After years of toying with the idea of tougher gun controls, President Trump is campaigning for reelection as a champion of the Second Amendment amid new evidence that the stance could help deliver key swing states.
The president defended the right to bear arms in his State of the Union address last week and in recent tweets that took aim at his potential Democratic opponents. It is part of a strategy that positions him as the champion of those who feel overlooked by metropolitan elites.
Surveys conducted by the pro-Trump super PAC, America First Action, found it a winning issue in the target swing states of North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan, and Iowa. Respondents were asked whether they would be more or less likely to support a Democratic presidential candidate who “supports much stronger gun control laws and, in some cases, gun confiscation, even for guns owned by citizens with no criminal record.”
In each case, a majority, from 59% to 63% in the different states, said they would be less likely. Kelly Sadler, the America First Action communications director, said: “There’s no stronger supporter of the Second Amendment than President Donald Trump. The Democrats running for president want to strip the American public of this right. “This is a key policy difference we will be highlighting on the campaign trail, especially in swing states,” Sadler said.
Trump demonstrated how he will frame the issue on Monday night at a rally in New Hampshire. He set the right to bear arms alongside rights to free speech, religious freedom, and privacy. He eployed it in a similar way during the State of the Union. “Just as we believe in the First Amendment, we also believe in another constitutional right that is under siege all across our country,” he said.
“So long as I am president, I will always protect your Second Amendment right.” It marks a departure from Trump’s frequent flirtation with tighter laws on gun ownership, such as in the wake of the 2018 Parkland shooting and again last year after mass killings in Ohio and Texas. [full article]