Give President Trump credit. He sat there today and listened to the parents and friends of victims of school shootings talk about their losses, the impact on their lives, and their own, individual calls for the people in charge -- him, lawmakers -- to do something.
"I'm pissed, because my daughter, I'm not going to see again," said one father whose daughter was one of the 17 slaughtered by a disturbed former student and his AR-15. His child could not be there, he said. She's in a cemetery now.
One student, whose best friend was murdered, said through tears, "I don't understand why I can go to the story and buy a weapon of war, an AR."
Trump nodded, a sincere look of concern on his face.
Then, when it was over Trump promised to "be very strong" on background checks, on the mental health aspect of mass shootings, and maybe even "take a look at the age issue," apparently meaning perhaps supporting an age limit on the purchase of assault weapons -- an idea opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA).
"We will act," he said, his voice softening.
Earlier, Trump ordered Attorney General Jeff Sessions to draft a new regulation banning bumpstock-type devices that can turn semi-automatic weapons "into machine guns."
That's a tiny step forward, but the regulatory process is exceedingly slow. It could be two years or more before even that regulation takes effect. And how many shootings will occur in the meantime.
Trump said nothing about banning assault weapons, like the AR-15. After all, that's absolutely opposed by the NRA, which was a major contributor to his campaign and to whom he pledged in his 2016, "I will come through for you."
So, Mr. President, now what? What will you really do about this? What will you say to the NRA about this?
Meanwhile, in Tallahassee, FL, Parkland students watched as lawmakers there resoundingly voted against even considering legislation to ban assault weapons. Then, on MSNBC, some Republican legislator who is running for state attorney general actually called for more guns -- to arm teachers so they could "defend" their students in the case of such an attack.
He had the typical, NRA-sanctioned response that by banning guns, even AR-15s, only the bad guys would have them (because they would buy them illegally) and the law-abiding citizen would be at their mercy.
How, in good conscience, can that man take such a position only days after that mass shooting there in his home state? What kind of human manure is he? And he wants to be the state's chief law enforcement officer?
So, now it looks like it's up to the kids. Students. Young men and women who just two weeks ago were preparing for their prom, not planning a political campaign -- because that's what this #NeverAgain campaign really is -- because of terrible tragedies that have touched their lives.
The pundits are now talking about how these young people are our future, the ones who will make change. I hope they are right. Because in a lot of ways, the rest of us have certainly made a mess of things.