Barack Obama has penned a touching tribute to the Parkland students who have become gun control activists in the wake of the February shooting.
The former president was chosen to write about the students for the Time 100 issue.
In his essay, Obama says that students David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin Emma Gonzalez and Alex Wind are changing the gun control debate, which had fallen stagnant.
‘This time, our children are calling us to account,’ he says.
President Obama wrote a touch tribute to the Parkland student activists for the Time 100 issue. The activists are pictured from left to right: Cameron Kasky, Alex Wind, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and Jaclyn Corin
Despite not having ‘the kind of lobbyist or big budgets for attack ads’ or even (for most of the them) the right to vote, the students are making changes.
In his essay, Obama wrote that the Parkland students are ‘as comfortable speaking truth to power as they are dismissive of platitudes and punditry’
‘They have the power so often inherent in youth: to see the world anew; to reject the old constraints, outdated conventions and cowardice too often dressed up as wisdom. The power to insist that America can be better,’ Obama writes.
He continues: ‘Seared by memories of seeing their friends murdered at a place they believed to be safe, these young leaders don’t intimidate easily.
‘They see the NRA and its allies—whether mealymouthed politicians or mendacious commentators peddling conspiracy theories—as mere shills for those who make money selling weapons of war to whoever can pay.
‘They’re as comfortable speaking truth to power as they are dismissive of platitudes and punditry. And they live to mobilize their peers.’
Obama goes on to say that ‘by bearing witness to carnage’ and asking the tough questions, the Parkland students ‘are shaking us out of our complacency’.
‘Our history is defined by the youthful push to make America more just, more compassionate, more equal under the law. This generation—of Parkland, of Dreamers, of Black Lives Matter—embraces that duty. If they make their elders uncomfortable, that’s how it should be. Our kids now show us what we’ve told them America is all about, even if we haven’t always believed it ourselves: that our future isn’t written for us, but by us,’ Obama concludes.
Obama tearfully promised to do something in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012 but failed, calling gun control laws the ‘greatest frustration of my presidency’ in 2015.