Leaked talking points regarding how to discuss the mass shooting in Las Vegas, distributed by the White House to its allies, shows the Trump administration has no intention of discussing gun reform — even after all the facts are in.
Since the horrific shooting on Sunday evening, which left 59 people dead and hundreds more wounded, the White House has been saying that it would be “premature” and disrespectful to politicize the tragedy by debating gun control.
“There’s a time and a place for a political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “There will be certainly time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place we’re in at the moment.”
BREAKING: NBC News has obtained White House talking points distributed to Trump administration allies following Las Vegas shooting: pic.twitter.com/3HjLCfjvEN
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) October 3, 2017
But the talking points, obtained by NBC, show that the White House will stick to the same tired, pro-gun arguments and flawed examples in its attempt to explain why gun control doesn’t work.
“The Second Amendment has endured for more than two centuries for a reason,” the talking points state. “It is a key constitutional right that is meant to protect people’s freedoms, and the President understands that.”
“When it comes to gun control, let’s be clear: new laws won’t stop a mad man committed to harming innocent people. They will curtail the freedoms of law abiding citizens. We’ve seen terrorist attacks committed with knives, by people driving cars into crowds and hijacking airplanes.”
The points go on to describe how Chicago’s 4,300 shootings last year — despite its strict gun laws — were an example of why gun-control arguments were ineffective. It fails to mention the fact that more than half the guns seized by police in Chicago came from outside the state, especially from Indiana and Mississippi, both of which have extremely lax guns laws.
Trump has previously said he supported a ban on assault weapons, but his cozy relationship with the NRA means that he’s unlikely to be sponsoring any gun legislation anytime soon.
“POTUS (correctly) believes he doesn’t owe anything to do most traditional Republican outside groups, because they didn’t lift a finger to help in during the election,” a Trump administration source told Axios. “[The] NRA is very much the exception. They stayed loyal through it all and kept spending.”
Former White House adviser Steve Bannon went a step further, saying it would be “the end of everything” if Trump supported Democratic legislation on gun control — and that it would be worse than if he were to support a bill on immigration amnesty.