WORLD DIGEST|| Governors skeptical of Congress, but welcome new gun debate
Governors assessing the fallout from the latest school shooting said Saturday that the gun-control debate has changed after the sorrow in Florida, a shift helped driven by public outrage and student activists.
But they are skeptical Congress can seize the moment, overcome its partisan divide and enact measures intended to prevent more tragedies, so governors are preparing to take the lead and have states push ahead with new gun restrictions.
The Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that claimed 17 lives is drawing much of the attention at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington. School safety and gun violence are expected to dominate the governors’ discussions Monday with President Donald Trump at the White House.
“There’s no question we’re in a different environment,” said Gov. Bill Haslam, R-Tenn. “There’s a lot of folks looking like, is it common sense to rule out someone to buy a beer at 20, but we’ll let him buy an assault rifle?”
Trump has not made any proposals to Congress. He spent much of the past week voicing support for strengthening federal background checks of gun buyers, banning “bump stock” type devices such as the ones used in last year’s Las Vegas massacre and keeping assault weapons out of the hands of anyone under age 21.