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Trump Treads Water on Gun Control

The Primary: The NRA tweeted that Wayne LaPierre, its president, spoke to President Trump and discussed strategies for ending gun violence. Soon after, reports arise indicating Trump is backing down from his support of background checks.

Who? What? Why?: Following the phone call, Trump told reporters that the U.S. already has strong background checks, despite previously saying the U.S. should have a better system. He shifted his focus towards mental illness, which many believe reflects the N.R.A.’s influence on the president as the argument for better mental illness awareness instead of stricter gun control is a frequent talking point of the organization.

The Baseline: The next day, the White House announces it will be releasing a package of gun control measures, although they forgo specifics on what exactly they’ll be regulating. Many believe that the flip-flopping is indicative of him feeling out response to protect his 2020 chances of reelection. While he needs support from suburban voters who might support gun control, he also has to appeal to his base’s pro- gun stance so as not to alienate them.

From the Left: The Washington Post Editorial Board thinks it only makes sense that a president who “lacks courage” can’t decide to pass “common sense” gun laws. Despite recognizing the necessity of even conservative gun control measures, Trump, they argue, is merely waiting on someone else in his party to make a decision for him,

From the Right: Kaylee McGhee of the Washington Examiner believes that now is not the time to be weak on gun legislation since public support is at an all time high. Instead of “waffling,” Trump, she argues, needs to step up to the plate and pass laws that don’t infringe on citizens constitutional rights, but at least do something to try and prevent future shootings from occurring.

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