Trump’s Slippery Slope
Now that presidential candidates are finalized, it’s time we know what they’re thinking.
By Amy Garcia, Johns Hopkins University
As gun-related atrocities continue to ravage the country, the battle over firearms regulation has become vicious.
The risk of shootings on school grounds has facilitated the passage of campus carry laws, which are now allowed, to varying degrees, in 19 states, including Texas, West Virginia and Washington. The concept continues to gain momentum, despite the 420 colleges and universities in 42 states that have joined “The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus” movement, as well as arguments from members of the schools themselves, such as the Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents David Gregory, who recently argued that in heated debate environments, such as college classrooms, guns would be disastrous.
Since policymakers have little regard for what students or faculty think about campus carry though, the only recourse for change must come through the political system itself. Unfortunately, one of the current presidential candidates has managed to campaign for nearly a year without offering any definitive points of policy, including his thoughts on campus carry.
Since the party Donald Trump represents has fought tooth and nail to uphold the Second Amendment, it stands to reason that he himself would support campus carry. Instead, he has fluctuated on the issue. On May 22, Trump said that “in some cases teachers should be allowed to have guns,” before then adding that he was “not advocating guns in classrooms.”
A petition in March advocated for the open carry of firearms at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The laws in Ohio prohibit open carry in certain areas of the state, including the arena in which the convention would be held. When asked to support the petition, Trump responded that he had not read it, and that he wanted to “study the fine print.”
Between 2010 and 2012, Trump changed his opinions on gun regulations. Though originally supporting a longer waiting period for purchases and a ban on assault weapons, he later told the audience at the Conservative Political Action Congress that he did not think that there should be any limit to gun sales in America.
Trump is so barely Republican that him opposing campus carry is not beyond the realm of possibility; indeed, he is notorious for perplexing contradictions. In 1999, he was “very pro-choice,” but was quoted in 2016 as saying “there has to be some sort of punishment” if women are to have an abortion.
On January 8, 2017, Trump told his audience in Vermont, “There’s no more gun-free zones. You know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That’s bait. My first day, it gets signed.”
Trump has promised several other steps on his very first day in office: to overturn all of Obama’s executive decisions, close the borders to all illegal immigrants, get rid of Obamacare, and provide care for the veterans and the military. What a busy day he has planned.