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The shoot­ing came first: a hor­ri­fy­ing mas­sacre in

Florida that left 17 dead and a com­mu­nity cut down. Then young peo­ple be­gan find­ing their voices, as ex­em­pli­fied in a town hall in which stu­dents who sur­vived the shoot­ing de­manded an­swers from politi­cians — mak­ing hol­low po­lit­i­cal-speak sound like what it is. Marco Ru­bio stam­mered. Why does he take money from the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion? Why won't he stop? He couldn't an­swer ba­sic ques­tions from high school kids. The smooth-talk­ing se­na­tor had noth­ing to say.

Make way for Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, who's do­ing his best to cover that bald spot on his head, while it's the empty spot in­side his head that I worry about. Trump is now float­ing the idea of hav­ing teach­ers come to school armed and dan­ger­ous. They can col­lect bonuses for do­ing so, as­sum­ing they don't get shot, or shot at, or have their gun stolen, or used against them, or used against oth­ers in the class­room. And yet we still can't take any leg­isla­tive mea­sures to en­sure guns don't fall into the wrong hands, be­cause Marco Ru­bio's friends at the NRA would rather give felons weapons of mass de­struc­tion than — may the skies fall down — al­low a real back­ground check.

I have never un­der­stood why rea­son­able, re­spon­si­ble gun own­ers aren't even more de­ter­mined than I am to see that guns are avail­able only to those who have reg­is­tered and ob­tained li­censes — through a process over­seen with at least as much at­ten­tion to de­tail as we give to the regis­tra­tion of a car. A car has many pur­poses. A gun has only one.

The only armed deputy that day at Stone­man Dou­glas High School was ap­par­ently frozen at the scene. But that would never hap­pen to a teacher: They'd leap into ac­tion, right? But of course it would. It just would. We teach­ers are trained to teach our kids, not shoot to kill to de­fend them. I would like to think I could do that, but I have al­ways thought my class­room was safer with­out guns.

So Trump wants to arm the teach­ers, even as he crit­i­cizes the deputy who didn't act. The deputy and teach­ers didn't act like Navy SEALs be­cause they aren't Navy SEALs.

If you were still won­der­ing what kind of man Trump is, whether he cares about peo­ple like you, whether he cares about fam­i­lies and the strug­gles that unite us, you have your an­swer this week. How else in the world can you pos­si­bly ex­plain the pres­i­dent's de­ci­sion to again mock — yes, mock — Sen. John McCain for re­turn­ing from brain-can­cer treat­ments to vote against the puni­tive and in­com­plete Repub­li­can health care plan? Trump was mad, fair enough. But you don't mock a man who has served his coun­try in many ways; you don't call him or his vote against the bill a "mess." It's democ­racy, which is some­times messy. Of course, it was also Trump who ear­lier ques­tioned why John McCain, the long­time pris­oner of war held by the North Viet­namese, should be hon­ored. "I like peo­ple who weren't cap­tured," Trump said. (No, he is not smarter than a fifth-grader, be­cause even a fifth-grader would know bet­ter than to say that.)

Mean­while, the Mueller train steams ahead, seem­ingly un­af­fected by the weather around it. Noth­ing is sweeter to a pros­e­cu­tor than turn­ing some­one most peo­ple haven't heard of (Rick Gates) to get some­one most peo­ple have heard of (Paul Manafort). Manafort is some­one who has lots of peo­ple he's try­ing to pro­tect: There's noth­ing a pros­e­cu­tor likes more. Be­cause as ev­ery­one knows, there re­ally is only one way to pro­tect a lot of peo­ple — and that is by giv­ing up a sin­gle per­son who is more im­por­tant than all of them. This is how the pros­e­cu­tion builds its case.

Not a very good week for Trump.

To find out more about Su­san Estrich and read fea­tures by other Cre­ators Syn­di­cate writ­ers and car­toon­ists, visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate web­site at www.cre­


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