Connect with us

Politics

Trump’s early move on guns: Could he bridge the partisan gap?

Published

on

Donald Trump could be the president who pushes Congress to do something about gun control, even if those steps are modest.

Perhaps only a Republican president—and one elected with the full backing of the NRA—would be positioned to take such steps.

But rather than welcoming Trump’s move in their direction, gun control advocates are initially dismissing his efforts as inadequate.

For a quarter century, virtually any effort at regulating the sale of guns has fallen victim to Washington gridlock. Ever since Congress let Bill Clinton’s assault-weapon ban expire in the 1990s, the issue has been seen as politically radioactive, not just by Republicans but by moderate Democrats as well.

Even after the school shooting in Newtown, even with Barack Obama and Joe Biden mounting a sustained push for some gun-control measures, Congress did nothing. There was no way the Republicans were going to give Obama even a minor concession on the issue.

Then came last year’s Las Vegas massacre, and an outcry over the shooter’s use of bump stocks to boost the speed of his attack. But nothing happened.

And yet the Florida school shooting, and the gruesome spectacle of children being gunned down, seems to have brought the issue to a potential tipping point.

When the conservative, pro-Trump New York Post is running such banner headlines as “MR. PRESIDENT, PLEASE ACT” and yesterday’s “HOPE FOR GUN CONTROL”—with a photo of protesting Florida students–it’s clear that the national mood is changing.

Even Pat Robertson, the onetime GOP presidential candidate, said on his “700 Club”: “I am a gun owner. I have hunted. I have shot skeet,” Robertson said. “But for heaven’s sakes, I don’t think that the general population needs to have automatic weapons.”

Trump has ordered the Justice Department to speed up an existing review and issue regulations banning bump stocks. He has also signaled he is open to arguments about tighter background checks and raising the age limit for purchases of such weapons as an AR-15 rifle, the one used in Parkland.

This comes from a president who embraced the Second Amendment during the campaign and said of the group that backed him financially: “To the NRA, I can proudly say I will never, ever let you down.”

Of course, after yesterday’s gut-wrenching session with students, teachers and parents who went through mass shootings, Trump also said that arming people in schools could be part of the solution–an approach favored by the NRA.

A Quinnipiac poll out yesterday said that 97 percent (!) of Americans favor universal background checks for gun purchases. Some 66 percent favor stricter gun laws, and 67 percent favor a ban on assault weapons.

There is a partisan divide, with only 34 percent of Republicans supporting stricter gun laws, but 43 percent back an assault weapons ban.

Washington’s paralysis on these issues speaks to more than the clout of the NRA. Many lawmakers are just afraid of alienating gun owners, who are passionate and highly motivated voters.

Now it’s true the NRA doesn’t oppose some of these measures, such as regulating bump stocks (though it doesn’t want legislative action on the matter).

But Trump does have a Nixon-goes-to-China opportunity here. He could detoxify the issue for many Republicans, bringing enough along to join with liberal Democrats in passing modest legislation.

It’s just as possible that, like immigration, this issue will become embroiled in partisanship and the moment will pass.

Trump has already remade the Republican Party in his image, drawing considerable criticism from those who don’t like him or his policies. But what if, in the wake of the Florida tragedy, he moved the party toward a more centrist and popular position?

Source link

Politics

'This won't end well' Meghan and Harry warned of US backlash as Sussexes go against Queen

Published

on

PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle cannot hope to win in a popularity contest against the Queen, even among Americans, a former MP who is now based in the US has said.

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Tom Barrack, former Trump inaugural chair, released on $250 million bond

Published

on

Former Trump inaugural committee chair Tom Barrack on Friday was released from federal lockup in California on a $250 million bond ahead of his scheduled arraignment in New York on charges he acted as an agent of the United Arab Emirates and obstructed justice.

As part of the terms of his release, Barrack, 74, is subject to electronic monitoring and will have to foot the bill for his GPS ankle bracelet, Judge Patricia Donahue ordered, signing off on an agreement that had been worked out between the government and Barrack’s attorneys.

Barrack, a private equity investor and founder of the investment firm Colony Capital, also had to surrender his passports and is barred from transferring funds overseas, the judge said. He cannot trade any securities without written permission from federal prosecutors and is not allowed to transfer more than $50,000 except for attorneys fees.

He’s scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn, New York on Monday. His spokesman said earlier this week that Barrack “is not guilty and will be pleading not guilty.”

A longtime friend of former President Donald Trump, Barrack had been behind bars since his arrest Tuesday on charges that he and two co-defendants were “acting and conspiring to act as agents” of the UAE between April 2016 and April 2018, but without registering as foreign agents.

Prosecutors said Barrack and the others acted “to advance the interests of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the United States at the direction of senior UAE officials by influencing the foreign policy positions of the campaign of a candidate in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and, subsequently, the foreign policy positions of the U.S. government in the incoming administration.”

Barrack was also charged with obstruction of justice and making multiple false statements to federal law enforcement agents.



Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

BBC sparks fury: Over-75s left 'stressed' over licence fee crackdown as Covid cases soar

Published

on

OVER-75s are terrified the BBC will send round TV licence fee enforcement officers to their homes while Covid cases continue to surge.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending