According to Taylor, then secretary of education Betsy DeVos initially supported Venable, before beginning to “waver” under pressure from the White House, and eventually fully caving once Trump “personally got involved to insist the NRA have a say in the report.” Venable would ultimately quit before the report was released, and not surprisingly, the whole thing was devoid of any meaningful recommendations. When it came to age minimums, it read: “Existing research does not demonstrate that laws imposing a minimum age for firearms purchases have a measurable impact on reducing homicides, suicides, or unintentional deaths.” As Taylor notes, “This is the opposite of what experts were recommending internally. Ironically, the school shooting that prompted the report in the first place was perpetrated by a young man under the age of twenty-one, who had obtained the firearm legally.”
Meanwhile, Trump made it extremely clear that he basically did not give a f–k about the gun violence issue. Here’s Taylor again:
Asked for comment about the NRA’s reported receipt of “veto power,” a spokesman for Trump told Vanity Fair, “Miles Taylor is a loser and a lying sack of shit. His book either belongs in the discount bin of the fiction section or should be repurposed as toilet paper.”
In Blowback, Taylor warns that, should Trump win a second term, “the next MAGA administration won’t welcome more ‘Josh Venables’ into their ranks but will instead enlist” what former administration official Steve Bannon has called “a rising generation of assassins,” who will have to prove they are Trump-y enough in order to get in the door, and will not push back on anything. When it comes to the matter of guns, Taylor told Vanity Fair, “Several ex-officials from the Trump era expect NRA lobbyists will effectively be in charge of school safety in a Trump 2.0 administration.” Which is not at all hard to believe given Trump’s remarks at the group’s annual meeting in April.
“I was proud to be the most progun, pro–Second Amendment president you’ve ever had in the White House,” Trump told the audience. Mass shootings, he declared, are “not a gun problem.”