It’s always hard, these days, to understand why any political organization with a clear, unbending (if ridiculous) stand on an issue would endorse Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. He’s waffled on most issues, seeming at one point to favor a pro-choice position on abortion and some measure of gun control. But the deal-maker apparently isn’t afraid to be a deal-breaker when it comes to political philosophy.
Trump breathed enough fire at the National Rifle Association convention in Louisville on Friday to gain the group’s endorsement for president. The organization that opposes virtually all meaningful gun control responds to gun-related tragedies not with helping to find ways to prevent them, but focused only on ways to prevent more gun control measures.
It is a despicable position and one not reflected in poll after poll of Americans on gun control. The University of Massachusetts in 2014 found a huge majority of Americans favored more detailed background checks and the end of loopholes that allow purchases at gun shows without background checks. But the NRA stands firm, and Trump stands with them, outrageously claiming that his likely opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wants to abolish the Second Amendment.
The NRA has intimidated many politicians over many years. Trump, who proclaims his independence because of his wealth, now shows himself to be just another candidate pandering to and taking orders from an organization that speaks for a distinct, but loud, minority.