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Legislators in Washington and Tallahassee have discussed many ideas to reduce school shootings, but on the most difficult issues – such as weapons – there simply is not a clear consensus.
There is little evidence of clarity from President Trump, who has taken a leading role in the debate without giving a clear direction to the solution of the problem.
Trump began providing support for various options that exceeded party lines. But lately the nonpartisan message has got mixed up. For one, Trump spends more time with the National Rifle Association, and it's starting to show.
No Consensus  Some Republican legislators want to raise the age limit to buy a long gun from 18 to 21; Others, like the NRA, do not do that.
President Trump announced his support for this proposal last week, but did not mention it last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where the NRA has a large presence and Trump has not talked about it. It was a meeting of the White House with governors on Monday after lunching with executives from the NRA over the weekend.
Background checks have broader support. At Meet the Press on Sunday, Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who has sponsored a bill to significantly expand background checks, said it could happen to President Trump whether or not that happened.
The President's support for strengthening our background check system is very constructive. The president can play a big and indeed probably crucial role in this, "Toomey said.
But although Trump says he wants" full "background checks, he only supported a house bill that would streamline the current background check system. It would not make it universal and close the shooting lock, such as the bill Toomey with Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.V., in the months after filming in 2012 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut
The House bill, supported by the NRA, also includes a provision to ease existing arms restrictions, which would allow people with permits to carry hidden weapons in their states to carry them anywhere in the country – even in states that have hidden transport privileges This provision is opposed by Senate Democrats.
The President also says he wants to ban the Office for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bump Stocks, a weapon accessory makes a semi-automatic weapon fire like an automatic weapon. But the ATF says that it does not have the power to ban bump sticks, and that a ban would have to be legalized by Congress.
The NRA says it will not support the ban on bump sticks after they follow for more regulation of them The Las Vegas Strip massacre last year.
Democrats and some Republicans are ready to reintroduce the ban on some types of offensive weapons, but others including Florida Governor Rick Scott, President Trump and the NRA are not.
This suggests that the debate may follow the same path we have seen after other mass shootings – a spike in support for gun control in the polls, no congressional action, then dwindling interest as the moment passes.
Trump is a familiar pattern
The main thing the President is talking about now is the "hardening" of schools and the arming of some teachers. These ideas are at the heart of the NRA's approach to preventing school shootings – an echo of NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre's CPAC speech – but they have no broader support.
The idea of arming teachers has no political process in the White House. There are many questions about how it would work and whether the federal government could play a role in that, as K-12 education is the responsibility of states.
A White House spokesman admitted last week that there's no plan to turn Trump's idea to arm some teachers into legislation – in other words, the president has just pondered.
Look back over the last months of the immigration debate when Trump began claiming he was looking for a consensus, then moved He returns to a hard-right, maximalist position.
With immigration, the President first said that he signed whatever Congress sent him and that he would "take the heat" when lawmakers compromise. When confronted with a bipartisan agreement that gave him full financial support for his border wall and a path to citizenship for the dreamer, he rejected it and insisted on a proposal that would drastically reduce legal immigration.
In The Gun He has managed to dominate the narrative of the media with his proposal to arm some teachers – one of the ways Trump measures success. It is a proposal that has few adherents outside the president's hard core base – as does the proposal to limit legal immigration.
At the meeting of the White House with governors, Trump did not mention the idea of raising the age limit for the purchase of assault rifles to 21, which he earlier seemed to embrace. This raised the question of whether the NRA twisted his arm when he had lunch with the organization's leaders on Sunday.
"The president still supports the concept," said press secretary Sarah Sanders. But the government is waiting for the details.
The President unveiled the NRA lunch to reassure people that he can handle the arms lobby.
"I'll tell you they do what they think right, but sometimes we have to be very tough and we have to fight them," Trump said.