Trump pledges fealty to NRA gun lobby

Cheryl Sanders
April 29, 2017

"She is not big for the NRA, that I can tell you", Trump added. And he drew the loudest applause when he showered the NRA with praise for supporting him in last year's race.

The president also took a moment to remember the deceased former NRA president and actor Charlton Heston, whom he called a "beloved patriot" and "a great guy" who fought for gun rights "when maybe a lot of people didn't want to be fighting" during his five terms at the helm of the NRA. He talked about various appointments he has made, including the nomination and eventual addition of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, as well as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly.

Trump joked on Friday about the scant probability that any Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential elections will come speak at the NRA convention, particularly if it is "Pocahontas", the nickname he uses for progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Notably absent from the president's NRA convention speech was any mention of progress toward fulfilling his campaign promise to implement national concealed carry reciprocity. But now that there is a "true friend" of the NRA in the Oval Office, gun sales (based on Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks) appear to be slumping.

Handel, who fundraised poorly in the lead-up to the initial election earlier this month, has fully embraced Trump's support despite her earlier reticence to align herself with the president. They denounced his failed efforts to replace President Obama's health care bill, and executive orders created to de-regulate Wall Street financial firms and coal and mining companies.

Trump's trip to Atlanta and a handful of actions he's taken during his first 100 days send clear signals.

Mike Van Durme, a retired environmental police officer in NY and co-author of a book on hunter safety, said it's been a relief to have a president in the White House who is a gun owner and supportive of gun rights.

The NRA, which endorsed Trump when he spoke at last year's annual meeting, stood by him during his campaign even as other conservative organizations approached him more cautiously. And he declared that the threat to "Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end".

Trump treated the gun convention like a political rally, joyfully recalling his election victory and mocking the journalists and Democrats who were confident that he would lose.

"It was eight years of being frustrated and sad that the guy who is supposed to represent us embarrassed me", Van Durme said, describing Barack Obama as disrespectful of members of law enforcement and the military and too deferential to foreign leaders. "No longer will federal agencies be going after law-abiding gun owners".

During his speech, the President vowed to "never, ever infringe" on the right of the American people to bear arms. "She is not big for the NRA, that I can tell you".

"In America, we are ruled by our citizens, we are ruled by each and every one of you". What does that mean for America's struggle with gun violence?

Before he began his presidential campaign, Trump, who says he doesn't hunt but does own a gun, had come out in favor of a waiting period for gun purchases and a ban on assault weapons.

Other reports by iNewsToday