It only took two weeks for Trump to flip flop on his support for strengthening background checks after the three devastating mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton, and Gilroy.
Trump spoke with members of the press just before heading back to the White House from his most recent vacation in Bedminster. In the discussions, he focused on bringing back “mental institutions” instead of furthering the gun control efforts:
When pressed by a reporter to discuss his personal position on background checks, Trump deflected:
“People don’t realize we have very strong background checks right no. If you go in and buy a gun, you have to sign up. there are a lot of background checks that have been approved over the years. So I’ll have to see what it is.”
At the time of his speech on August 5th, there was talk about an executive action that may have included “red flag laws,” but all that talk now seems to be over. Trump has also dashed any hopes of a new ban on assault weapons with his claim that “there is no political appetite for that at this moment.”
While he may no longer have interest in background checks or red flag laws, he does have an interest in keeping the NRA happy:
Serious discussions are taking place between House and Senate leadership on meaningful Background Checks. I have also been speaking to the NRA, and others, so that their very strong views can be fully represented and respected. Guns should not be placed in the hands of…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2019
With no help from the president forthcoming, it would appear that all hope for any type of reform lies on the shoulders of Speaker Nancy Pelosi who keeps calling on the Senate to come back from their recess and get to work:
.@RepMcGovern is proud of the work @HouseDemocrats have done to pass commonsense, bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation. However, this legislation cannot save lives until @SenateMajLdr McConnell, the self-proclaimed “grim reaper”, calls the Senate back for a vote. pic.twitter.com/wEWUciqWug
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 9, 2019
As it now stands, McConnell remains deaf to Pelosi’s pleas and refuses to reconvene sooner than planned.