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The gun debate is a mess and Trump isn't helping

President Trump and GOP leadership
Trump and Congressional Republicans. Photo: Saul Loeb /AFP /Getty Images

No one knows what, if anything, Congress is going to be able to do on guns. If there was tepid optimism going into the week that the Senate would be able to quickly pass a bipartisan, NRA-backed bill that strengthens the existing background check system, it was quickly replaced by the chaos that now erupts every time Congress tries to address something difficult.

Between the lines: The confusion and lack of a clear direction on the Hill mirrors the White House. President Trump has been all over the place since the Parkland shooting, and congressional Republicans are either not taking him seriously or unwilling to embrace many of the gun control policies he's floated.