“President” Donald Trump had a big meeting yesterday on the topic of guns and measures to address the continuing gun violence. He told reporters on the White House lawn that the meetings were productive. But then he proceeded to do as he always does when we can expect little or no real action. He said words, the best words, the most beautiful words, the words that effectively mean nothing. And he made clear who he reports to or turns to when it comes to guns and gun control measures of any kind:
A lot of progress was made I believe on the background checks and various things having to do with guns. We’re dealing with the Democrats and I think we’re dealing very well … It seems like they’d like to do something and I think that I can speak for Republicans. They’d like to do something. We’ll see what can happen. But we’re always protecting our Second Amendment. I want to make it clear: Our Second Amendment will be protected fully.
On a stage in Texas, far away from the White House, a third debate took place, with ten candidates sharing the stage. All spoke of guns and measures to help ensure safety. But Beto O’Rourke, who likely will not be much longer on the stage, but is trying his damnedest, did not mince words. He was unequivocal in his statement and after the debate he tweeted: “Hell yeah, we’re going to take your AR-15. If it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on the battlefield, we’re going to buy it back.”
Beto’s statement from the debate stage was more forceful, but the tweet captures the essence. Whether that is a feasible solution or approach is open to question. However, the two statements make it clear that this election, on guns and many other issues, is a tale of two different approaches by two people and two parties vying for the presidency.