Former Trump Supporter, An Army Vet, Says It’s Time To ‘Defund The NRA’
A former ardent supporter of President Donald Trump who now supports Democratic candidates running for president against him in 2020 wrote an op-ed, published on Thursday, about the need for gun reforms.
“When is the right time to talk about gun control? Is there a right time? What can we do to prevent mass shootings, and what can we do to shed light on racism, mental illness and propaganda?” David Weissman, a podcaster and social media user with tens of thousands of followers, wrote in The Times of Israel in a blog post this week. “These are questions that I am asking myself since I left the Republican Party with a new outlook on real-life issues.”
Weissman, an army veteran who lives in Florida, has attempted to make amends for many of his past views as a Republican supporter of Trump, Newsweek reported. He wrote a letter this past Saturday to former President Barack Obama, for instance, apologizing for his crude words and criticisms he made when he was in office. In June, Weissman also tweeted that he felt like he was an idiot for backing Trump in 2016 to become the nation’s 45th president.
His regret over supporting Trump has turned into outright direct criticism of him today. On Wednesday, the day before his op-ed was published, Weissman tweeted out his support for the people of El Paso, who witnessed a mass shooting over the weekend that saw 22 individuals perish. He wrote that he stands with El Paso, but does “not stand with the President who ignites hate,” referring to Trump.
Ex-Trump supporter says "we need to defund" NRA and "can't allow" conservative pundits to "control" gun laws https://t.co/OTLbY2h3Zs
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) August 8, 2019
Several have alleged Trump’s vitriolic rhetoric helped inspire the El Paso shooter. The alleged manifesto of the killer said he was motivated by “the Hispanic invasion” of Texas, and also referenced “send them back” in his screed, The Intercept reported. The first of those quoted remarks echoed comments made by Trump during at least one of his campaign rallies, while the second remark referred to chants made at a Trump event that the president did not attempt to stop.
Weissman derided the right in his op-ed for being dishonest about many issues in the gun debate, including on the right to own weapons itself. He explained that he believes there are “just some people in our country who shouldn’t own firearms” at all.
“We also need to be honest with our selves that there’s absolutely no reason that a civilian should own Military-style assault rifles,” he added.
Weissman also blasted conservatives on social media for being “almost ecstatic” to learn of a Dayton, Ohio, gunman’s political leanings (the shooting in that city took place just hours after the El Paso shooting). The two incidents (El Paso and Dayton) don’t deserve to be compared to in a political sense, he argued.
“The shooter of El Paso had a manifesto of Trump-supporting rhetoric, and it was clear that Mexican people were his target,” Weissman wrote. “When you see the facts of the shooter from Dayton, it was more of a personal situation with clear signs of mental illness.”
And on the National Rifle Association, Weissman was critical as well.
“I believe we need to defund the National Rifle Association. They have been influential with their blood money influencing Republican Politicians from making the right laws to keep their people safe,” he said.