Collins, solo

In “Meet Deadeye Donald” Ms. Collins says we should beware Trumps bearing arms.  Here she is:

Donald Trump has a permit to carry a gun.

“Nobody knows that,” he told a gathering of the National Rifle Association on Friday. Well actually, it’s pretty hard to not know since he brings it up all the time.

“Boy, would I surprise somebody if they hit Trump,” he told the audience. People, have we ever had a president who spoke about himself in the third person? Something to consider. But more important, what would that surprise entail? Was Trump trying to say that he’d quickly draw his concealed weapon and take the gunman out of circulation?

“If I wasn’t — if I wasn’t surrounded by, like the largest group of Secret Service people,” he began, and it did sound as if we were about to get a description of his shooting prowess. But then Trump veered off to demand a standing ovation for police officers and never did get back to the original point.

Chances are he couldn’t hit the side of a barn. (If he could, don’t you think we’d have been forced to watch videos of Trump taking that barn out of commission?) Last summer, an NBC interviewer asked if he ever used his weapon on, say, gun ranges. Trump replied that it was “none of your business.”

This is a more important matter than just the ability to make fun of Donald Trump for bragging, although that’s pretty enjoyable. The entire mythology of the N.R.A. and its supporters is based on the idea that if a person is armed, he or she will be capable of shooting accurately. That the big problem is lack of gun availability, not gun owners who are sloppy, inept and occasionally psychotic.

If we required that anyone who wants to buy a gun first demonstrate the ability to hit a target, sales would plummet overnight.

In his speech, which came after he received the N.R.A.’s enthusiastic endorsement, Trump bragged about his sons’ marksmanship. “They have so many rifles and so many guns, sometimes I even get a little bit concerned,” he said, to rather uncertain laughter from the audience — the N.R.A. theory is that you cannot possibly have too many guns. But give credit to Donald Jr. and Eric — they apparently spend a lot of time practicing. We are not going to revisit the day they killed the elephant.

The myth of the masses of skillful shooters is also central to Trump’s much-repeated claim that terrorists would be deterred if they thought they were going to run into an armed citizenry. He’s described the way ISIS gunmen in Paris would have been undone if people at the Bataclan theater had been able to get up and start firing back — an image that presumes Europeans bearing arms would have the capacity to stand up in a dark, hysterical auditorium and take out the villains without mowing down the rest of the audience.

“I can tell you that if I had been in the Bataclan or in the cafes, I would have opened fire,” Trump told a French magazine. “I may have been killed, but I would have drawn.”

More likely, he’d have hit the waiter. It’s very, very hard to shoot accurately when you’re scared or under stress. Police officers generally can’t do it. There was an armed security officer at the Columbine shootings, and he couldn’t do it. There was an armed bystander at the shopping center mass shooting that nearly killed Representative Gabby Giffords. He said later he was “very lucky” not to have shot the wrong man.

However, the N.R.A. vision of the world is one where every shot is true. “Americans use guns to defend themselves against violent crime more than a million times a year,” said Trump. This is a fantasy, based on one phone survey conducted in 1992, and frequently debunked.

And nobody in the presidential race wants to prevent law-abiding people from keeping guns in their homes. Certainly not Hillary Clinton, who has been known to brag about her previous hunting triumphs. She’s probably not very proficient now, but she could probably still beat Trump in a shoot-off.

At the N.R.A. gathering, where Clinton was depicted as a near-maniac intent on freeing criminals, confiscating guns and repealing the Second Amendment, Trump claimed that “Heartless Hillary” wants to disarm the nation’s grandmothers, leaving them defenseless against murderers and rapists. He’s had great success tacking unflattering adjectives on his opponents’ names. Since we’re having so much trouble keeping track of his own evolving positions, let’s try referring to the candidate’s prior incarnations as “Previous Donald.”

Previous Donald told TMZ that he was surprised his sons liked hunting and that he himself was “not a believer.” He favored banning assault weapons and expanding the waiting time for gun purchases. Beyond that, the Second Amendment didn’t seem to be a big issue in his pre-campaign life. Except for a snide reference to Republicans who “walk the N.R.A. line and refuse even limited restrictions.”

So Previous.

There isn’t a word that comes out of his piehole that isn’t a bald-faced lie at this point.

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