From the Left



Mr. President, do for gun control what Nixon did for China

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

Mr. President:

Since I know you don't like to read a lot, I'll try to be brief. But, fair warning: This will be longer than a tweet.

As you like to say, let's be honest: I've been critical of your presidency since its beginnings. But everyone has an opportunity for redemption. I certainly hope you'll take this one, for the sake of your legacy and the state of our nation.

Thank you, first of all, for your comforting words in the wake of the shooting rampage by Nikolas Cruz Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

As classes were ending, Cruz walked into the school that had expelled him, tripped a fire alarm and started shooting. The body count: 17 dead and at least 14 more wounded -- the deadliest school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, which claimed 26 lives, and the third worst after the 2007 attack at Virginia Tech.

And just five months ago, another shooter rained gunfire on an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, slaughtering another 59 innocent people and injuring hundreds of others.

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You found the words Thursday, Mr. President, to speak to "a nation in grief," promising "every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly" that "we are here for you, whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain."

And: "We must actually make (a) difference."

Eloquent, sir. And this effort desperately needs more mental health support. But what about the guns?

Early last year you quietly signed a bill that reversed an executive action by President Barack Obama that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun.


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