In 2018, President Donald Trump addressed the NRA’s annual conference for the second time as a sitting president. He was only the second sitting president to do so. In 1983, then President Ronald Reagan became the first.
Both Reagan and Trump had at one time supported a ban on military-style assault weapons, a completely rational policy that the gun lobby views as a gun grab. Reagan came out for the reform ten years after he addressed the NRA; Trump endorsed it before he entered national politics. Reagan delivered his remarks with trademark passion and conviction; Trump rattled off a list of platitudes before launching into a recitation of his political conquests.
But both men delivered a similar message 35 years apart, and both distorted history.