On Monday, President Donald Trump called for Republicans and Democrats to unite in pushing for stronger background checks for gun purchases, suggesting that this legislation could be coupled with his push for immigration reform.
Here’s what we know
We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them. Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!
While Democrats have proven to be resistant to any move by the president to pass immigration legislation, Republicans have historically been equally resistant to any push to increase gun control. Combining the two issues into a single piece of legislation would give each party something it strongly advocates for and something it vocally opposes.
It is not clear what changes Trump is suggesting for existing background check laws.
Half an hour later, Trump tweeted that the media have “a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country.”
“Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years,” he said. “News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!”
This isn’t the first time Trump has supported more background checks
In March 2018, Trump also came out strongly in favor of background checks.
“I’d rather have you come down on the strong side, instead of the weak side,” he said at the time. “The weak side would be much easier. I’d rather have you come up with a strong, strong bill and really strong on background checks.”
He also advocated gun confiscation. “Take the firearms first, and then go to court,” Trump said. “Because that’s another system. Because a lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court, to get the due process procedures — I like taking the guns early. Like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida, he had a lot of firearms. They saw everything — to go to court would have taken a long time. So you could do exactly what you’re saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second.”
The NRA later met with Trump and insisted that the president did not, in fact, support gun control.