Right Hooks

Trump's Second Amendment Stand Sounds Good, But...

It didn't exactly make a defense for Liberty or small government.

Dan Gilmore · Sep. 21, 2015
Donald Trump speaking before a gun rights rally in Albany, New York, in April 2014. Photo courtesy Nicki Kadman, YouTube

In the Second Amendment policy paper Donald Trump released Friday, the presidential candidate took a principled stand for the right to bear arms, but made a few policy proposals that didn’t exactly make a defense for Liberty or small government. “The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway,” Trump wrote. “That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving — which is a privilege, not a right — then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.” Trump is right: The Constitution doesn’t guarantee free passage through the nation’s post roads. But as Reason Magazine’s Brian Doherty writes, Trump’s idea to ramp up “Project Exile,” which imposed mandatory minimum sentencing for convicts who committed a crime with a gun, would increase the inmates in the U.S. prison system and cost billions of dollars. Trump’s policy discloses a more big-government approach to the Second Amendment, where it’s okay to buy a shotgun, but concessions must be made. As Doherty says: “It fails for hardcore Second Amendment devotees who approach it from a libertarian perspective, not a ‘common sense safety’ one.”

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