Donald Trump owns as many guns as he has favorite Bible verses

Donald Trump had a rough interview with Hugh Hewitt yesterday, channeling his innermost Sarah Palin to claim that not only did he not need to have answers to Hewitt’s questions, but that Hewitt was a jerk for asking them.

For instance, while we already know  that Trump has a secret plan to fight the Islamic State, did you know that he is actually better at foreign policy for intentionally not thinking about the implications of Chinese military aggression?

HH: Okay, looking to Asia, if China were to either accidentally or intentionally sink a Filipino or Japanese ship, what would Commander-In-Chief Donald Trump do in response?

DT: I wouldn’t want to tell you, because frankly, they have to, you know, somebody wrote a very good story about me recently, and they said there’s a certain unpredictable, and it was actually another businessman, said there’s a certain unpredictability about Trump that’s great, and it’s what made him a lot of money and a lot of success. You don’t want to put, and you don’t want to let people know what you’re going to do with respect to certain things that happen. You don’t want the other side to know. I don’t want to give you an answer to that. If I win, and I’m leading in every single poll, if I win, I don’t want people to know exactly what I’m going to be doing.

And did you know that bothering to ask about the differences between Hamas and Hezbollah is a “gotcha” question, something Trump doesn’t need to know until after he takes office?

HH: all right, last question, I want to go back to the beginning, because I really do disagree with you on the gotcha question thing, Donald Trump. At the debate, I may bring up Nasrallah being with Hezbollah, and al-Julani being with al-Nusra, and al-Masri being with Hamas. Do you think if I ask people to talk about those three things, and the differences, that that’s a gotcha question?

DT: Yes, I do. I totally do. I think it’s ridiculous.

Of course, we weren’t expecting much from Trump on foreign policy that went beyond “I will be so good at the military, your head will spin” (an actual quote from Trump in the interview).

But one would think that Trump would have some straighter answers about basic questions about his vast collection of personal possessions, right?


Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

HH: Very good. Now some political questions. Do you own a gun?

DT: I do.

HH: What kind?

DT: I’d rather not say.

HH: Okay.

DT: I have a license to carry. I have a license, you know, I have a concealed license, I have a license to carry concealed.

HH: Didn’t know that. How do you define assault weapon? This is important to our 2nd Amendment friends out there.

DT: Well, yeah, I think that you know, the word assault weapon, and a lot of people, there’s been a lot of controversy, but I wouldn’t give you exact, I am in favor, I have two sons that are members in very high standing at the NRA.

There are a few things worth highlighting here. First, if you’re okay with telling someone you own a gun, but feel like disclosing the kind of gun is too personal, you don’t own a gun. It just isn’t something a gun owner says. Just like how saying that discussing your favorite Bible verses is too personal isn’t something a true believer says. For their owners, guns are a gospel that needs to be spread: I have never met a gun owner who didn’t take the opportunity to explain why they owned their guns and how they used them — be they for personal protection, hunting, the coming revolution or demolishing their TV when Caitlyn Jenner comes on the screen.

Second, given the restrictions on concealed carry permits in New York City, Donald Trump almost certainly doesn’t have one. It’s not impossible — permits are usually only issued to retired law enforcement officers, armed guards and celebrities — but that’s the thing; he’d need to have pulled a string or two to get one.

And if you have a concealed carry permit, you presumably got it so you could carry guns that are small enough to be concealed. So why tense up when asked what kind of gun you own?

Third, that response on the definition of an assault weapon didn’t come close to being a complete thought, let alone an actual answer. If you really have no idea what an assault weapon is, why not take the opportunity to reject the premise and say that the term “assault weapon” was made up by Jim and Sarah Brady to scare voters into thinking guns are bad? That’s what the Republican base wants to hear, anyway.

If Jeb Bush wants to hit Donald Trump for being a fake Republican, he doesn’t need to dig up lines from the past; he needs to start making a bigger deal out of Trump’s transparent avoidance of discussing his presumably nonexistent conservative bona fides today.

Donald Trump is trolling the Republican Party and the Republican base. Viewed from over here on the left, the act has the beauty of a nighttime fire, the disgust of that fire actually being inside a dumpster and the gnawing fear of that fire being a bit close to you for comfort. But the Republican field is in the middle of Trump’s giant dumpster fire of performance art right now, and thus far they haven’t made any serious moves to put it out.

Here’s the full audio from the Hewitt interview:

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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