NRA warns Trump on background checks: Would not be popular with your supporters

US President Donald Trump and Wayne LaPierre (R), executive vice president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) take their seats before a meeting to discuss the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on February 1, 2017. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO by Getty)

President Donald Trump’s growing interest in instituting more extensive, rigorous background checks for gun purchases has reportedly prompted concerns and warnings from the National Rifle Association, not that he appears to be listening to the gun rights organization at the moment.

Following the mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso and Dayton, the president issued a statement Monday morning via Twitter calling for Congress to pursue legislation that would address the needs for “strong background checks” and “desperately needed immigration reform.”

According to The Washington Post, this tweets didn’t sit well with NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.

NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre spoke with Trump on Tuesday after the president expressed support for a background check bill and told him it would not be popular among Trump’s supporters, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss internal talks. LaPierre also argued against the bill’s merits, the officials said,” the Post reported Thursday.

Yet while speaking to reporters before departing on Marine One for a visit to Dayton early Wednesday morning, the president doubled down on his call for more extensive background checks.

“I think background checks are important,” he said. “I don’t want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate, sick people. I don’t want to — I’m all in favor of it.”

“There’s a great appetite — and I mean a very strong appetite — for background checks. And I think we can bring up background checks like we’ve never had before. I think both Republican and Democrat are getting close to a bill on — they’re doing something on background checks.”

In fairness to the president, he did at least push back against calls for him to also ban “assault rifles,” telling the press, “I can tell you that there is no political appetite for that at this moment.”

The whole presser may be heard below:


Source: Fox News

The Post has confirmed that Trump spoke with LaPierre again on Wednesday. It’s unclear whether the NRA CEO addressed the president’s decision to double down on background checks.

What’s known is that, while a majority of Americans do support “universal background checks,” or at least according to polling data, the Senate doesn’t appear to be on board.

“Advisers to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would not bring any gun-control legislation to the floor without widespread Republican support,” the Post noted.

They’d specifically been addressing a bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Patrick J. Toomey and Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin “to strengthen background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, the dangerously mentally ill, and terrorists.”

What’s notable is how, despite Toomey’s attempt to pursue bipartisan gun control legislation, he’s still being demonized by the left for being “corrupt” and “pretending to care.”

Look:

It’s a case of damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t — except that in Trump’s case, it’d be doubled damned if he did, as it might also enrage his base, as LaPierre pointed out to him.

This suggests that a decision on whether to move forward on background checks shouldn’t be based on political concerns or polls but rather on the facts of the matter, which are that more extensive background checks wouldn’t actually solve much. And it’s not just conservatives saying that — even the far-left “reporters” at Vox have admitted as much.

[A] growing body of research suggests that comprehensive background checks alone won’t do much, if anything, to combat gun violence in America,” Vox admitted earlier this year.

“For years, the proposal — for universal or comprehensive background checks — has been the top item on gun control advocates’ wishlist. It polls extremely well among gun owners, people who don’t own guns, Democrats, Republicans — basically everyone. And it certainly makes sense: If there’s a loophole that potentially lets criminals get guns, why not close it?”

But several studies released in the past year now suggest that enacting comprehensive background checks alone would have a very limited effect on US gun deaths, whether homicides or suicides.

Vivek Saxena

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