BREAKING NEWS WATCH LIVE: Inauguration of Joe Biden Full Story

Gun owners embrace Trump's message in Dallas

President Donald Trump's mess...

Posted: May 5, 2018 4:08 PM
Updated: May 5, 2018 4:08 PM

President Donald Trump's message Friday at the National Rifle Association convention was clear and welcomed.

Trump came equipped with reassurances and a commitment to protecting gun owners' Second Amendment rights.

"Thanks to your activism and dedication, you have an administration fighting to protect your Second Amendment and we will protect your Second Amendment," he said to a pumped-up crowd in a Dallas arena. "Your Second Amendment rights are under siege, but they will never ever be under siege as long as I am your President."

And at a time when gun control legislation is at the forefront of the national conversation, gun owners at the annual meeting said they are relieved to have Trump in the White House.

"Our gun rights are in danger, but I do think that Trump is on our side," Jan Ehmann, a Fort Worth, Texas, resident clad in an NRA hat, said as she waited in line for the speech with her husband, Pat.

Following the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in February that killed 17 people, the White House heard the calls for change. Trump held an emotional listening session with those affected by gun violence, many of whom implored him to act. And in a separate meeting with lawmakers, Trump outlined some specifics: potentially expanding background checks, taking guns away from the mentally ill and raising the minimum age for purchase. He eventually backed off some of those policies, offering proposals for school safety funding and improvements in reporting to the background check system, measures supported by the NRA.

If Trump's initial reaction to Parkland was cause for concern for any of the members, they weren't surprised -- that's just part of his process.

"I think some of that is reacting to the pressure of the moment. He gets a lot of input from the people around him. And that's one of the things I like about him -- he listens to a lot of ideas. And I think that came into play and things are settling down," said Pat Ehmann, one of the many attendees sporting a signature red Make America Great Again hat.

Tonya Duerr, who traveled to the convention with her family from Knoxville, Tennessee, was "concerned, but hopeful" about Trump's rhetoric following the shooting.

"He's willing to listen to other people, but ultimately, he tends to go back to, 'This is where I stand.' It was good for him to have a meeting with lots of different people and listen to their points," she said.

Duerr, an intensive care unit nurse, thinks Trump can play an important role because, she says, the organization has been unfairly vilified in the wake of mass shootings.

"I'm excited for his support of the Second Amendment, and his staunch support of the NRA, even through all this craziness that's been going on and the vilification of the NRA that's been going on," she said.

"Suddenly, we (NRA members) are the problem with America. ... The Parkland shooting was a horrible tragedy -- they were all horrible tragedies. How is the NRA responsible for a tragedy? The NRA has never sold one firearm. The only thing they promote is safety in gun handling, responsible gun ownership," Duerr said.

For Robbie Malone, a Dallas-based attorney, Trump's presidency signals a new era of respect for gun owners.

"I think he's doing a better job of making us feel secure in our Second Amendment rights," she said as volunteers handed out pocket copies of the Constitution, pins and stickers in the convention hall.

Malone continued, "With President Obama, it was constantly that we were doing something wrong and that somehow being law-abiding citizens meant that we should be punished for the actions of other bad people. And that wasn't OK with me. ... Don't blame us in Texas, as valid Second Amendment rights folks, for the problems of some lunatic over in Florida who shouldn't have had a gun in the first place."

In the arena, the crowd, drenched in the glow of red lighting, applauded the President throughout his remarks even as he called attention to the modest measures he had signed into law: legislation to improve compliance and reporting on background checks and a measure that allocated more money for school safety.

Trump said that in conversations with his "political people," they had advised that going to this year's convention would be controversial and "may not be popular."

"You know what I said? Bye, bye, gotta get on the plane," he said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 133851

Reported Deaths: 1803
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28467459
Washington18734171
Marion16247239
Clackamas11698138
Lane8353109
Jackson693085
Umatilla679368
Deschutes499936
Yamhill319045
Malheur313552
Linn311646
Polk245540
Klamath242838
Josephine174333
Benton170514
Jefferson170525
Douglas168743
Union111416
Wasco108123
Columbia104918
Lincoln99617
Hood River95421
Coos93815
Morrow93810
Clatsop6865
Crook62110
Baker5685
Tillamook3652
Curry3245
Lake2305
Grant2131
Harney1754
Wallowa963
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00
Eugene
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 31°
Corvallis
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 28°
Roseburg
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 31°
North Bend
Partly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 35°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events