Donald Trump has been sufficiently shamed by the students of Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School that he’s pretending he might support ever so slightly stronger gun laws. But let’s be clear: he’s pretending.
According to a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders,
The President spoke to Senator Cornyn on Friday about the bi-partisan bill he and Sen. Murphy introduced to improve Federal Compliance with Criminal Background check Legislation. While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system.
True story: Just last week, days before the Parkland school massacre, Trump released a budget cutting funding for the background check system. But now “discussions are ongoing” and “revisions are being considered” and Trump is “supportive of efforts.” There’s a full wriggling sack of weasel words for you.
Every time there’s a sufficiently horrific mass shooting, Republicans talk for a few days about some small change to gun laws—bump stocks after Las Vegas, Cornyn’s background check legislation after the Texas church shooting that might have been averted had the shooter’s domestic violence record been in the background check system as it should have been—and then they do nothing. The Florida students will be a powerful moral voice pushing for things to be different this time, but that doesn’t mean Donald Trump means one damn word of what he and his mouthpieces are saying about changing the laws or their own behavior.