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Trump Brings Campaign Rhetoric To NRA Speech, Pledging Gun-Rights Support

Trump Brings Campaign Rhetoric To NRA Speech, Pledging Gun-Rights Support

Postby smix » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:10 am

Trump Brings Campaign Rhetoric To NRA Speech, Pledging Gun-Rights Support
NPR

URL: http://www.npr.org/2017/04/28/525930318 ... ddress-nra
Category: Politics
Published: April 28, 2017

Description: President Trump spoke to the National Rifle Association's annual leadership forum on Friday, the first sitting president since Ronald Reagan to do so. "We have news that you've been waiting for ... a long time," Trump told the crowd in Atlanta. "The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end." Much of his speech echoed the rhetoric he used on the campaign, and has continued at rallies during his first 100 days in office. Trump reiterated his desire to build a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border, despite backing off of demands that funding for the project be included in the spending bill that Congress is working on. "You need that wall to stop the human trafficking, to stop the drugs, to stop the wrong people, you need the wall," Trump said. "We'll build the wall. Don't even think about it, don't even think about it, don't even think about it. That's an easy one. We're going to build the wall. We need the wall." He also took familiar jabs at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. After talking about his victory in the electoral college in November, Trump said many candidates will be swarming the NRA looking for support next election cycle. "But you're not going to be wasting your time. You'll have plenty of those Democrats coming over, and you'll say, 'No sir, no thank you,' " Trump said. "Perhaps 'Ma'am.' It may be Pocahontas, remember that. And she is not big for the NRA, let me tell you." Trump has repeatedly called Warren "Pocahontas" because of a controversy over her claiming Native American heritage in professional directories.
"Get out and vote"
Trump did encourage NRA support for Georgia Sixth District candidate Karen Handel. Trump is also scheduled to appear at a fundraiser for the Republican while he's in the state. Handel is running in what has become a closely watched June runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff. The seat was vacated by Rep. Tom Price when Trump selected Price as his secretary of Health and Human Services. Trump opened his speech Friday by congratulating Handel for making it to the runoff. "She's totally for the NRA, and she's totally for the Second Amendment, so get out and vote," he said. The NRA hoped to hear a clear message from the president, NPR spokesperson Jason Brown said before Friday's event: "Protecting gun rights, expanding gun rights and getting rid of legislation and gun rights restrictions in this country to make the Second Amendment more powerful than it ever has been before." On Friday, Trump delivered that message, though without proposing specifics. "As your president, I will never ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms," Trump said. "Never, ever. Freedom is not a gift from government, freedom is a gift from God." Trump told the NRA he would "never, ever let you down" and thanked the group for backing him on Nov. 8 "in what will hopefully be one of the most important and positive elections for the United States, of all time." The group's support was indeed crucial to Trump's campaign. The NRA spent more than three times as much money to help Trump in 2016 as it did to back Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, according to The Washington Post. Throughout the 2016 campaign, the NRA worked hard to portray Democrat Hillary Clinton as a candidate bent on destroying the Second Amendment. Before Trump spoke on Friday, the crowd booed as a Clinton attack ad played in the convention hall.
Not always in line
But Trump and the NRA haven't always had the smoothest of relationships. On the campaign trail, Trump made a habit of talking about how mass shootings could be prevented if the victims involved were carrying guns. After the Paris terror attacks in November 2015: "When you look at Paris, you know, the toughest gun laws in the world, Paris, nobody had guns but the bad guys." And after the shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., and Roseburg, Ore.: "You can make the case that it would've been a lot better had people had guns because they had something to fire back." However, when Trump tried to apply the same logic to the mass shooting in a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., last summer, the NRA took issue. "If we had people, where the bullets were going in the opposite direction, right smack between the eyes of this maniac," Trump said to cheers at a rally in Texas. "And this son of a b**** comes out and starts shooting and one of the people in that room happened to have (a gun) and goes boom, boom. You know what, that would have been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks." Almost immediately the group publicly denounced his comments. "No one thinks that people should go into a nightclub drinking and carrying firearms," NRA lobbyist Chris Cox said at the time, on ABC. "That defies common sense. It also defies the law." Trump walked back the comments on Twitter, but it wasn't the first time the group and Trump haven't seen completely eye to eye. In his 2000 book The America We Deserve, Trump said he supported the 10-year assault weapons ban President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994. "I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun," Trump wrote. "With today's Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72 hours if a potential gun owner has a record." In a March 2016 debate, Trump was asked about the passage, and he replied "I don't support it anymore. I do not support the ban on assault" weapons.
A shift in focus
Trump's message was markedly different than the speech Ronald Reagan gave 34 years ago. While Reagan did spend time talking about the successful defeat of an effort to register handguns in California, he spent just as much time framing the gun debate around environmental policy. "The backbone of our conservation efforts begins with American sportsmen," he said. The gun debate then was much less heated, says UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight, a 2011 book detailing the history of guns in America. "Now the NRA is really focused solely on self-defense and fighting against government tyranny," Winkler said. Trump did briefly touch on the environmental aspects of the NRA, joking that his sons loved the outdoors more than they loved New York's Fifth Avenue, and pointing out that his new Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rolled back an Obama-era action that restricted the use of lead bullets on federal wildlife refuges. Trump's most notable gun-related action so far was his reversal of an Obama-era regulation that required the Social Security Administration to disclose mental health information to the national gun background-check system.
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Trump pledges fealty to NRA gun lobby

Postby smix » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:22 am

Trump pledges fealty to NRA gun lobby
Reuters

URL: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-t ... SKBN17U2SX
Category: Politics
Published: April 28, 2017

Description: ATLANTA (Reuters) - President Donald Trump pledged to uphold Americans' right to possess guns on Friday in a speech that he used to revisit some 2016 election campaign themes from his vow to build a border wall to dismissing a Democratic senator as "Pocahontas." Trump pledged his allegiance to the powerful National Rifle Association, the country's leading gun-rights advocacy group, at a convention attended by thousands. Elected in part on a law-and-order platform, Trump was the first sitting president to address the NRA since fellow Republican Ronald Reagan in 1983. "As your president, I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms," Trump told thousands of people attending the NRA's annual convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Trump, whose candidacy last year was endorsed by the NRA, marks his first 100 days in office on Saturday with no major legislative achievements but with a long litany of actions to loosen federal regulations and review free trade agreements. Stymied by his initial bid to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border when Congress balked at funding the initiative, Trump vowed he will sooner or later build the wall, which had been a signature campaign promise. "We need a wall. We’ll build the wall. Don’t even think about it," he said. Politics and his unexpected election victory on Nov. 8 over Democrat Hillary Clinton also featured prominently in his remarks. Speculating on who might run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, Trump brought up the name of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and used a derogatory nickname he had adopted for her last year. "It may be Pochahontas, and she is not big on the NRA," Trump said of Warren, who had once said she had some Native American ancestry. Pocahontas is a legendary Native American figure from the 1600s. Trump later attended a fund-raiser for Republican candidate Karen Handel, who will face Democrat Jon Ossoff on June 20 to determine who will win a House of Representatives seat to replace Tom Price, who became Trump's health and human services secretary. Trump, at the NRA event, returned time and again to the theme of responsible gun ownership. "You have a true friend and champion in the White House," he said. "We want to assure you of the sacred right of self defense for all of our citizens."
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Trump to NRA: 'You have a true friend in the White House'

Postby smix » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:12 am

Trump to NRA: 'You have a true friend in the White House'
AP

URL: https://www.apnews.com/07e6caa9e11e471b ... ite-House'
Category: Politics
Published: April 29, 2017

Description: ATLANTA (AP) — For nearly a decade, gun owners felt like they were living on pins and needles, worried about gun rights being taken away and feeling as though their way of life was scorned and under attack. All those fears disappeared the moment Donald Trump was elected president and, this weekend, National Rifle Association members gathering for the gun lobby's annual meeting are celebrating and rejoicing. A year ago, Trump was addressing the NRA as a candidate. Friday offered a homecoming of sorts as President Trump thanked its members for their support. They responded with cheers as he rattled off the names of several of his appointees — from newly installed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to Attorney General Jeff Sessions — and boos for his usual foes: Hillary Clinton and the media. The first sitting president to address the NRA since 1983, Trump made it clear in a stump-style speech that he wasn't wavering in his support for gun rights: "The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end." Mike Van Durme, a retired environmental police officer in New York 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. "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. "The guy we just saw here? Like the song says, 'He's proud to be an American.'" During the campaign, the NRA poured more than $30 million into Trump's effort. Trump himself has said he has a concealed-carry permit and owns guns and son Donald Trump Jr. is a well-known hunter and key supporter of efforts to ease restrictions on the sales of suppressors. During the campaign, Trump promised to do away with Obama's efforts to strengthen background checks and to eliminate gun-free zones at schools and military bases. Trump's address was reminiscent of his election rallies. He told NRA members he would not back away from defending the right to bear arms. "You have a true friend and champion in the White House," he said. Leading up to his taking the stage, the NRA played a video with snippets of various celebrities and political pundits poo-pooing the chances of Trump being elected president interspersed with Election Night newscasts as state after state came in for Trump. The underdog emerging victorious proved popular to those in the crowd who view Trump as their champion — most especially when it comes to gun rights. Still, his appearance in Atlanta sparked protests from people advocating for stricter gun control measures. Lorraine Bascombe, who works in the health care industry and lives in suburban Atlanta, said she expected any Republican president to favor fewer regulations on gun purchases. But she worries Trump won't listen to people who want "sensible, safe" gun control. Bascombe said Republicans "stalled and prevented" Obama from increasing restrictions on gun sales, a stalemate she found frustrating. "The NRA has so much lobbying power and I don't see that changing anytime soon," she said. "That's my angst." Protesters were particularly worried about efforts to push for federal legislation to make any state's concealed-carry permits valid nationwide, which they fear will effectively turn the weakest gun standards in the nation into the law of the land. The GOP-led Congress already passed a resolution to block a rule that would have kept guns out of the hands of certain people with mental disorders, and Trump quickly signed it. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on the plane trip from Washington that NRA members supported Trump during the election based on his strong commitment to gun rights. He also cited Trump's appointment of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. "I know the NRA is glad to have a justice in that seat who is such a staunch defender of the Constitution," he said. For Ty Smith, who as a college student in north Georgia helped organize students to vote for Trump, having the president in the same room gave him chills. "I would do anything for this man," he said. Smith said he found it inspiring to have a sitting president address the NRA. "For me, I feel like he's fighting for me," he said.
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