The words of Rahm Emanuel ring in my ears: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association smoothed over a hiccup in their alliance Sunday, agreeing that the government’s terrorist watch lists are unreliable and should not be used to revoke Second Amendment rights, a position also being taken by liberal-leaning civil liberties groups not usually allied with the NRA or Mr. Trump.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee and the NRA synchronized their views as the U.S. Senate prepared to vote on Democrat-backed legislation that would do just that. The bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California would ban firearm sales to people on a terrorist watch list or no-fly list. The bill is one of four gun control measures going before the Senate on Monday in response to the terrorist attack last week in Orlando.
All four measures — two Republican and two Democratic — are expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to advance. But the Orlando bloodshed and fresh calls for more gun control laws from President Obama promised to keep the issue at the forefront in Washington and on the campaign trail.
“There is not a difference between what Mr. Trump is saying and what the NRA’s position is. That’s a media-created diversion there,” NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“The FBI should investigate every single person who’s on a terrorist watch list if they try to buy a gun. That’s what they’re doing now,” he said. “If there’s a reason to believe in probable cause that they’re engaged in terrorist activity, they ought to not only be prevented from getting a firearm; they ought to be arrested.”