Trump on disarming citizens: 'Take the guns first, go through due process second'

In response to the recent school shooting in Florida, President Trump, acting like a banana republic dictator, says he wants to take away firearms from "dangerous" citizens without due process.

Trump said he would prefer to move quickly to seize guns from people who could pose a danger.

"A lot of times, by the time you go to court, it takes so long to go to court to get the due process procedures," Trump said.  "Take the guns first, go through due process second."

While I'm sure due process is an inconvenience to President Trump, it is part of our Constitution.  So is the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms.  President Trump or anyone else in the government cannot take away a person's firearm without due process.  President Trump's statement on this shows that either he is ignorant of constitutional protections or he simply doesn't care about them.

Trump has said he wants to disarm citizens who are mentally ill.  But how does one define "mentally ill"?  Does every person who has ever gone a psychiatrist, or taken medication for depression or anxiety, qualify as a danger to others?  If so, that will involve the disarming of millions of Americans, 99.99% of whom, from observable past history, have never posed a threat to anyone.  Without due process, it will be easy to disarm large portions of the population.

For that reason, allowing the government to confiscate weapons and forcing citizens to sue in court to get them back would set a dangerous precedent.

The president has repeatedly cast the NRA as being the villain in all this:

Sitting with a group of Democrats and Republicans, including some who are backed by the NRA, Trump made what sounded like an extraordinary break with the powerful gun-rights organization.  He accused lawmakers of being so "petrified" by the NRA that they have not been willing to take even small steps on gun control.

"They have great power over you people," Trump said.  "They have less power over me."

But it wasn't the NRA that ignored repeated warnings about the Florida shooter.  It was the FBI and the Broward County Sheriff's Office that were derelict in their duties.  If the FBI and police had been doing their jobs and acting on the repeated tips in this case, we can be 100% certain that this massacre would never have happened.

But instead of directing his ire at negligent law enforcement, Trump chooses to cast the NRA, which represents millions of law-abiding gun owners, as the enemy.  In other words, Trump has cast many of you reading this who are NRA members as the enemy.

Trump also wants to disarm people under the age of 21.

Trump told lawmakers he "would give very serious thought" to supporting a proposal to lift the age requirement on the purchase of such firearms to 21 years old, even if it went against the wishes of the NRA.

Again, Trump shows his ignorance.  Most mass killings are not committed by people under 21 years of age.  To deprive 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds of their rights to have arms to defend themselves is probably unconstitutional.  After being labeled "Afraid of the NRA" by Trump, Senator Pat Toomey said:

Toomey responded by defending the view that adults over 18 should be able to own rifles: "My reservation about it, frankly, is that the vast majority of 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds in Pennsylvania who have a rifle or a shotgun – they're not a threat to anyone.  They're law-abiding citizens.  They have that because they want to use it for hunting or target shooting.  And to deny them their Second Amendment right is not going to make anyone safer."

President Trump also says he is issuing an executive order to outlaw bump stocks, which can be used to turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones.  There is a policy argument that can be made for outlawing bump stocks, although bump stocks seem to be relatively easy to make at home.  The problem is that outlawing bump stocks requires legislation.  Trump is acting like Obama, creating laws out of thin air to suit himself.

And then Trump cuddled up to Dianne "Frankenfeinstein," as Mark Levin calls her, instructing her to draft a bill banning "assault weapons":

President Trump asked Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to add her "assault weapons" ban to the overarching school safety bill during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday.

Trump again shows his ignorance.  What is an "assault weapon"?  Just about all rifles sold to the public are semi-automatic; many use different kinds of rounds, including the AR-15.  Trump has bought into the liberal-speak of "assault rifles" when it's generally not even clear what the term means.

President Trump's ignorance of gun rights and the Second Amendment is disappointing but not at all surprising.  In a situation where the repeated failures of law enforcement, and the failure of schools to have effective defensive measures, was the cause of the latest massacre, Trump decides instead to blame the NRA and law-abiding citizens.  He goes farther than Obama ever did, calling for the confiscation of guns without due process and violating the Constitution.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at