The massacre in Parkland, Florida, remains topic No. 1 on the opinion pages, with much attention being paid to Friday's cover of the New York Post, which is, as Maggie Haberman of the New York Times tweeted, Trump's "favorite paper." The large headline: "Mr. President, Please Act." The accompanying editorial calls for "common-sense legislation," including raising the legal age to buy firearms to 21. Samples of the conversation:
- Trump's thinking: Jonathan Swan of Axios reports that the president privately said, "We have to do something" after the shooting. But what that means beyond meetings with police, governors, etc., remains unclear. "There's no way—especially not in an election year—that Trump is going to alienate the Republican base by backflipping on the Second Amendment," writes Swan. "He instinctively knows his voters would never forgive him."
- Defending the NRA: After actress Alyssa Milano condemned the NRA, author Dan Bongino called her "unbelievably ignorant and uninformed" in his own tweet. "It’s highly unlikely that you’ve taken the time to even attempt to understand why law-abiding American firearm owners are either law-abiding, or firearm owners." Adds a post at Twitchy: "Perhaps Ms. Milano would care to answer how many of the horrific crimes she’s blamed on the NRA were actually perpetrated by members of the NRA. Not likely."
- Defeating the NRA: An editorial at the New York Times argues that the NRA "can be beat," and the upcoming midterms present the perfect opportunity. The "gun lobby’s stranglehold on our elected officials does not need to continue, if candidates stand up to the lobby and voters demand that they commit themselves to the sorts of changes that a vast majority of Americans want."
- Gun policies won't help: A killer determined to kill will find guns, no matter what new laws are in place, writes David French at the National Review. "But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do," he writes. "Looking at the deadliest mass shootings since Columbine, we see that the warning signs were there, time and again. People could have made a difference."
- The students: The Washington Post looks at a "loud, new voice" emerging in favor of gun control: the Florida students who survived and can't understand why adults can't fix the problem. "Blood is being spilled on the floors of American classrooms, and that is not acceptable," says 17-year-old David Hogg.
- One solution: The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal asserts that gun-control laws won't work and aren't politically feasible anyway, because "gun proponents believe, not without reason, that the left’s ultimate goal is confiscation." So what to do? "The one solution that works is shooting back at shooters," declares the headline.
- But why the AR-15s? Joe Scarborough at MSNBC says that it's not just media folks calling for change, per Axios. "It's my friends who have taken their children hunting, whose fathers took them hunting when they were 5 years old, that are saying: 'I don't need an AR-15 to go hunting. And I don't need an AR-15 to protect my family.'"
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