If President Trump is reading the same gun-control statistics as scholar Stephen Nash (see Open Forum at right), he may actually be considering the time has come to take some steps — minimal steps, minimal steps — in that direction. As Mr. Nash has observed, even National Rifle Association members would consider some restrictions.
To wit, and to reprise Mr. Nash: “NRA members ... support, by margins of 63 to 79 percent: background checks for every gun purchase, requiring owners to report to police when guns are lost or stolen, minimum standards for ‘concealed carry’ permits.”
To some extent, either or all three impediments exist in some states. For instance, in Virginia, you just don’t walk into a gun-dealer or even a municipal court and ask for a “concealed carry” permit, no other questions asked.
But in the case of Mr. Trump and the NRA, the question is: Why now? Certainly, the number of mass shootings has prompted folks to want to “do something.” In the case of Mr. Trump, with the Democrats in current disarray trying to choose a nominee, perhaps he thinks now is the time to make a move on this issue, one that would further burnish his credentials for next fall. Who knows with The Donald, except to say he may enjoy playing with fire or walking the wire?
The NRA is tougher to read. For such a meritorious organization whose goals are Second Amendment freedom and gun safety, perhaps it is weary of getting cuffed around from people who don’t know a Beretta from a BB-gun. Or it could be the organization believes it can, or should, surrender, for the sake of comity and compromise, on a few points, such as those pointed out Mr. Nash.
Whatever the case, we see neither Mr. Trump nor the NRA yielding on a basic right, the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights. To do so, one day down the road that may prove an invitation to tyranny. Surrender on that right is simply not in our national DNA.