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US President Donald Trump (c) speaks during a meeting with members of Congress to discuss school and community safety at the White House in Washington (United States) on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. EFE / SHAWN THEW
US President Donald Trump (c) speaks during a meeting with members of Congress to discuss school and community safety at the White House in Washington (United States) on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. EFE / SHAWN THEW

A "sympathetic" Trump sided with the Democrats on the issue of weapons

During a meeting with the representatives of both parties, President Trump broke the republican protocol and embraced more "comprehensive" and even Democrat…

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In the United States today, nothing is more complicated than the marathon task of keeping up with the president's statements.

Whether due to pressure from public opinion or due to his impulsive changes of opinion, President Trump can’t stop surprising the country.

After a 19-year-old boy attacked his former classmates with a semiautomatic assault rifle, claiming the lives of 17 students in Parkland (Florida) on February 14, the government has been cornered by powerful organizations such as National Rifle Association and the political activism of an army of teenagers that wants a definitive change in the legislation on gun control.

The initial response of the president was, as expected, the least logical of all: the teachers had to be armed to prevent the shootings from continuing. Many, including some Senators from his Republican caucus, were radically opposed to the measure. However, the Committee of Appropriations of the House of Representatives of Florida, of a republican majority, voted in favor of a program to arm the teachers in the classrooms, following the recommendations of their party bigwig.

But public pressure is increasing every day and jeopardizes the results of the midterm elections this year, where a turn of favoritism toward the Democratic Party is expected; especially when the Parkland student movement has campaigned against the Republicans insisting on "Voting them out”.

And there is nothing that destabilizes Donald Trump more than popular discontent and criticism.

Evidence of this was his erratic and surreal behavior in a televised meeting during the afternoon of last Wednesday between legislators of both parties and the leaders of his administration, where a bipartisan proposal to regulate the carrying of arms was debated.

As reported by CNN, the president "defied traditional GOP orthodoxy on an issue as essential to the Republican brand as any: guns.”

The whole country could see on their television screens how an anxious president was strangely embracing bipartisanship without an apparent hidden agenda, separating from his previous statements before the National Rifle Association, and asking that the legal age for access to weapons be increased from 18 to 21 years old. Likewise, Trump requested that background checks be increased, the elimination of bump stocks, the NICS (National Instant System for Criminal Background Checks) to be reviewed, and "a single proposal of a comprehensive bill".

Yes, the president requested a "comprehensive bill".

What left everyone most confused - especially the Democratic representatives, who for the first time felt a sense of optimism when listening to the president - were his constant comments to (or against?) the NRA. "Some of you are petrified of the NRA. You can’t be petrified," Trump said, although he repeated several times that" there is no greater fan of the NRA than me."

Finally, the president proved his little knowledge about the rule of law by suggesting that, in cases where the weapon bearer is presumed to be a dangerous person, we should "take the guns first, go through due process second."This "new" president seems to want to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats, either to recover a little in the public approval index or to take the baton on a very sensitive issue, taking advantage of a tool that his predecessors had not had so far: the Republican majority in Congress.

But we will have to wait to see if the president will really support "comprehensive" measures in the matter or will retrace his steps and will contradict himself as has happened before, leaving the issue to cool as happened with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), only weeks ago.

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