The Note: Congress is back – but not ready to act on guns

If the political world is different now, it sure won’t look like it for a while.

If the political world is different now, it sure won’t look like it for a while.

For all the promises of action and the newfound organizing activity, and despite corporate backlash against the NRA and stirring in the states, Congress returns to session not ready to act at all in response to the latest school shooting. There are no short-term or medium-term prospects of lawmakers doing anything on the topic of guns.

One thing that hasn’t changed: Action or inaction on guns hinges on the president’s wishes. Activism matters – but only insofar as it forces movement.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Party officials in Washington may roll their eyes and say the old Clinton-Sanders divide is overblown and a thing of the past (and they may be right about that), but divisions between the organizers in the states and those in the Capitol, the grassroots and insiders, the progressives and moderate candidates, are real. And a lot of Democrats are wondering if the party has learned from its mistakes.

In Texas last week, with primary voting underway, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unilaterally declared one Democratic candidate unfit to serve, saying the decision was, in part, because of comments she made about the idea of moving home to Texas. From the East Coast, with their proverbial noses in the air, members said this one candidate sounded elitist. In making its feelings known so publicly, the organization risked looking heavy-handed to Texas voters — as if it were handpicking a winner.

Another indicator of persistent party divisions: The longtime senior California Senator Dianne Feinstein failed to win the endorsement of local party chapter in her state over the weekend.

The Democratic Party may worry about primary voters picking candidates it wouldn’t pick, but if history is any guide, plenty of Republicans two years ago thought primary voters had put their chances in jeopardy, too.

The TIP with John Verhovek

“That's something I think we need to have more discussion on, and at first, I don't think that's a very good idea,” Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-Nev., told ABC News over the weekend. “I'm a father of a daughter who's studying to be a teacher. It wouldn't be something I would want for my daughter.”

“I don't want teachers being armed. I want teachers teaching, and I want there to be a resource officer," Gov. Doug Ducey, R-Ariz., said. “If there is a teacher with a special exception, they're a veteran or former law enforcement ... I would be open-minded to that.”

Avoiding the topic completely at the NGA meeting were Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., Gov. Matt Bevin, R-Ky., and Gov. Rick Snyder, R-Mich., who refused to answer any questions on guns when asked by the media.

“What I've asked people to do is — you've got to search your heart on this — this is not about who's got political power, this is not about campaign contributions, this is about how you want to look in the mirror and think about what you'd do when you were in,” Kasich said.


  • President Trump hosts the 2018 White House business session with U.S. governors at 10:45 a.m.
  • President Trump meets with credit union representatives at 2:30 p.m.

    “To be honest, I don’t know. Obviously, there would have to be an incredibly high standard on who can bear arms in our schools, but I think there is no one solution to creating safety.” — Ivanka Trump to NBC News, after being asked whether she thinks having trained, armed teachers in classrooms — as her father has proposed — would make children safer.


    Trump’s aide’s ‘very favorable’ plea deal ramps up pressure on Manafort. A former Trump aide’s plea deal appears to dangle the possibility that he will get probation – no jail time – after cooperating with the special counsel’s Russia investigation. (Matthew Mosk and Trish Turner)

    North Korea open to talks with United States, South Korea says. South Korea’s presidential office said Sunday that North Korea’s delegation to the Olympics agreed that there should be talks between the United States and North Korea. (Hakyng Kate Lee and Ben Gittleson)

    US could be witnessing ‘end of two-party system’: Republican governor. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he believes Americans could be witnessing the “end of a two-party system.” (Katie Kindelan)

    Florida school shooting creates ‘a window’ to reform gun laws: GOP governor. The Florida school shooting that killed 17 people has created a “window” for reforming gun laws in the U.S., said a Republican governor. (Katie Kindelan)

    Teens have raging passions and fights, so guns in schools ‘not a good idea’: Florida teacher. A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teacher, who sheltered students in her classroom during the Feb. 14 massacre that killed 17, said arming teachers with guns is “not a good idea.” (Katie Kindelan and Allison Pecorin)

    Florida sheriff’s ‘abdication of duty’ in shooting should be focus not gun owners: NRA. The Florida high school shooting that killed 17 students and staff on Feb. 14 is the result of a "dereliction of duty" by local police who failed to adequately follow up on prior tips about the alleged shooter, a National Rifle Association spokesperson said. (Katie Kindelan)

    The Russian bots are coming. But a bipartisan duo is on it, Politico Magazine reports.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.