President Donald Trump on Monday offered a disappointing plan aimed at reducing gun violence in the nation's schools.
It isn't enough. The states, including Missouri and Kansas, must step in to reduce the threat to all Americans.
There were some good ideas in the president's plan. Trump supports improved background checks for some gun purchases, for example, and more robust mental health counseling. He supports making it easier for state and local authorities to take guns from those deemed a danger to others.
The president has promised to ban rapid-fire "bump stocks" by administrative rule. We support that initiative.
But the Trump plan falls far short of additional steps needed to curb gun violence.
With White House support, Congress is considering bills to provide additional funds to "harden" schools through training and perhaps some building upgrades. Sadly, the amounts under discussion, from $50 million to $100 million a year, are far less than what's needed.
There are other serious flaws. A commission on school violence — led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has been a major disappointment — will likely accomplish nothing of consequence. And deadly gun massacres are hardly limited to schools, as the people in Las Vegas, Orlando, Charleston and other communities know.
Trump's reliance on armed educators is ridiculous and counter-productive. We're also frustrated — yet hardly surprised — that the president has broken his promise to seek an increase in the minimum age to purchase some weapons.
Clearly, Trump is afraid of the National Rifle Association.
But depending on Washington to address gun violence is becoming a fool's errand anyway. Congress and the White House increasingly seem incapable of deciding any issue more complicated than naming a post office or two.
That means it's up to the states to take meaningful steps on gun issues. And legislators in Missouri and Kansas should study what just happened in Florida to understand the path forward.
The Florida Legislature is hardly a bastion of anti-gun zealots. Yet its members, prodded by the voices of students whose friends were slaughtered just a few weeks earlier, passed a comprehensive measure aimed at reducing gun violence. The governor signed it.
The new law raises the gun-buying age to 21. Bump stocks are banned. There's a short waiting period to buy a gun. The state will pay for additional school security and allow some school "marshals" to carry weapons. Mental health services are improved.
Trump admitted as much Monday. "On 18 to 21 Age Limits, watching court cases and rulings before acting. States are making this decision," he tweeted.
The Florida law doesn't go as far as we'd like. But it shows how lawmakers can assemble a reasonable, comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence. The law won't stop every such shooting — no measure can — but it's a start.
Florida has recent, grim experience with indiscriminate mass murder. Missouri and Kansas must not wait until that happens here.