The sellout is complete: Donald Trump will oppose any universal background check legislation that might come across his desk, The Atlantic reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, Trump called NRA chief Wayne LaPierre – the top defender of America’s bloody status quo – on Tuesday to say he will no longer push for expanded background checks on gun purchases, despite saying he would in the days following a pair of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
More from the report:
The president reportedly asked LaPierre whether the NRA was willing to give in at all on background checks. LaPierre’s response, the sources said, was unequivocal: “No.” With that, “the Rose Garden fantasy,” as the NRA official described it to me, was scrapped as quickly as it had been dreamed up.
Earlier this afternoon, according to a person briefed on the call, the president told LaPierre in another phone call that universal background checks were off the table. “He was cementing his stance that we already have background checks and that he’s not waffling on this anymore,” the source told me. “He doesn’t want to pursue it.” In the call, the source added, Trump said he wanted to focus now on “increasing funding” for mental-health care and directing attorneys general across the country to start prosecuting “gun crime” through federal firearms charges from the Justice Department.
In other words, so long as Donald Trump is in the White House, any changes to American gun laws will have to be signed off by the NRA.
As long as that continues to be the reality, no gun reforms will be implemented, and the influx of mass shootings we’ve seen in recent years – some of the most deadly taking place under this president’s watch – will likely continue.
A quick look around the globe shows that gun laws work. Countries with tighter restrictions have drastically fewer gun-related deaths. Even at home, states with tighter gun laws have less gun violence.
So we know what works. The question is whether our leaders – aka the president and Republicans in Congress – care more about the corrupt NRA than they do about American lives.
Up until this point, both the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have demonstrated what they care about most, and it’s not the safety of the American people.
By once again bowing down to the gun lobby on Tuesday, Donald Trump reminded us just how spineless he is on this issue.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.
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