Photo Shoot: White House Reportedly Refused To Release Photo Of Trump Signing Bill Relaxing Restrictions On Gun Purchases

34383318535_69ea4441de_zThere is an interesting fight brewing this week after CBS News reported that the White House is refusing to release a photo of President Donald Trump signing a bill overturning an Obama-era regulation restricting certain people from buying guns.  I was previously critical of both the Bush and Obama Administrations in withholding photos for purposes political purposes.  These photos are the property of the American people and should not be withheld from the media because the White House does not like the imagery.  There is a valid journalistic interest in the photo, which should have been released to CBS.

CBS reported that it asked the White House to release a photo of Trump signing H. J. Res. 40, legislation shortly after Trump took office.  However, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reportedly responded that “We don’t plan to release the picture at this time.” Why? This is a legitimate journalistic request for the release of a publicly owned photo.

My criticism is not based on any judgment of the nexus drawn between the tragic shooting this week and the legislation. I am perfectly willing to accept a valid argument that there is no real connection. However, that is not the point.  The White House is fully capable of objecting to the nexus without withholding the photo.

The bill rolled back on an Obama regulation that barred an estimated 75,000 Americans who receive disability benefits from buying a gun. It also required the Social Security Administration to report people receiving disability benefits. Finally, it required a mental health condition to the FBI’s background check system.

Trump acknowledged yesterday that mental illness was a factor in the shooting. That still does not mean that this law would have prevented this teen from acquiring an AR-15. However, it is ridiculous to deny the legitimate inquiry into the connection as well as legitimate news story in exploring Trump’s pro-gun rights stance in his presidency.

While there is obviously discretion in what photos to release, this was not a shot in the private quarters of the White House or some casual moment. It was the signing of a federal law.

Finally, this is another example of a misstep by a White House staff that seems to continually lurch from controversy to controversy.  The denial only served to generate more coverage and leave the appearance that the White House was trying to hide its record.  Once again, I am baffled by these continuing self-inflicted wounds.

The White House should release the photo.

103 thoughts on “Photo Shoot: White House Reportedly Refused To Release Photo Of Trump Signing Bill Relaxing Restrictions On Gun Purchases”

  1. There was no need not to have the photo op with the reason for the bill clearly justified on constitutional grounds.

    The Obama regulation was a liberty deprivation of a small group of people simply because they receive disability payments from Social Security and get assistance to manage their benefits due to mental impairments. Because there was nothing in the regulation about those people having to be first diagnosed with behavior that makes weapons dangerous in their hands, constitutional concerns are very much in play.

    Some of us may think others impaired and unable to make difficult decisions for themselves, but until you demonstrate that one is in fact a danger to us, their right to defend themselves with weapons of your choice is and ought to be safeguarded.

    1. Off topic. Try to follow along. the issue was merely the release of the signing of the reversal. Nothing more.

      this is to “I get so confused sometimes when Pravda Faux News issues talking points” ronnie

  2. There is a valid journalistic interest in the photo, which should have been released to CBS.

    What journalistic interest would that be? Perhaps the “journalists” at CBS have become so dependent on photos that they no longer have the talent to write a story that is interesting. Oh the horror for CBS to have to run a story about President Trump signing a “pro-2nd amendment” bill without a photo. Maybe they believe their audience cannot read.

    1. Did you tee up this link for the purpose of giving squeeky an opportunity to make a divisive comment?
      Your boss should dock your pay. You guys are just phoning it in.

  3. “Finally, this is another example of a misstep by a White House staff that seems to continually lurch from controversy to controversy. ”

    What is the misstep? The press will do what they always do and that is hype up a distorted one-sided picture. The picture is the removal of a regulation, not a law. Obama used his pen and Trump used his eraser.

    These one-sided pictures do not help our legislators or the public figure out good solutions. They only add to the heat and the distortion of good public policy.

    Perhaps what we will now see is an argument about the picture not being given to the press rather than the distorted crazy arguments on gun control that can be left for a time when cooler heads prevail.

    1. Fake News. Blanket statements that a picture is “one-sided” are nonsense wrapped in tom-foolery. You are allowed your own opinion, but not your own facts.

      this is to “I wish my hero wasn’t such an idiot” allan

      1. The dirtbag can’t read English he needs the picture Trump won’t release. Go cry in your dung heap.

  4. Guns have not changed in quite a while but people sure have changed in the last couple of decades.

  5. The photo of the desk portion does not look it’s in proportion to the real McCoy.

  6. NRA advocates oppose consideration of mental illness history and background checks for private sales of guns because so many of them recognize that they have mental illness issues and many have been hospitalized or incarcerated for alcohol or drug abuse, domestic abuse, or other mental illness.

  7. One could argue that the second half of the second amendment carries the same importance as the right to free speech, religion, etc. After all the freedom of speech still pertains to humans with voices and ears, interacting socially and governmentally; nothing has changed there.

    And of course, freedom to arm one’s self to the teeth still pertains to living out in the wild, amongst understandably upset indigenous people who have had their lands and lifestyles stolen from them, amongst wild animals, in a new and vulnerable country next to another land ruled by those with which one just fought a war, in a land with next to no policing, etc, etc, etc.

    The only difference is that instead of a musket that takes the better part of a minute to load, we now have access to next to unlimited firepower.

    The logic used by proponents of unregulated gun ownership stems from the sanctity of the second amendment. Logically that should only apply to muskets, the arms of the time. Only an idiot would fail to see that the conditions have changed, therefore the second amendment is partially contradicted and in need of amendment itself.

    Those that advocate fewer regulations and/or no more regulations, are not responsible for the insanity that causes these travesties. They are, however, responsible for the extreme numbers of deaths. An insane person getting his or her hands on a pistol in a society where a pistol is allowed for protection, in a society where that registered, licensed, and educated gun owner slipped through the cracks would kill some. The insane that kill under this oligarchically driven condition kill many, many more. The blood of the many is on the hands of the gun enthusiast that refuses to see ‘the right to bear arms’ taken in the context of this day and time.

    Those who argue that massive firepower is necessary for personal defense are the very people that are insane and should not be allowed, even a musket.

      1. What it comes down to is a ‘board room’ decision. To placate the minority, who have unlimited funding and own the careers of ‘our’ representatives, the oligarchs decide how many lives equate to the profits available. This is not the same as allowing people to drive at 70mph which costs more highway deaths than if they drove at 60mph, or allowing people to text while driving which costs more deaths on the highways than alcohol, or having lax building requirements that expresses itself during times of fire, earthquake, hurricane. The limitations placed on society to afford it to function at a level of efficiency which ultimately comes down to a ‘board room’ decision can be argued in either direction logically. We can’t have a transportation system moving at a ‘really’ safe 20mph nor should we allow people to travel at 100mph risking the lives of others. We can’t make construction costs so high that the average person could not afford a house, yet we must learn from the past. Technology can and is being forced to find a way to stop idiots from risking theirs lives and the lives of others while communicating when driving. Just as with alcohol fueled deaths on the highway being reduced through public concern, society is adapting.

        The gun lobby stands apart from this societal evolution. Somehow, and it has been graphically chronicled to have happened over ONE night May 21 1977, the NRA changed from an organization of educating Americans on guns and gun safety to a corporate front for the oligarchical gun industry. The stupidity started then and there in Cincinnati. Today, the puppet representatives like John McCain and others who receive millions to keep them getting elected and who would be wiped out by the very teat at which they suck, have equated owning unrestricted firepower by just about any idiot that wants, with what it means to be an American. The founding fathers would call these people idiots and weep. This has gone well beyond any sort of logical or just argument. The NRA signs the death warrants for thousands of Americans each year. How many high school students were just murdered by the NRA in Florida? None is an answer that only comes from a complete idiot.

        1. issac – nobody was murdered by the NRA in FL. A young man, who may have been mentally ill, killed 17 students. It appears he got the gun(s) legally. There is also a story that there may be a 2nd shooter. We will have to see how that plays out. Early reports are always suspect. We still do not have the full story from Las Vegas.

          The FBI interviewed the young man more than once and let him go. They did not suggest he be treated. There is also some concern about the medication he was taking which can cause hostility. I do not know if that is true. Maybe the blame here should be the FBI and Big Pharma?

        2. “How many high school students were just murdered by the NRA in Florida?”

          None. The NRA had nothing to do with this kid. Only an idiot would ignore all the other factors that created this evil person.

          Liberal logic never makes sense. Kill 17: we need to remove other peoples rights. Kill a million babies: we need to fight for more access to kill the unborn.

          I don’t have the stats in front of me, but I’m willing to bet that planned parenthood (directly) has caused more deaths than the NRA (indirectly).

          1. The NRA, a shill working for the gun industry, supported by the rabid and mindless unlimited gun ownership proponents, are responsible, together with their puppet ‘people’s representatives’ for the difference between a nutcase going on a killing spree with a pistol or other reasonable weapon and the high killing rate weapons available to just about anyone. The NRA, a shill working for the gun industry, supported by the rabid and mindless unlimited gun ownership proponents, are responsible for the difference between those killed in a sane society where gun proliferation is held in check, gun purchases are responsibly scrutinized, attention is levied on just what responsible gun ownership means, and the free for all we have today.

            The NRA and the gun industry did not kill those students. The gun did not kill those students. The nut job killed those students. The NRA and the gun industry killed the difference between those that would have died in a sane society and those that died. If, to you, that represents none, then you head may be so far up where the sun don’t shine that you will never see the light of reason and common sense. It’s a board room decision signed in blood.

            1. “The NRA, a shill working for the gun industry”

              What a stupid statement. The NRA supports the second amendment. The gun industry sells guns whether or not the people behind the sales support the second amendment.

                1. What’s your point about the NRA?

                  Linda, you just name drop. I’ll drop a name, your buddy Stalin.

          2. You are allowed your own opinion–no matter how unstable the mind which produced it–but not your own facts. I understand that you yearn for the days when women were the property of their nearest male relative, but that ship has sailed. Women now control their own bodies, including their reproductive system and birth control.

            this is to “I like em pregnant, barefoot, and preferably fairly stupid” jimmie

    1. There exists NO second half To the second amendment.
      It is one sentence long. Period!
      And it starts with the concept of a ”well regilated militia”. No mention of an individual being a substitute for a ”well regulated Militia” so wherein is your argument??

      1. My argument is that the rabid gun enthusiasts select the last half of the sentence and ignore the first half, ignore the context in which the amendment was written, and link it sacredly to that which represents America. The driving force behind this unique shame is money. The gun industry, using the NRA as a front, forces the politicians, through fear of losing their next election, into going against the vast majority of Americans who want stricter and more thorough gun regulations. This is partially due to our living in an oligarchically run country where money, concentrated in a very few hands, controls the lives of all. This is also due to the shills who stand up for this perverse interpretation of the second amendment.

        We will never reduce the carnage to nil. However, just as with other acts of social responsibility have illustrated, more careful attention to, stricter regulation of, and more expansive application of common sense will reduce the carnage. Those that disagree have the blood of the difference on their hands.

        1. So, a Second Amendment even in the 21st century? Yes. There are permanent things and non-negotiable truths. The Second Amendment did not create the right to keep and bear arms; it was created by it. Much has changed since 1776, including, of course, the efficacy of small arms. But some things have not changed, including the nature of human beings and the nature of their relations with one another. Neither technological progress nor political regress obviates any of that. That’s what “unalienable” means.

        2. “The driving force behind this unique shame is money.”

          Issac, though you call gun enthusiasts rabid you should recognize how rabid you are and how it is based on your near total lack of knowledge, both historical and economic. You have things backward. People want guns and therefore have created a market for gun production just like people created a market for personal computer production.

          The US is almost unique in its history of gun ownership along with its constitution. The citizens of our European friends, for the most part, were not permitted to own arms. That was left to the army that supported the monarchy who gave power to the people and also took it away. Americans always had guns and in our Constitution gave the government power and kept its guns.

          1. Yes, and when we have an electorate that has become even more militarized than law enforcement, we may need to strike a better balance.

            1. TBob, Not sure which way to take your comment, but what I do note today is that the left permits violence from others that they perceive to be part of the left even when that violence kills their own.

              I suggest that those on the left so concerned with gun violence look at the cities where such violence prevails such as Chicago and Baltimore. Then look at the leftist ideology of the leadersip of those governments. For the most part guns don’t kill. It is the leftists and their allies that kill with guns.

              1. What-about-ism alert, and, by the way, false.

                this is to “Pravda Faux News can tell me what to think, but not how to spell or use proper punctuation” allan

                1. Behind every gun that kills stands a Mark.

                  It doesn’t take brains to pull a trigger. You qualify.

                  1. Hate the game, not the player. Pro tip: next time ponder silence rather than incoherence.

                    This is to “discombobulated”allan

                    1. Incoherence? Mark, you like to shoot with your mouth while saying nothing. As I said, it doesn’t take brains to pull a trigger, You qualify.

          2. What issac and his gun control ilk haven’t figured out yet is how to present their argument without tacitly supporting slavery. They do this by denying natural rights or more importantly, by declaring the government has the power to give and take any rights they want from the citizens. This would also explain their panic-attack when losing elections. After all, the government (they created) powerful enough to give you all the rights they believe you deserve, is also powerful enough to take them away…because you don’t deserve them.

        3. This is partially due to our living in an oligarchically run country where money, concentrated in a very few hands, controls the lives of all.

          Please identify that time in the history of ever when the Oligarchs (minority) demanded the people (majority) to be armed to the gills.

          I’ll wait.

            1. I don’t believe his is born out of simple ignorance. Even when presented with evidence that would provide any reasoning human being a more enlightened point of view, he remains unchanged. I believe his ignorance is born of a worldview that denies the existence of natural rights and the form of government that that worldview supports.

              1. Olly, you are right. Issac doesn’t believe in natural rights and is looking towards some sort of autocrat to satisfy his needs.

    2. And of course, freedom to arm one’s self to the teeth still pertains to living out in the wild, amongst understandably upset indigenous people who have had their lands and lifestyles stolen from them, amongst wild animals, in a new and vulnerable country next to another land ruled by those with which one just fought a war, in a land with next to no policing, etc, etc, etc.

      Oh so you have been to Baltimore! Or was it Detroit? Or Chicongo??? Or was it some other ratchet environment like Memphis, Florida, New Orleans??? And, you forgot to mention that the indigenous people there also have guns!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

  8. Turley said, ” These photos are the property of the American people and should not be withheld from the media because the White House does not like the imagery. There is a valid journalistic interest in the photo, which should have been released to CBS.”

    Why doesn’t CBS already have its own images of the signing ceremony at issue? Are they too miserly to maintain a video archive? Or did CBS camera crews not attend that particular signing ceremony? And why can’t CBS just pay a fee for somebody else’s stock footage? Is CBS on a shoestring budget? What going on? What’s going on?

    1. O! Bother. There’s only enough space in the room for just so many camera crews. So they all have to share the same video feed. That’s different. Never mind. Hey! Wait a second. If they’re all sharing the same video feed, then why doesn’t CBS already have stock footage available in its archive?

  9. as with most of the constitution one cannot cherry pick. There is another section that gives the US Congress the responsibility of military regulations. But the latest court rulings in Brenner vs. Washington DC and discussed right hear Not only upheld the rights of each state to have a state militia etc. but the rights of individual citizens to keep an bear arms for self and family protection. Previously my thought was yes you may have a weapon but it automatically makes iyou subject to some training (well regulated) and being called for duty in the state militia that is no longer the case and correct me if I got the cite wrong and their are several parts to that story which all took place in Washington DC.

    Found it and here is the start point so you won’t be talking from an out of date standpoint.

    District of Columbia v. Heller – Wikipedia

    District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), is a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held, in a 5–4 decision, that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the …
    Missing: brenner

    Benson I thought you had at least a passing knowledge of the Constitution… ???

    1. My knowledge is barely passing, but I can read it. Does seem to indicate membership in a well-regulated militia…

      The supremes reversed a previous opinion of the court on this matter. The majority did so in the direction of license, not just individual liberty. The majority decision is wrong.

      1. “The supremes reversed a previous opinion of the court on this matter.”

        No, there was no such previous decision. The only previous Second Amendment decision by the Supreme Court relating to the substance of the amendment was Miller, which had nothing to do with “militia membership.”

        1. Not what I remember learning in the previous century. The point was that the only reason for the second clause was the first.

  10. Well when get some facts instead of ‘reportedlys’ and ‘allegations’ and ‘ unknown sources’ wake me up.

    1. Yes. The same way wackos can go on TV shows and prattle on about Russian collusion. Or, the same way wackos can teach college classes where they call for white genocide. etc. The same way wackos can drive cars, or buy machetes or buy baseball bats.

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

        1. Yep. She — with her bunker and AK-47, at home — and her little circle of “friends,” here.

            1. Nope, little Girl Reporter: I don’t want or need a bunker — or an AK-47 — or any more money. (You’re careless in your assumptions, as is the responding jacka$$, Allan.)

          1. But here, these outcast wackjobs can’t disturb real people in real life; I promise you that keyboard warriors don’t say anything to real people even remotely resembling the garbage that they spew here. Plus, here their ridiculous antics can provide amusement and entertainment.

  11. JT, tell us. . .did you fight and protest for the release of the photos and shots which chronicled and captured Obama smoking, in and around, the White House, for eight years? A deadly and disgusting addiction that he couldn’t manage to overcome, for decades? Aren’t those photos which belong to the American people, as well? Photos which chronicle and document our former President’s persistent and unrelenting addiction, to a toxic, deadly and harmful habit, which is responsible–either directly or indirectly–for the deaths of countless individuals around the world? What merit do those have in history? What importance? What value? Please, spare me the faux distinction between capturing a sitting President, signing something into law, and capturing a sitting President, during an unguarded moment, engaging in a toxic, putrid and deadly habit. Why were the American people shielded from viewing those shots, especially from a First Family which famously touted fitness and health? We were all privy to the endless shots of the vegetable garden, not to mention, nauseating clips of Moochie pretending to exercise, wearing ill-fitting yoga pants, but, alas, no shots of Obama getting his nicotine fix. No shots of his addiction. His weakness. The proverbial monkey on his back. I suppose that you can’t demand the release of such photos, since so much deference and leniency was granted with regard to King Obama. . .something akin to the manner in which the media shielded FDR from being viewed as weak and crippled by refraining from capturing him looking feeble and disabled. A display of respect and deference, accorded a leader. A desire to refrain from showing the President in a negative light. Funny how that concept does not apply to Trump, who is mocked and ridiculed by the press, no matter what he does, or doesn’t, do. Please, JT, demand to see the photos capturing Obama, puffing away, on death sticks–which kill untold numbers, across the globe, each year–and maybe, just maybe, you can start moaning about the absence of photos depicting Trump signing something into law.

      1. Yes. The pivot. You called it correctly. Thank you. There has, indeed, been a pivot. A major, massive and palpable pivot. A vast departure from the way in which Obama and his entire family were, just a short time ago, treated, protected, coddled and handled, by the press, and the manner in which Trump and his entire family are depicted by the press. A pivot? More like, a vast departure. Obama, his wife and his two daughters were always–and, I do mean, always–shown in the best light. Photos were released to bolster that effort. . .Moochie, photographed, as she planted vegetable gardens and exercised with fat, inner-city kids. . .and Moochie, not photographed, shoving French fries down her gullet or eating the grease and calorie-laden menus that the White House, under her direction, served on a daily basis. Yes. A pivot. Perception is, in fact, reality. . .and the press was all too willing and complicit to show the Obamas–throughout the years–in the very best of light. The daughters were always depicted and shot as angelic, intelligent and dutiful beings. . .never as the pot-smoking, zoned-out teenagers that they truly were. Compare and contrast with the manner in which Trump and his brood are portrayed. . .they can do nothing right. Trump is photographed, walking up the steps, to board an airplane, and his hair–in disarray–is photographed. The photo is widely disseminated, where talk show hosts laugh and ridicule the President’s bald spot. Tell me. . .when did anything, even remotely similar, happen to Obama? When was his appearance condemned and ridiculed, on a daily basis? When were Moochie’s shoes, mocked and ridiculed, only to be the topic of news stories? When was Obama photographed in a less than flattering manner, where said photo was widely disseminated and ridiculed, on various talk shows? When were Obama’s daughters portrayed as anything less than Harvard material, by the press. . .while Trump’s son, for quite some time, was mocked and ridiculed for being, what the press perceived as, autistic? Damn straight, there’s been a pivot. Good of you to notice, Einstein.

        1. So true. And now I can’t help but add a few paragraphs from the AP article I posted in another comment below describing how the Obama image machine worked:

          “A photo of the Obamas hugging that was released on Election Day 2012 has become the world’s most popular tweet on Twitter. A dressed-up version of Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, packed with charts and graphs, is huge on YouTube. A playful picture of the president cavorting with a 3-year-old in a Spiderman costume is a favorite online.

          It’s all courtesy of the Obama image machine, serving up a stream of words, images and videos that invariably cast the president as commanding, compassionate and on the ball. In this world, Obama’s family is always photogenic, first dog Bo is always well-behaved and the vegetables in the South Lawn kitchen garden always seem succulent.

          You’ll have to look elsewhere for bloopers, bobbles or contrary points of view.”

    1. What-about-ism alert. Really, that’s all you got? What happened, Pravda Faux News wasn’t showing at the droolers’ convention?

      this is to “none of my buds at the klavern hall could stand having a black president” bammie

  12. “Capitalizing on the possibilities of the digital age, the Obama White House is generating its own content like no president before, and refining its media strategies in the second term in hopes of telling a more compelling story than in the first.

    At the same time, it is limiting press access in ways that past administrations wouldn’t have dared, and the president is answering to the public in more controlled settings than his predecessors. It’s raising new questions about what’s lost when the White House tries to make an end run around the media, functioning, in effect, as its own news agency.”

  13. The Trump White House should learn to control the images and narrative more like Obama White House was able to get away with. (*sarcasm)

    “Nearly 40 news organizations have accused the Obama administration of improperly controlling images of the president by limiting the access granted to independent photojournalists while allowing free rein by the White House’s own photographers.

    In a letter and a meeting last week, the news outlets and journalism groups complained to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about the practice, saying the White House has prevented an unvarnished view of government business, while encouraging officially sanctioned competition for private news organizations.

    Limitations on photographers’ access to President Obama create “a troubling precedent with a direct and adverse impact on the public’s ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing,” charged the letter from the 38 organizations, including the White House Correspondents Assn. and the Tribune Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times.”

  14. The Obama WH controlled all their photos, why shouldn’t Trump? Should we get all the bad shots as well? Or just the official shot? Maybe we should get all the copies of all the pictures taken in the Obama WH, the press was not allowed to take any.

    CBS does not have a RIGHT to the photograph, just to the news.

    1. Pravda Faux News has issued new talking points which the denizens of bedlam have been shilling–no matter how ridiculous.

  15. 2nd Amendment –

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Buy, keep and bear arms.

    Retain the option to join the militia of your choice.

    1. To keep and bear arms: as a member of a well-regulated militia.

      The Amendment connects the two (it’s one sentence).

      How many gun owners (myself included) are Not in a militia?

      1. Dave137, I agree. And here’s another thing: There’s nothing in The Second Amendment guaranteeing the right of the people to manufacture arms. Meanwhile, the federal government of The United States of America already claims a monopoly on the manufacture of a wide variety of military armaments. So . . . We the people will just have to get our personal nuclear weapons from Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation; I do suppose. What’s that pesky deep-state FBI/DOJ going to do about that? Make us prove our sanity to their satisfaction as a precondition for the sale?

      2. You rewrote the Constitution without any authority.

        Just imagine, you are allowed to vote.

        “An independent clause is a group of words that can stand alone as a sentence. It has both a subject and a verb and forms a complete thought. Independent clauses make clear communication possible, whether we’re writing or speaking.”


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