President Donald Trump gave a speech at the National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday, May 4. In the rambling speech, he managed to make mention of a host of controversial issues that had little to do with gun ownership. But in regards to the right to keep and bear arms as laid out in the Constitution, Trump's NRA speech had one very confusing contradiction.
"Your Second Amendment rights are under siege," Trump said, "but they will never, ever under be under siege as long as I'm your president." He was speaking at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum in Dallas, Texas.
Here's the kicker: Trump is currently president. In fact, he's been president for 15-plus months. And he made a sweeping vow that the right to bear arms would not be infringed upon given this condition. But also, he stated that those rights are already under attack. Confused yet?
Essentially, he's made an undeliverable vow: He promised not to let something happen when that very thing has already happened. (And he, in the same breath, conceded that it had.)
Let's input this same logic into other terms. It's like your roommate saying, "So I cancelled our wifi, but I promise not to do anything ever to annoy you." (Too late, you've already ruined my life.)
In any case, logical shortcomings were, astoundingly, the least of the concerning moments to come out of Trump's speech Friday.
Starting with the simple facts of the situation, Trump was speaking to an organization that he publicly went against just weeks ago. On Feb. 22, the president called for raising the age limit on guns from 18 to 21, a move which prompted the NRA's disapproval. A few days later, Trump called for taking guns away from certain individuals, overriding due process, though he walked back his position on this following a meeting with NRA lobbyists.
CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju pointed out the change in the president's position towards the gun lobby from late February following the shooting in Parkland that took the lives on 17 people. On Feb. 28, Trump accused Sens. Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin of being "afraid of the NRA," and added, "They have great power over you people. They have less power over me. What do I need?"
That last part is it's own story itself: Trump, in fact, mocked efforts to ban weapons by saying we should have a ban on trucks. "We are going to have to outlaw immediately all vans and all trucks, which are now the new form of death," he said in his speech.
In addition, the event itself is in part a gun-free affair. In a statement, the NRA said that on Friday, during the president's appearance at the event, "firearms and firearm accessories, knives or weapons of any kind will be prohibited in the forum prior to and during his attendance." In fact, thanks to the U.S. Secret Service's security jurisdiction at the event, not even selfie sticks would be allowed in.
As for the remarks themselves, Trump left no rock unturned. "At the NRA convention, it's interesting how little President Trump is talking about the NRA — so far at least," tweeted CNN senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny. "He's spending far more time on his true favorite topic: the 2016 election."
True to form, Trump boasted about crowd size.
Trump also slipped in a thank-you to Kanye during his convention speech, as well as an endorsement for Sen. Ted Cruz.
Trump also managed to get it a gut-shot at former Secretary of State John Kerry. In his speech, the president said Kerry was "not the best negotiator we've ever seen. He never walked away from the table, except to be in that bicycle race where he fell and broke his leg." At the time, Kerry was 71 years old. (Trump is currently 71 years old.)
And, tossing out the rulebook on Stuff You Probably Shouldn't Talk About In Public Speeches, Trump mentioned the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
And by the way, Karen: If you ever do figure out what Trump's Second Amendment comment means, please let us all know.