Your Republican front runner, on why he's changed his mind and now believes assault weapons should be legal:
Donald Trump, on the telephone with CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo, who keeps trying to interrupt Trump but Trump just keeps ignoring him and plowing forward with his rant: —the bad guys are gonna have 'em, Chris! You can say, 'Okay, we're not gonna have 'em,' and you know who's not gonna have the assault weapons? The people—the law-abiding people won't have 'em, but the bad guys won't even look at it. It's like the whole thing with the magazines. You can't put more than seven bullets in a magazine. Now they'll have: You can't put more than two bullets in a magazine. You know, the law-abiding people will listen, and they'll do what they have to do, but the bad guys—the bad guys, you think they're gonna say, 'Oh gee! The law says I'm gonna only put seven bullets in a magazine!'I mean.
Cuomo: Well, just because people are gonna break the law doesn't mean that you don't have a law. But you're saying that you're okay with assault weapons as well?
Trump: Well, you have to be, because the bad guys are gonna have 'em anyway! And the answer is yes! And you know a lotta that stuff is used for recreational purposes. They use [sic] for recreational purposes. But you're not gonna have problems with people that are law-abiding people. But what happens when the bad guys have the assault weapons and you don't?!
Everything about this is unadulterated horseshit, but nothing is quite so unapologetically foolish as this false dichotomy between "law-abiding people" and "the bad guys." (And don't even get me started on adult human beings talking about "bad guys.") Anyone who legally purchases an assault weapon is a "law-abiding person" until they're not.
That's why every goddamn mass shooting is followed by (quickly fading) news reports about how the guns were all legally purchased.
And, yes, there are crimes in this country committed by people using illegally obtained assault weapons, and none of them (that I recall) are mass shootings, and none of them have been stopped by people (outside law enforcement) who own legally acquired weapons.
The world just doesn't work this way. People who have guns in active shooter situations don't pull them, because they are afraid to be mistaken by law enforcement for the shooter. And people who have guns and try to intervene as heroes sometimes shoot in the head the people they're trying to save.
This idea that more guns will stop gun violence, and that we must keep legal all manner of weaponry because it's the only way to stop the "bad guys" who have illegal weapons (and why must someone with an illegal assault weapon be stopped only with another assault weapon, anyway?), is a fantasy. A ridiculous, dangerous fantasy.
Every single time Donald Trump says anything, I just hear Jerry Orbach as Lenny Briscoe uttering my favorite Law & Order line of all time: "The last time he had an original idea he left it swirling in the bowl."
The glimmering gilded bowl.