is highlighting, and the straightforward non-PC language he is using.

On the other hand, I have my doubts about whether or not he has the gravitas to be President and Commander-in-Chief. He has a tendency to bluster, swagger, and bully people. He shoots from the lip and considers himself the smartest person in the room, often with little justification.

He has also, IMO, been long on grandiose pronouncements and short on specifics. We have some sense of what his policies would be, but not how he would implement them.

However, he has come out with a position statement on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms that makes a lot of sense.
(Side note: I'm all for protecting our Second Amendment rights, and I agree that it will make America a better place, but I'm not convinced that it will 'make America great again.' Anyway, here's The Donald on the 2A.)

The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.
Hard to argue with that.
It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment. Protecting that freedom is imperative. Here’s how we will do that:

Enforce The Laws On The Books

We need to get serious about prosecuting violent criminals. The Obama administration’s record on that is abysmal. Violent crime in cities like Baltimore, Chicago and many others is out of control. Drug dealers and gang members are given a slap on the wrist and turned loose on the street. This needs to stop.

Several years ago there was a tremendous program in Richmond, Virginia called Project Exile. It said that if a violent felon uses a gun to commit a crime, you will be prosecuted in federal court and go to prison for five years – no parole or early release. Obama’s former Attorney General, Eric Holder, called that a “cookie cutter” program. That’s ridiculous. I call that program a success. Murders committed with guns in Richmond decreased by over 60% when Project Exile was in place – in the first two years of the program alone, 350 armed felons were taken off the street.
Right on, Donnie! Project Exile, which was backed by the NRA and other gun rights groups, was a success. Commit a crime with a gun - go to jail. That's the kind of gun control I can support.
Here’s another important way to fight crime – empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves. Law enforcement is great, they do a tremendous job, but they can’t be everywhere all of the time. Our personal protection is ultimately up to us. That’s why I’m a gun owner, that’s why I have a concealed carry permit, and that’s why tens of millions of Americans have concealed carry permits as well. It’s just common sense.

Fix Our Broken Mental Health System

Let’s be clear about this. Our mental health system is broken. It needs to be fixed. Too many politicians have ignored this problem for too long.

All of the tragic mass murders that occurred in the past several years have something in common – there were red flags that were ignored. We can’t allow that to continue. We need to expand treatment programs, because most people with mental health problems aren’t violent, they just need help. But for those who are violent, a danger to themselves or others, we need to get them off the street before they can terrorize our communities. This is just common sense.
Agree in principle, but the devil's in the details. Labeling people as having mental health problems and subsequently taking away their rights is a path fraught with peril, and open to abuse. We must be very, very careful going down that route.
Defend The Rights of Law-Abiding Gun Owners

GUN AND MAGAZINE BANS. Gun and magazine bans are a total failure. That’s been proven every time it’s been tried. Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like “assault weapons”, “military-style weapons” and “high capacity magazines” to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own. (emphasis added)
Amen, brother!!!
BACKGROUND CHECKS. There has been a national background check system in place since 1998. Every time a person buys a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer – which is the overwhelming majority of all gun purchases – they go through a federal background check. Study after study has shown that very few criminals are stupid enough to try and pass a background check – they get their guns from friends/family members or by stealing them. So the overwhelming majority of people who go through background checks are law-abiding gun owners. When the system was created, gun owners were promised that it would be instant, accurate and fair. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case today. Too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system – and it should go without saying that a system’s only going to be as effective as the records that are put into it. What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended. What we don’t need to do is expand a broken system.
Similar to the mental health issue, this is a potentially terrible idea masquerading as a good one. It would be frighteningly easy for a background check system to morph into a gun registry.
NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY. The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.
This one makes a lot of sense. That's why it will probably never pass.
MILITARY BASES AND RECRUITING CENTERS. Banning our military from carrying firearms on bases and at recruiting centers is ridiculous. We train our military how to safely and responsibly use firearms, but our current policies leave them defenseless. To make America great again, we need a strong military. To have a strong military, we need to allow them to defend themselves.
Common sense. Something that's in short supply in our nation's capital.

This makes me view Trump a little more favorably. I'm still not convinced he's The One, but he's looking better...


Bear said...

Agree with all your points, as usual. He is definitely lacking in the tact department though, and he's going to alienate a lot of thin-skinned folks because of that.

As always, I will do my due diligence as we get closer, and vote accordingly.

P.S. I do find it exceedingly ironic when my liberal aquaintences burn a shit-ton of energy bashing him, then turn around and sing praises to the Hildebeast. I just don't understand how any American that can read can find her to be a legitimate candidate in any way, shape or form.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

We have per the SJWs the highest prison population in the world. Maybe. In the years the prison population has grown, crime rates have fallen. Can't be any correlation, right?

Old NFO said...

Gotta agree with Bear and WSF... Waiting, not so patiently over here...

JPD said...

Well Seasoned Fool: On prison populations. Dig a little deeper. 2/3 are non violent. Significant portion are those from "victim-less" crimes(also those from minor personal use drug offenses). Meaning they broke a law with no victim, except the government. In most cases, there was no harm to society. Many of these are simply where the government lost income.

Keep in mind...governments govern and control their citizens through the threat and use of violence. Breaking one the millions of laws, enacting by all levels of government, is punishable by violence.

In the form of forcibly taking your property, money, liberty, and your life.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

@JPD. It is a complicated issue. A car thief may be non violent but the impact on the victim can be devastating. They don't stop until they are caught.

The "War on Drugs" is a point where we probably do agree.

CenTexTim said...

Bear/NFO - I don't understand how Hillary isn't in prison, much less why anyone would even think about voting for her.

WSF and JPD - FWIW, I don't think it's the government's business what anyone puts or doesn't put into their bodies. However, after living for several years in Laredo TX (on the TX/Mexico border) and seeing what the drug cartels do to people, I have a hard time thinking of drug use/possession as victimless. Even the casual user who is only a recreational toker is supporting a viscous brutal criminal organization.

Think back to Prohibition. The 'victimless' crime of sneaking an illegal drink helped fuel the rise of the Mafia.