Credit President Trump with taking some mostly sensible first steps in the gun-safety proposals unveiled Monday. But the package falls short of the “comprehensive” program he has promised.
The most notable absence was Trump’s failure to support raising the age for certain long-gun purchases from 18 to 21. (It’s already 21 for buying a handgun.)
The president had said he favored such a step ever since the Parkland school massacre: Indeed, he even chided Republican lawmakers during a televised White House meeting for being “afraid of the NRA.”
Yet now Trump has tweeted that the administration is “watching court cases” before making any decision — and complains that there’s “not much political support (to put it mildly)” for such a step.
But that’s nothing new: Trump himself, in first calling for raising the age, noted that this was “not a popular thing to say, in terms of the NRA, but I’m saying it anyway.”
That’s exactly why he needs to use the bully pulpit of the presidency to fight for this — even though Republican leaders in Congress want to avoid any such vote.
Deferring the decision to a blue-ribbon commission headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — just one day after he complained that all such panels do is “talk, talk, talk” — strikes us as a cop-out.