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Former President Obama writes Time magazine entry lauding pro-gun control Parkland students

Credit: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Several pro-gun control students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been named to Time's "100 Most Influential People" list, and former President Barack Obama has written the blurb lauding the students' gun control efforts.

According to The Hill, Obama's blurb claims, "By bearing witness to carnage, by asking tough questions and demanding real answers, the Parkland students are shaking us out of our complacency."

Obama's entry also takes aim at the National Rifle Association and at politicians who do not agree with the students' gun control objectives. He writes:

"[T]hese 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."

What's the background?

Obama was one of the most anti-gun presidents in modern history. After promising during the 2008 campaign that he would not take away people's guns, Obama took a number of actions that angered Second Amendment activists, particularly during his second term. After the mass murder in Newtown, Connecticut, Obama pushed for a number of gun control proposals that were ultimately defeated in the Senate.

After his defeat in Congress, Obama issued a number of gun control executive orders, many of which were either overturned by courts or reversed by President Donald Trump.

Obama's hostility toward gun rights was, however, widely credited for increasing both gun sales and gun ownership during his tenure.  He admitted during his second term that his failure to enact significant gun control measures was the "greatest frustration of [his] presidency."

The pro-gun control Parkland students, who have dominated cable news coverage since the Valentine's Day mass murder, have likewise not had any success getting federal gun control legislation passed.

However, a number of states and cities have passed gun control laws and ordinances since the incident. It is unclear whether the Parkland students' efforts on social media or television have contributed to the passage of these laws.

What about David Hogg's boycott?

Parkland student David Hogg did, however, organize a boycott of Fox News host Laura Ingraham's advertisers after she tweeted a comment about his failure to get accepted into some colleges. Although it isn't clear whether any of the advertisers lost any sales as a result of the boycott, many of them were scared into pulling advertisements from Ingraham's show.

Meanwhile, Ingraham's show has seen a ratings boost since the controversy broke, indicating that Fox News may not have significant difficulty replacing the lost revenue.

Hogg likewise attempted to organize a boycott of investment groups that invest in gun manufacturers, but that effort appears to have largely stalled. Hogg and his sister have announced a book deal with Random House.

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