Trump Backs Down from Background Checks

Real Clear Politics

Real Clear Politics


We ran the numbers:

There are 648 news articles covering this topic. 12% (76) are left leaning, 29% (187) center, 59% (385) right leaning.

After saying that he would support strengthening background checks for gun purchases after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump has reversed his position. After meeting with gun rights advocates, including National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre, Trump asserted that current background check legislation is already strong. He also threatened to veto a background check bill if it made it past the House and the Senate.

A left-leaning New York Times article argues that Trump’s reversal on background check legislation shows that he is catering to his voter base. They write, “Mr. Trump’s turnaround is the latest example of the president ultimately capitulating to the views of his populist white and working-class political base, and it came after N.R.A. officials flooded the White House, Congress and governors’ offices around the country with phone calls since the back-to-back mass shootings on Aug. 3 and 4.” In general, left-leaning coverage notes that Trump’s position changed only after speaking with the NRA. Articles also tend to emphasize the flaws in Trump’s argument that mental health problems are more to blame for mass shootings than lax gun laws.

A centrist article from the AP emphasizes the several times that the president has historically waffled in his views on gun control, most notably after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. In his remarks on Tuesday, the article reports, Trump noted that many of his supporters are strong believers in the Second Amendment, indicating that he does not want to alienate his base before the 2020 presidential election.

Like left and center articles, right-leaning coverage from the Daily Caller notes that Trump may have been swayed as a result of his discussions with LaPierre. They also write, “The president’s flip could assuage the fears of conservative members of Congress and the administration who feared Trump was poised to make a deal with the Democrats at the expense of his base.” Right-leaning articles tend to emphasize Trump’s assertion that background checks for guns are already strong.