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Parkland students move the needle even as Washington idles

Just because Washington is stuck in the same old deadlock over firearms reform, it doesn’t mean the tide of youthful anger and activism unleashed by the Florida massacre did nothing to change gun politics in America.

While the adults in the Capitol hedge and turn away, debate is raging outside the federal bubble in a way that is giving gun control advocates hope that the aftermath of the latest mass shooting really is different.
It became quite clear Tuesday that on Republican-run Capitol Hill there is little appetite for the sweeping reform demanded by the teenagers who seized their moment after escaping the slaughter of their classmates.
The path on guns is narrow, but emerging
The path on guns is narrow, but emerging
Middle aged and elderly political leaders spent the day in Washington explaining why doing something to stop future massacres was not quite as simple as kids just calling for change appear to think.
The White House grappled for clarity on what exactly President Donald Trump is prepared to do, amid growing doubts about his capacity to turn his torrent of words on the issue into significant action.
Trump will meet lawmakers on school safety on Wednesday and several limited measures, including one on strengthening compliance to background checks could be slowly headed for votes next week.
But the equivocations by elected leaders struck a tepid contrast to how students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, swiftly pivoted from grief to a campaign for change that shocked politicians from their normal rituals after mass shootings.
Their impact reached far further than their own home towns, sparking debate about gun law changes in multiple states and extreme pressure on the National Rifle Association, along with the GOP lawmakers it supports.
That’s why, even if Washington manages to muster just the most modest of steps that the uprising of the last two weeks might still be a game changer.

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