School children struck down in their classrooms. The largest gun massacre of civilians in a century. Shootings in churches. Shootings in synagogues. Shootings at nightclubs, concerts, and shopping malls. Back to back shootings within 24 hours.
For all of them, Donald Trump has the same solution—talk about supporting stronger gun legislation in the immediate wake of mass murder, then retreat behind NRA talking points before the funerals are complete. It’s not just Trump’s words of racism, xenophobia, and hate that are inspiring mass murder, those same deaths are both encouraged and supported by Trump’s continued support of the NRA’s agenda on every point. Because at his heart, and in his actions, Donald Trump is a monstrous coward, easily manipulated by anyone willing to give him the slightest praise, and terrified of the idea of doing something that might pull away that source of support, no matter how false.
Following the back to back shootings in Texas and Ohio, Trump once again spoke in support of expanded background checks, which are literally the least that can be done. But as The New York Times reports, that was before Trump checked in with the boss. While Trump was on his two week “working vacation” at his New Jersey golf course, he spent some time on the links with representatives from the NRA.
And after they praised his putter and announced their awe over Trump’s so-much-better-than-Tiger approach game, he was more than happy to trot out the worn bumper sticker slogans. Returning refreshed from playing golf while other people were burying their parents, spouses, and children, Trump dutifully recited that “it is not the gun that pulls the trigger” and that declared his surprise that “we have very strong background checks right now.”
Trump also declared that the whole mass shooting problem is a “mental health issue.” Which it is. Just … not in the way Trump meant it. It’s a mental health issue in the sense that a sniveling invertebrate places his need for ego-strokes for the lives of thousands.
Trump made a near identical flip-flop after Parkland, and after Las Vegas, and after half a dozen other names that are now more connected to gunfire, terror, and heartbreak than any of the things these locations would much rather represent. NRA officials supposedly “flooded the White House, Congress and governors’ offices around the country with phone calls” following the El Paso and Dayton shootings. And that “flood,” coming from a handful of officials from an organization that’s been involved in eating its own leadership and rolling in scandal was apparently all it took.
That’s despite the overwhelming desires of millions of Americans who, it’s fair to say, placed far more calls at every level than “NRA officials.” Funny how that works. Only … not funny.