U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- In the State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, President Trump vowed to protect Second Amendment rights.
President Trump gave an epic State of The Union (SOTU) speech on 4 February 2020. He touched on numerous themes, highlighted multiple successes of the Trump Administration, and recognized numerous exceptional individuals. President Trump honored radio talk show icon Rush Limbaugh with the highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The speech started near 9 p.m. Eastern time. About 69 minutes into the speech, President Trump spoke of freedom of religion, and his administration’s commitment to protecting First Amendment rights.
Then he addressed the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. From the SOTU, 2020:
“Just as we believe in the First Amendment, we believe in another Constitutional right that is under siege all across our country.
So long as I am president, I will always protect your Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”
Presidents’ words during SOTU speeches are always analyzed in multiple ways. They are primarily political speeches, for political purposes. The content shows, at a minimum, what the President believes is worth emphasizing for political purposes.
There has never been as clear a divide between the two main political parties, on support for the Second Amendment, as exists today.
Democrats, if they believe the Constitution has any meaningful constraints on government, have variously stated the Second Amendment is outdated, only applies to militia members (approved of by the federal government), does not apply to most firearms, does not apply outside the home (except possibly for regulated hunting), and can be restricted to any extent, as long as the word “safety” is applied.
President Trump, and what is becoming the Trumpian Republican party, took care to place the Second Amendment on the same level as the First Amendment in the SOTU.
President Trump stated the Second Amendment is “under siege all across our country.”
President Trump said, “I will always protect your Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”
Those two statements imply serious action to protect the Second Amendment from the attacks against it, which are occurring all over the United States.
Second Amendment supporters can easily identify those attacks, from Virginia, and Maryland to Nevada, Washington state, Oregon and California.
During the first two years of the Trump Administration, members of his own party stopped any legislation to restore Second Amendment rights from passing through Congress. Consider the effects of former Senator John McCain and former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
During the third year of the Trump Administration, and almost certainly for the fourth year, any efforts to restore Second Amendment rights with legislation, have been and will be, stymied by Democrat control of the House of Representatives.
It will be up to Second Amendment supporters to push for substantive support for Second Amendment restoration as part of the 2020 campaign season.
Second Amendment supporters need to push for promises to pass national reciprocity, which should include reciprocity for Constitutional Carry states.
Second Amendment supporters need to push for a promise to pass the Hearing Protection Act, and reform of the National Firearms Act to remove the idiotic inclusion of short-barrelled rifles and shotguns. They need to push for a repeal of the 1986 ban on the production of new, legal (even if highly regulated), automatic firearms.
The administration should push for passage of the Knife Owner’s Protection Act, to restore Second Amendment rights to carry arms other than firearms.
President Trump’s words about the Second Amendment are not a guarantee of action by the Trump Administration. They are an opportunity for Second Amendment supporters to demand the Administration commit to a concrete policy before 2020 election.
Those demands would set the stage for action in a second term Trump administration, with dozens of fewer Republican opponents, and Republican control of both houses of Congress.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.