When New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s cabinet moved to ban assault weapons just three days after fifty human beings were butchered by white supremacist terrorist thugs at mosques in Christchurch, she was performing a duty of care to the people of New Zealand. On the 26th of March this year, one year, five months and twenty six days after white supremacist terrorist thug Steven Paddock murdered fifty-eight human beings in Las Vegas, bump stocks, a low tech device Paddock used to convert his semi-automatic assault rifle into an automatic assault rifle, will become illegal. That is the Trump administration’s idea of a duty of care to the Constitution of the United States, and to hell with the American people.
When it comes to safeguarding the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, no one quite guards it so jealously, paranoically and anal-retentively as Trump and his pirate ship of NRA sycophants. Instead of a long overdue ban on assault rifles, Americans were instead treated to a supercilious tip, a minor concession, a loathsome, patronizing conciliation, along with the ubiquitous “thoughts and prayers.” And why not, his defenders might argue, for is it not the sworn duty of the president to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”?
Not so fast. Do not lecture me about the “president’s” feigned concern for the Second Amendment while he simultaneously and insouciantly treads on the First. On Sunday, Trump, responding to a rerun Saturday Night Live parody of himself, tweeted in part: “Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this?”
You may murder five dozen people in Las Vegas, or seventeen students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but don’t you dare say a word to hurt poor little Donald Trump’s feelings. Dead children innocently getting an education and dead vacationers enjoying an outing to Vegas are one thing, but poor, little Donald Trump’s feelings are a whole new order of magnitude and must, even at the low, low cost of the reckless abandonment of your First Amendment right to free speech, be protected.
Nothing sickens me more than a whining, spoiled weakling with wealth and power and all the advantages a human being can be afforded – and still, nevertheless, he whines. I, for one, am sick unto death of this bad haircut of a “man.”
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.