Cake Or Death? Donald Trump Chooses DEATH, PLEASE!
It was true when he said it. He really did mean to do something about the epidemic of gun deaths after the latest mass shootings in Ohio and Texas when he said, "I think background checks are important. I don't want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate, sick people. I don't want to — I'm all in favor of it." Just like it was totally true last year after the Parkland shooting in Florida when he promised, "We're going to be very strong on background checks. We're going to be doing very strong background checks."
But then Donald Trump realized it would cost him political support with the NRA. And because he lives in rightwing bubble where he's not hemorrhaging support among suburban woman who are freaking out about their kids getting shot at school, he couldn't risk it. Therefore, it wasn't true anymore. More people will have to die so Donald Trump can avoid pissing off the gun nuts. Sorry, kids!
Yesterday, The Atlantic's Elaina Plott broke the news that NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre had successfully talked Donald Trump out of doing fuck all to prevent gun violence. Vanky tried to entice him with the prospect of a delicious Rose Garden ceremony where he'd be showered with praise by Democrats and Republicans alike, and she even called up congressional Republicans to gin up support for token gun control measures. But then it was time to take that vacation in Jackson Hole -- no one works harder that Jared and Vanky! -- at which point the NRA swooped in for the -- ahem -- kill.
On August 7, the president picked up the phone to discuss the idea with Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association. "It's going to be great, Wayne," Trump said, according to both a former senior White House official and an NRA official briefed on the call. "They will love us." And if they—meaning the roughly 5 million people who make up the NRA's active membership, and some of Trump's electoral base—didn't, Trump reportedly assured LaPierre, "I'll give you cover."
Wayne LaPierre was not amused with his rogue creation.
"Wayne's listening to that and thinking, Uh, no, Mr. President, we give you cover," the former senior White House official said in describing the conversation. The president reportedly asked LaPierre whether the NRA was willing to give in at all on background checks. LaPierre's response, the sources said, was unequivocal: "No."
The NRA may be down, with board members dropping like flies amid constant revelations of inappropriate spending, trench warfare with its former advertising company, and New York's Attorney General breathing down its neck, but it's not out. NRA members flooded congressional phone lines, and Wayne worked his magic with the Oval Office Idiot, who folded immediately like one of his own cheap suits. Of course! Despite 97 percent public support for universal background checks and large majorities favoring an assault weapons ban, Donald Trump immediately pivoted to scapegoating the mentally ill.
Asked whether he would work with Congress to increase funding for psychiatric care, the president just laughed and laughed. No, not really. No one ever asks stupid questions like that.
This year, the Democratic House has passed two bills tightening background checks, both of which promptly died in the Senate. And the heroic Parkland kids are out with a new Peace Plan for a national licensing and gun registry. But the only way we get anything done here is if Republican politicians get gotten WITH VOTES.
Because they don't give a shit about dead kids, and they never will.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.