Former President Barack Obama, repeatedly rebuffed in his attempt to impose his brand of gun control on the American people, this week launched another attack on the National Rifle Association.
In an op-ed published by Time, Obama praised the anti-gun effort that has used the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting as its rallying point and the students as its vocal representatives.
“The Parkland, Fla., students don’t have the kind of lobbyists or big budgets for attack ads that their opponents do. Most of them can’t even vote yet,” the former persident wrote.
Obama’s column was released a day before Parkland students joined with Hollywood celebrities in a major, big-budget effort to attack the NRA, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
He wrote that the students “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. “
Obama, whose efforts to attack gun rights were stymied by Congress, returned to his criticism of the GOP for not embracing his agenda.
“A Republican Congress remains unmoved. NRA scare tactics still sway much of the country,” he wrote.
Obama then made the leap to connect the attack on gun rights with the politics of minority and immigration issues.
“As these young leaders make common cause with African Americans and Latinos — the disproportionate victims of gun violence — and reach voting age, the possibilities of meaningful change will steadily grow,” he wrote. “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.”
Obama’s latest attack on the NRA brought a spirited response from NRATV’s Grant Stichfield, who noted that policies put in place during Obama’s presidency limited the power of schools to address disciplinary issues, according to The Hill.
"@BarackObama you owe the Parkland students an apology…Had every child been given the same armed security yours were protected by there never would've been a Parkland massacre for you to weaponize in your #TIME100 hit piece attacking #NRA" @stinchfield1776 #NationalSchoolWalkout pic.twitter.com/3YXPx9lNPT
— NRATV (@NRATV) April 20, 2018
“This liberal ‘no discipline for rule-breakers’ policy was a contributing factor that enabled the shooter to wreak the havoc that he did. … While you left educators defenseless, while you pushed policies that barred violent students from being arrested, while you railed against the NRA, your daughters, yourself were all protected by armed guards,” Stinchfield said, adding that Obama rejected the NRA’s efforts to promote school safety.
“Instead of doing the right thing, instead of working with us to install common-sense security in all of our schools, you continued to attack the NRA and its nearly 6 million members,” he said.
“Here is the stone cold truth: If Barack Obama is writing anything that deals with the Parkland students, it should be an apology,” Stinchfield said.
Obama’s contention that the media buzz surrounding the Florida shootings will cause a seismic shift in voting patterns is not borne out by the facts, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
In a recent report on the politics of the Parkland shooting and its aftermath, it noted that in six of Florida’s seven largest counties, voter registration among those ages 16 to 25 has declined since 2014.
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