The Trump Impeachment and Gun Ownership….

Submitted article from Jay C. of

Impeachment may not be good news overall. But there is a silver lining: all the impeachment proceedings have derailed negotiations for gun control legislation.

Now, gun control legislation hasn’t been defeated forever. But, the timeline has certainly been delayed.

That’s the down and dirty version of what happened. However, there are some nuances in the impeachment and how it would affect gun rights and gun control legislation going into the 2020 election.

Democrats are not asking for compromise

One of the most dangerous words that got thrown around during the gun control legislation talks was “compromise.” Hearing about “compromise” is nothing new in gun control legislation efforts. But, it was especially nefarious this time because both republicans and democrats were using it.

To be clear: gun control advocates are not asking for an actual compromise. They’re asking for further infringement of the right to bear arms.

In a true compromise, both sides benefit, though not as much as if they’d gotten everything on their terms. No gun control legislation offers to give something back to gun owners. It only demands that gun ownership be further restricted.

If gun control advocates offered to lift bans on suppressors or short-barreled rifles in exchange for more thorough background checks, that would be a compromise. Simply asking for slightly less gun control than they actually want is not a compromise. It’s just asking for slightly less.

There are two dangers in this situation:

First, the republicans were talking about “compromise” as if the proponents were offering some sort of real compromise, which they weren’t. That’s worrisome because it means that the politicians who support the Second Amendment aren’t aware of what an actual compromise is, either. So, they’re more likely to be fooled by a bad deal being marketed as a compromise.

Second, the delay in gun control negotiations in the senate could be used as a bargaining chip later on. The fact that no gun control legislation was passed during the last session could be presented as a show of good faith from gun control advocates, which deserves some sort of reciprocation.

In reality, the democrats were just too busy pushing for impeachment to get any gun control legislation done.

All of this means that when the gun control talks resume—and they will—the starting position could be much more precarious for the Second Amendment.

The 2020 election may have zero gun-friendly candidates

So far, Trump hasn’t been the most ardent defender of gun rights. He hasn’t pushed hard for anything extreme. But he’s expressed interest a few pieces of gun control legislation, such as an outright ban on suppressors.

Trump won the last election by a narrow margin. It’s totally possible for him to win in 2020. But, he’s most likely going to need non-partisan votes to win the next election.

It would be a totally viable strategy for him to soften his stance on things like gun control in order to get votes from some of the centrist voters.

Would he actually go through with any promises to implement more gun control laws? Maybe not. But making a few promises to pass more gun control legislation certainly makes it harder for him to take a pro-gun stance if he is reelected.

Additionally, whoever ends up running against Trump will most likely double down on any gun control promises he makes. Which would put pro-Second Amendment voters in the unfortunate position of choosing between bad gun control and worse gun control.

That’s not an ideal election for gun owners and the Second Amendment.

What to do about all of this

The presidential election could be a bit of a mess this year. There may not be any great options for gun rights voters.

However, there is a way to deal with that: focus more on your state elections. Regardless of who gets elected to the presidency, they’ll still need to navigate the legislative process in the house and the senate.

The more gun-friendly the house and the senate are, the more challenging it will be to ram through new gun legislation. Obviously, the state elections don’t match up exactly with the presidential election. But, new legislation won’t get passed instantaneously after the presidential election.

It’s quite possible—maybe probable—that the next round of federal gun control negotiations could involve new state representatives. So, it’s best if we all show up as gun rights advocates in those state elections.

Also, participate in your state legislative process. Even though federal laws are separate from state laws, it’s harder to pass federal laws that the states don’t support. The more state gun control laws we have, the easier it is to justify passing new federal gun control laws.

That’s it. It might be tempting to feel relieved that the impeachment process has overshadowed gun control negotiations. But, be mindful of the fact that nothing was defeated. No gun control laws were voted down. Everything is going to come back later.

So, as always, stay vigilant.

Jay is a pro free speech business owner based in Austin, Texas. Having lived through several natural disasters and more than a few man-made ones (hello 2008), he believes that resilience and self-sufficiency are essential in this increasingly unpredictable world. That’s why he started a business! Jay writes over at Minuteman Review.



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