The Trump budget for 2019 reduces the budget for the national gun background check system by 16%. This news comes on the heels of one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history. Republicans will never take the issue of gun control seriously, and that’s why we have to vote them out this year. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


With the recent school shooting that took place in Parkland in South Florida, a lot of talk about gun control has rightfully popped up in the media. But one thing that’s actually remained relatively silent is the fact that Donald Trump’s 2019 federal budget actually cuts 16% of the funding for the National Gun Background Check system.

So at a time when the United States, as of right this second, has had 18 school shootings alone in 2018, Donald Trump, even before the Parkland shooting happened, when we already had more than a dozen school shootings, when he was writing this budget, said, “You know what? Let’s cut back on gun background checks in the United States because why the hell not?” That’s essentially the thinking that’s going on in the White House.

Just like last February, when Donald Trump said, “Hey, you know how Obama made it harder for mentally ill people to get their hands on guns? Yeah, let’s do away with that. But whenever there’s a mass shooting, I’m still going to blame it on mentally ill getting their hands on guns, because I’m just that kind of guy.” Donald Trump is not taking this issue seriously. Republicans as a whole are not taking this issue seriously. Even when one of their own, Steve Scalise, was shot and ended up in the hospital, they didn’t take this issue seriously.

There is nothing that will convince Republicans that gun control needs to happen. In spite of the fact that a majority of Americans are in favor of stricter background checks, in spite of the fact that a majority of NRA members support stronger background checks, Republicans still not only refuse to act, but the actions that they’ve taken with regards to firearms in the United States are sending us backwards.

Donald Trump is making it easier for people to get their hands on guns, and we’re seeing the repercussions of that every single day. We can’t go a week in the United States without a mass shooting. Hell, we can’t go three days in this country without a mass shooting. It is a uniquely American problem. Another uniquely American problem is our Republican party. They are the ones who are holding up any meaningful action on this issue.

Until they get out of office, until we stop the blood money coming from the NRA, which was over 54 million dollars in 2016, until that stops, the Republicans are going to continue to have blood on their hands. We’re going to continue to see budgets that cut background checks, legislation that lets the mentally ill run through a gun shop as if it’s supermarket sweep. All because Republicans want to keep their donors happy.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced