Gage Skidmore / Flickr mitch mcconnell...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump was able to speak with some conviction when he called the Las Vegas shooting an “act of pure evil” because it absolutely is the worst thing that could have happened to him and his administration. The gun control issue is a land mine, the most divisive in American politics currently, second only to health care. Trump’s former advisers are wasting no time predicting catastrophe if Trump even enters into serious discourse on the topic.

When asked if Trump’s base would react worse to gun control than immigration amnesty, Bannon answered “as hard as it is to believe actually worse.” Bannon also said it was “Impossible: will be the end of everything,” in terms of the notion that Trump could even attempt to pivot left on gun control.

Roger Stone said, “base would go insane and he knows it.” Axios:

  • The NRA relationship: “POTUS (correctly) believes he doesn’t owe anything to most traditional Republican outside groups, because they didn’t lift a finger to help him in the election,” said a Trump administration source. “NRA is very much the exception. They stayed loyal through it all and kept spending.” We’re told Trump feels a personal connection to the NRA and is close to the NRA’s top lobbyist, Chris Cox.
  • People he talks to haven’t heard old views surfacing: “In the past Donald was very pro-gun control on automatic rifles, but I doubt he’s going to make an issue out of it this time and pick a fight with the NRA,” said a New York-based conservative operative who has advised Trump. “Perhaps down the road.”
  • His base might leave him: As Steve Bannon and other conservatives close to Trump argue, gun owners are even more passionate about their issue than immigration hardliners. And, as a senior GOP aide pointed out, DACA has at least has a chance of passage. “Most agree something needs to be done,” the source said. “Can’t say the same for gun control — at least in Congress.”

The gun silencer bill was about to hit the House floor, but its momentum has been blunted, according to Politico. Still, as Axios puts it, the silencer issue isn’t as radioactive as gun ownership and the second amendment, so maybe Trump could “take a slap” from the NRA by advocating that silencer purchasing requirements not be relaxed. So while Democratic Senator Richard Blumental says, “If not now, when?” Donald Trump says he’ll get around to the issue, “as time goes by.”

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