by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Kevin Williamson explains at National Review Online why he thinks gun-rights advocates should dial back their fervor in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting.
The NRA, which to its great discredit got into bed with Trump early and enthusiastically, ought to be concerned about his passion, which is a fickle thing. Trump was a gun-control advocate to the left of Hillary Rodham Clinton until shortly before he decided to run for president as a Republican. He was a supporter of a ban on so-called assault weapons, an advocate of waiting periods, and a critic of Republicans who “walk the NRA line.” Some of his associates already are worrying that Trump will revert to his old Manhattan Democrat ways on the question, because Trump’s passion is seeking the approval of crowds, especially the small crowd that edits the New York Times. Cutting a deal with his new best friends, Chuck and Nancy, in the aftermath of Las Vegas, might be appealing to that passion, especially if he could do so in some low-cost way such as opposing the NRA-supported Hearing Protection Act, which would make it easier to buy noise suppressors for firearms.
The passionate man is an unreliable man. Trump has been on both sides of gun control, abortion (he famously took five different positions on the question in three days), the Afghanistan war, Syria, the Electoral College, NATO, Beijing’s purported currency manipulation, tax reform, single-payer health care, the Export-Import Bank, and whether the president should play golf, among other things.