The National Rifle Association (NRA) endorsed Donald Trump for President last Friday May 20, 2016. This was a blood endorsement. The endorsement comes during the same time that George Zimmerman was auctioning the gun he used in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was acquitted of murder largely on the defense of a law that has been shuttled around the country by the NRA. The law is called “Stand Your Ground.” This law enabled Zimmerman to mount a defense claiming that Trayvon was the aggressor and, therefore, Zimmerman had a right and a duty to defend himself by using deadly force against a teenager who was walking home armed with nothing more than a bag of candy and a plastic bottle of tea.
Accompanying the NRA endorsement was a long, rambling, and toxic speech that Trump delivered to a gathering of the NRA in Louisville, Kentucky. As usual the speech was filled with rhetorical overkill that had little to do with facts or truth. This brings to mind a quote I recently heard in the hit television series “Empire.” The quote was uttered by Lucius Lion’s attorney, “Thirsty.” Thirsty stated that he became a lawyer because he came to realized that the establishment of fact or truth was not as important as what you can “get people to believe.” On this note, the Republicans, led by Donald Trump, are leading their followers into a “Never-never land.” In his speech, Trump stated that Hillary Clinton would destroy the Second Amendment by taking it out of the Constitution. The Constitution has an elaborate amendment process of which the President can only make suggestions to Congress and the States. Moreover, the Second Amendment is a part of the sacred Bill of Rights. Honestly think. Do you believe that a President would suggest repealing the Second Amendment? The only Amendment to the Constitution to have been repealed is the Eighteenth Amendment which instituted alcohol prohibition. The Eighteenth Amendment was ratified in 1919. It was repealed in 1933 by the Twenty-first Amendment. Trump also stated that Hillary Clinton would take guns away from American citizens. This statement is also not true. Clinton is seeking only to regulate the sale and distribution of guns. American regulates the sales and distribution of all types of products in the United States. Why does the NRA and Trump promote the idea that guns are off limits to government regulation. (See my article in this publication “If Only Jesus Had Had a Gun.) The last time I looked, the First Amendment protection of free speech is also a part of the Constitution. Yet, speech is regulated. Religion is allowed to flourish, but it also has limits. We call it the “separation of church and state.”
While accepting the endorsement of the NRA Trump had to the obligatory shots at President Obama. Trump asserted that the President wants to take guns away from Americans while at the same time freeing violent drug dealers and illegal immigrants from prison. Clearly, Trumps baseless rhetoric is intended to play upon the fears and prejudices of a certain component of the American electorate. Trump claims that Americans, particularly in urban settings, need their guns in order to protect themselves from violent criminals. Such rhetoric reminds me of the Willie Horton ad that George H.W. Bush used when running against Michael Dukakis in 1988. Trump is using all the coded language that translates into Whites needing to defend themselves from Black criminals. Based on Trump’s thesis, he referred Hillary Clinton as “heartless Hillary” for wanting to take guns away from Americans in these urban settings who need guns to defend themselves.
The true heartless people here are Trump and the NRA. They have turned a deaf ear to the cries of countless mothers who have lost their sons to gun violence. Those same ears are deaf to the cries of countless fathers who have lost their daughters to gun violence. On the same day that Trump was promoting the proliferation of guns in America, there was a shooting outside the White House. Here in Buffalo there was a shooting inside of the Anchor Bar which is Buffalo’s most celebrated restaurant. If you like Buffalo wings, you have heard of the Anchor Bar. Aside from the shooting outside the White House, the Anchor Bar shooting was probably replicated a thousand times across America on the exact same day that the NRA endorsed Donald Trump for President. The only response you get from these two entities concerning gun violence is their call for more guns and more bloodshed. In my response to such blind ideological idiocy is a quote from Public Enemy’s Chuck D. “I don’t want my mama on the street wearing armor.”
Anthony Neal earned his Ph.D. in political science at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Dr. Neal is an associate professor at State University College, Buffalo. The author of numerous book reviews and journal articles, he has had his work published in the Western Journal of Black Studies, the Journal of Black Studies, and Black Issues in Higher Education. In 2014 Dr. Neal received the university’s Faculty Appreciation Award, was named Instructor of the Year by the university’s United Student Government, and Professor of the Year by the Student Political Society in the Department of Political Science. In 2015, he published The American Political Narrative which is a succinct yet poignant narrative about the development of the American political system and what is needed to maintain it. In 2016, he will publish a book of poetry entitled “Love Agnostic | from 9/11 to Charleston”