“In saying that the proposal to raise the age limit on purchases of assault weapons had “not much political support (to put it mildly),” President Trump fails a key test of presidential leadership. In his seminal work “Presidential Power,” Richard Neustadt concluded that the power of the president is the “power to persuade.”
Significant public support exists for improvements in gun safety. Rather than mobilizing the public, the president retreats. In the aftermath of the massacre at Sandy Hook, I worked with courageous members of Delaware’s General Assembly to pass key pieces of gun safety legislation, including closing the gun show loophole. The margin of victory in these votes was surprisingly small given the public support.
The support of former Attorney General Beau Biden and Lt. Gov. Matt Denn demonstrated what leaders can accomplish even in the face of legislative resistance. If only President Trump were to follow their lead.
JACK MARKELL, WILMINGTON, DEL.
The writer was governor of Delaware from 2009 to 2017.”