Motivated by student pressure, Trump agrees to make good on his promise to ban “bump stocks”

Well, round one appears to have gone to the kids of Parkland

The White House announced this afternoon that, at long last, Donald Trump would be making good on his promise to ban so-called “bump stocks” and other devices used to convert semiautomatic firearms into fully automatic ones. This, as you’ll recall, was something that the President had agreed to do after 58 people were killed in Las Vegas this past October, but quickly lost interest in once the initial public outrage had died down. Today, though, with another 17 people dead, and facing the prospect of what will likely be a contentious “listening session” with Parkland students tomorrow and yet another enormous march on D.C., Trump apparently felt as though he had to do something quickly. So, today, we chalk up one small victory for this new movement that, one hopes, will only grow over the coming weeks. [Of course, he may not follow through, but Trump also just tweeted out that we need to strengthen background checks.]

As were were discussing yesterday, though, every step forward is going to be met with violent opposition from the gun lobby, their paid trolls, and the conspiracy theorists among us, who have already started suggesting that the young adults now leading the battle for common sense gun reform are actually actors being fed lines by “deep state,” anti-Trump operatives who want to take away our freedom. It’s truly terrifying stuff, and, unfortunately, it isn’t just relegated to the intellectual backwaters of InfoWars. As we saw today, there are actually Republicans working in government who are echoing these disgusting claims. Here’s an example.

And this, you can be sure, is going to get even uglier, especially if these young men and women are successful in building an effective youth movement… And, by the looks of it, that’s exactly what they’re doing… Speaking of which, here’s an image from today’s Miami Herald.

That’s right, over 1,000 students at West Boca High School walked out of their school today, and kept walking the 12 miles to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where they paid their respects to the 17 people who were murdered this past Friday. When asked why they did it, West Boca sophomore Lauren Smith said, “Most of us got zeros on quizzes today. I don’t think we should have to do that to make a change, but we do. And it’s important that we do.”

And, meanwhile, on the other side of the looking glass, the old, white folks at Fox News are once again talking about the possibility of arming teachers.

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  1. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    The aide responsible for the attack on the students has been fired.
    Anyone who does fundraising knows that kids, especially kids who have been victimized, seem to draw out humanity and generosity in others. (I will admit to complicated feelings about this, but it’s a reality) I don’t think the standard attacks will be easily tolerated this time. That’s precisely why I think this movement may work. They have already undermined a few of the standard GOP responses– offering prayers and asking that tragedy not be used to ‘political’ ends. I personally don’t see gun regulation as political; I see it as non-partisan common sense. How can they dismiss civic engagement by the young. It’s impossible to plausibly claim that the kids are being manipulated by the left, when they came out so immediately, so strong and clearly organically. (I’m sure they will try though) These kids have the potential to change the game as its been played.

    Now the big question: What will this generation be called. They have only known W, Obama and Trump as leaders. Not generation sad. Maybe Generation Fed Up? Generation Mad as Hell? I’m as hopeful as I’ve been in a long time. But I also know this is going to be a long slog. The young have energy to spare. Thank goodness.

  2. anonymous
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    While he didn’t call them “crisis actors”, former Republican Congressman Jack Kingston has also come out saying that these students are being used by George Soros and his Antifa army.

  3. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Who cares?

    Completely useless.

    How many times have bump stocks been involved in a gun death relative to the overall number of deaths?

  4. Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Iron Lung, I didn’t say this was a solution. What I said was that these kids got Trump to revisit the bump stock ban, which he’d pretty much let die after the Las Vegas murders, and the idea of increased background checks. I don’t know if either will actually actually make their way through Congress to become law, but I find it interesting that these kids are succeeding on moving the needle where others haven’t been. But, you’re right. Nothing passed by this Congress, and signed into law by this president, will be sufficient. Still, though, I see this as a sign that these kids have tapped into something powerful. 58 dead in Las Vegas didn’t get the kind of response that they’re getting now. And I think that’s because Trump and the Republicans know this thing has legs. They know over a million people will be marching on DC on the 24th, and that this subject is going to be with them for the next month.

  5. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Mark Maynard has joined the Trump train.

    You should be writing about how disingenuous his “change of heart” is. It’s a charade designed to appease people like you.

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I know this may also be too much to hope for but it appears the FBI is looking into donations funneled by Russia into the NRA which was then donated to the Trump campaign.

  7. Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    “Mark Maynard has joined the Trump train.”

    Yes, I’m actually on my way out the door right now to buy a MAGA hat.

    Don’t be a dope, Iron Lung 2. I never said that Trump had a change of heart. And, again, I never said that he was going to take meaningful action to curb gun violence. What I said was that these kids were getting to Trump and the Republicans in a way that no one else has been able to do. And I stand by that.

  8. Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    And, yes, Jean, I’d love to see that particular tentacle of the Russia investigation pull the NRA beneath the waves.

  9. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    “What I said was that these kids were getting to Trump and the Republicans in a way that no one else has been able to do.”

    But he has done nothing at all.

  10. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Face it, Mark, you’ve been played.

  11. Sad
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    See what happens when HW’s not around?

  12. Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I’m such a sap. I’ve totally ben played. I’m so embarrassed…

    Again, as I said before, I don’t know if the bump stock ban or the increased background checks will ever find their way into law under this administration. As they did after the Las Vegas shooting, I suspect they’ll stall for as long as they can without taking action, in hopes that the moment passes and the pressure dissipates. Even so, I think this demonstrates the power of this new group of emerging leaders, if they’re able to hold things together.

  13. Iron Lung 2
    Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    “Even so, I think this demonstrates the power of this new group of emerging leaders, if they’re able to hold things together.”

    No, it does not. Trump has done nothing at all. Congress will do even less. You’ve been played if you think the reaction to this is a positive.

  14. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    I am not sure if I am right but my sense is that the ratio of counselors to students in schools is way too low.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    You can credit cuts to public school funding for that one FF. Although I don’t think identifying potential mass murderers should realistically be part of their job description, especially since the FBI seems so bad at it. I wonder if the shooter in this case would have been more carefully vetted and FBI protocols followed if he had been Muslim or Black. I suspect so.

    IL — ” I think this demonstrates the power of this new group of emerging leaders, if they’re able to hold things together” — you understand that Mark was referring to the kids here, not Trump and congress, right?

    You have more confidence in Trump than I do if you think he’s at all calculating in his political or policy approaches. My impression is that he’s so reactive and variable in his beliefs, with no core interest beyond himself and his fake empire, that he’s proven both unpredictable and hard to manipulate. The only thing that works are appeals to his grandiosity. I’m pretty sure the kids wont appeal to that, so maybe nothing will come of this. But progress can be made at the state and municipal level. I personally think the idea that children hate him en masse may move him. I don’t know in what direction, however.

    Anytime kids become politically engaged, that’s a good sign for our ability to course correct. Young people historically have very low voting numbers. Maybe that will change going forward. If they aren’t turned off to the whole process by the constant degradation of the parties, the media, the economic system, etc by activists on the left…

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    They’re the real deal:

  17. Anonymous
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I just have one question. Which of these kids is going to take Marco Rubio’s seat?

  18. Meta
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Video of the West Boca walkout.

  19. John Harwood by proxy
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    A new Quinnipiac poll on Americans’ support for: universal gun purchaser background checks (97%); mandatory waiting period for gun purchases (83%); assault weapons ban (67%); legal status for Dreamers (80%); Trump military parade (26%)

  20. Meta
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Motherbord: “The #2 Trending Video on YouTube Right Now Suggests That a Student From the Parkland Shooting Is a Crisis Actor”

    It’s a vile conspiracy theory we might expect from the host of Inforwars Alex Jones, but right now it is the number two trending video on YouTube.

    The conspiracy theory is that some of the students who are speaking out against the lax gun control laws that enabled the mass shooting that killed 17 of their peers at a Parkland, Florida high school last week are not who they say they are. They are “crisis actors,” paid performers funded by familiar boogeymen like George Soros to vilify gun ownership and dismantle the second amendment.

    This is not true, but it’s what the second most popular video on YouTube, which at the time of writing has 174,000 views, suggests. In the video, David Hogg, one of the more outspoken Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who has made several television appearances since the shooting, is seen in a CBS 2 Los Angeles news report. The report details the events of a video Hogg took and that went viral in 2017. It shows one of Hogg’s friends, another teenager, confronting an overzealous lifeguard. Here’s the video on CBS’s YouTube page, and Hogg’s original upload.

    The only description on the video is “DAVID HOGG THE ACTOR….” and many of the comments go on to accuse Hogg of being an actor “bought and paid by CNN and George Soros.” Mike m, the YouTube user who uploaded this trending video also uploaded a video titled “David Hogg Can’t Remember His Lines When Interviewed for Florida school shooting.” The description to that video reads: “Ask yourself why is he practicing his lines…??? ???” This user also uploaded videos that cover familiar conspiracy theories like chemtrails and UFOs.

    As Hogg explained to CNN, his family moved from California to Florida several years ago and he joined Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for its TV production program. He took the video of the lifeguard while visiting friends in Los Angeles.

    It’s a coincidence that some random person in a local news report will go viral on YouTube and then make national news for vastly different reasons, but it happens. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that George Lindell, the subject of the autotuned viral video “Reality Hits You Hard Bro” also went viral in 2016 for yelling “Jew-S-A” at a press pen at a Trump rally, but it’s true. Life is weird and full of coincidences. Things that seem very unlikely, like, say, landing on the moon, actually happen. It’s true.

    It’s not surprising but still shameful that this trending video is one of many on YouTube. If you watch it, YouTube is likely to offer you videos that claim to show Hogg “forgetting his lines” while speaking to CNN, “SICK secrets about the shooting,” and other lies right-wing media uses to muddy the waters around the issue of gun control.

    Read more:

  21. Anonymous
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Texas school district threatens to suspend students who protest gun violence

  22. Lynne
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Jean, how about Generation FU?

    Fed Up
    Follow Up
    Fuck U


  23. Jean Henry
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I like that Lynne, but I’m also sure that somebody will call them Generation Fucked Up, as soon as the inevitable backlash against the next new generation emerges, as it always does.

  24. Lynne
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    The backlash will occur regardless of what they are called

  25. Anonymous
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure how effective it would be against an assault rifle, but Fox is also saying that we should teach kids “hand to hand combat.”

  26. Dan Pfeiffer by proxy
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Republicans won’t denounce the fringe conspiracy theorists in their party because their electoral strategy depends on the creation paranoia, fear, and division. Whether Ryan et al admit it or not, this is who they are.

  27. M
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Best comment of the day.

    Parkland student Cameron Kasky, when asked if he was really a “paid actor.”

    “If you had seen me in my school’s production of Fiddler on the Roof, you would know I wasn’t,” he responded.

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