Trump finally just took action on guns in response to Florida massacre, and it’s disgraceful

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After several weeks of contradictory statements and unconvincing bravado, the President finally unveiled his plans to combat the epidemic of gun violence that kills tens of thousands of Americans every year – but unsurprisingly, his proposals fall far flat of the substantial reforms to our recklessly loose gun laws that our nation needs to see.

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Taking to Twitter this morning, the President boasted of how he was moving forward both with expanding background checks and planning to arm teachers, bringing more guns into our classrooms while failing to do anything that might involve reducing the number of guns circulating among an extraordinarily irresponsible civilian population.

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Add your name to millions demanding Congress take action on the President’s crimes. IMPEACH TRUMP & PENCE!

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The Washington Post reports that the White House’s formal proposals involve several policies that would focus largely on “mental health and school safety initiatives” but does not include “substantial changes to gun laws.”

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Instead of doing anything himself, the President is once again passing the buck, this time to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who will chair a “Federal Commission on School Safety” to explore ways to make our schools safer.

Considering that DeVos once argued that we needed guns in schools in order to fend off bear attacks, we can safely assume that the safety commission is not going to produce any conclusions that might actually address the issue.

Ironically, the president himself publicly ridiculed the idea of using commissions to solve public problems on Saturday night during a wild campaign rally in Pennsylvania, saying that “Do you think the drug dealers who kill thousands of people during their lifetime, do you think they care who’s on a blue-ribbon committee?”

His statements make it glaringly obvious that this “commission” is nothing more than a cheap PR stunt to appease gun rights activists.

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Unsurprisingly, Democrats were not pleased with the White House’s proposals. “The White House has taken tiny baby steps designed not to upset the NRA, when the gun violence epidemic in this country demands that giant steps be taken. Democrats in the Senate will push to go further including passing universal background checks, actual federal legislation on protection orders, and a debate on banning assault weapons” declared Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The president was right when he said that there was not much political support for gun reform. The majority of the Republican Party and a handful of Democrats are all beholden to the National Rifle Association for political support and donation money, including President Trump himself, who received a record-breaking $21 million from the lobbyists of death.

But even across the aisle, gun reform doesn’t seem to be a priority for the establishment; the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was revealed to have been warning their candidates to not “call for gun reform” in the wake of the horrifying Las Vegas Massacre, in which 59 people were killed and over 500 wounded.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently announced that neither gun reform nor immigration would be a priority in the upcoming budget negotiations, prompting an outcry of frustration from progressive activists who want the Democrats to force the issue. But it appears, for now, the Democrats would rather bide their time and not rock the boat in fear of creating backlash that could hurt them in November.

While at least the expansion of background checks is something tangible that might prevent some guns from falling into the wrong hands, it’s clear that until we reclaim the Houses of Congress and the White House from those beholden to the gun lobby, the daily toll of bodies will continue to grow unabated.

Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.

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