The National Rifle Association, our country’s premier advocate for gun rights, endorsed the Republican nominee for president at its leadership forum last Friday.
Donald Trump has had much to say over the years about gun control — and it has not always been in line with the adamant positions held by the anti-gun-regulation N.R.A.
For example, as recently as December 2012, Donald Trump tweeted that “President Obama spoke for me and every American in his remarks in #Newtown Connecticut.”
Being a strong proponent of stricter gun-control legislation, President Obama has said that one of his “biggest-frustrations” during his Presidency has been his inability to legislate new gun-control laws.
Fewer than four years later, Donald Trump has received the endorsement of the N.R.A. much earlier in the cycle than any recent GOP nominee. In 2012, and 2008, it took the N.R.A. until October of election year to endorse either John McCain or Mitt Romney.
While the N.R.A. stamp of approval may be another sign of Republican acquiescence to Trump, some members are questioning the move.
Speaking with N.R.A member Brian Abney of Missouri, Politico was told: “I have no clue why they did it,” particularly considering Trump’s relatively recent positions supporting longer waiting periods for gun purchasers and banning assault weapons.
At the meeting, Trump told members that he would not let them down. Back in January, he told Vermont voters that he would “get rid of gun-free zones [in] schools -- you have to -- and on military bases. My first day, it gets signed, OK? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones.”
The Trump family has a number of avid gun owners: “My sons have been members of the N.R.A. for many, many years. They have so many rifles and so many guns, even I get concerned.”
Trump spoke of his sons’ affinity for guns and his apprehension at how many they have at the N.R.A. conference following the announcement of his endorsement.
The comment was an interesting cross-section of Trump’s beliefs on guns. While it is evident that he will hold a strong anti-gun-control stance as Republican nominee, he doesn’t hold his own home to the same standards. Trump’s Florida residence Mar-a-Lago does not allow guns, according to The Huffington Post, as is the case with Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida.
Trump has been molded, or has molded himself into the unwavering Republican the GOP has been craving. Republicans should take heed, however, as even Trump’s own words point to a less than convinced gun-rights advocate.