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Will gun control go the way of tariffs in a 1984-style GOP shift?



Will gun control go the way of tariffs in a 1984-style GOP shift

“Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”

Ask a modern day Trump-supporting Republican if they support tariffs, particularly against China. The vast majority have sided with the President on this one. Some, such as me, have done so with the understanding that we’re in a trade war and if we’re going to go this route, we need to go all the way. No half-measures. But a good number of Republicans are either unaware of the GOP’s history with tariffs or have done mental gymnastics to claim it’s actually more fiscally conservative than free trade.

It isn’t. Fiscal conservatives in America have favored free trade over tariffs and other measures for decades. This is why Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued the only official praise he’s ever given President Trump following the release of the first round of tariffs on China. It was his plan, along with Senator Bernie Sanders’s, that was deemed too radical by President Obama but found a home with President Trump.

I’m not trying to stir up an argument over trade. Like I said, I’m all in favor of supporting the trade war with China because winning that war is the fastest way for America to get back to the free trade market capitalism days of our more conservative past. Free trade combined with tax cuts will send our economy to the stratosphere. But for now I’ll adopt and support the President’s plan on trade. I won’t accept Republicans trying to tell me it’s conservative or that the GOP has always supported tariffs. Over 70% opposed tariffs before candidate-Trump hit the scene.

But Republicans aren’t the only ones with a case of misrepresenting their recent history. Nearly 70% of Democrats supported tariffs in 2015. Now that President Trump is using them, an overwhelming majority of Democrats oppose them. Go figure.

There’s another attempted shift in Republican orthodoxy. Now that many Republican lawmakers are embracing gun control measures like universal background checks, red flag gun laws, and “assault weapons” bans, we’re seeing an effort being made to say the GOP has always supported “common sense” gun laws. It’s coming from the lawmakers themselves. It’s coming from a handful of conservative pundits. It’s even coming from the conservative base on social media; the most die-hard Trump supporters are preaching gun control as if it has always been their stance. It has not.

I’ve always said I’ll praise the President when he does right and oppose him when he does wrong. Since becoming President, I’ve found I support him much more often than I oppose him. And in the case of tariffs, I complained and complained until it became clear it was going to happen, at which point I adopted the stance of going all-out for the sake of a free trade future. But I won’t be doing the same with gun control. It’s wrong on every level, from the Constitution to effectiveness to 2020 election strategy, yet the push is on and it seems like many conservatives are jumping on board.

Here’s the thing. We don’t have to abandon our defense of the 2nd Amendment for the sake of showing support for the President. The opposite is true. This is an opportunity to call on Republican lawmakers and the President himself to come to their collective senses and stop this terrible push against guns. As I noted before, there are solutions to the mass-shooting-problem that do not require gun control. Let’s look at those before force-feeding the placebo of universal background checks or the poison of red flag gun laws and assault weapons bans.

Lest we forget, the President and most Republican lawmakers are flexible. We saw the President bend back in the right direction when he was feeling out his “softening” on illegal immigration in August, 2016. It was before the election and he was starting to talk about pathways to citizenship, pulling back on deportations, and other anti-sovereignty measures as a result of some campaign adviser telling him it was a good idea. It wasn’t a good idea. Conservatives told him as much. After about a week, he backed down on the softening and reengaged as a border security hawk.

We can change their minds before they do damage to the 2nd Amendment. If we don’t, we’re going to see gun control being adopted by more and more Republican lawmakers until “common sense” overrules our rights as Americans.

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