The former first family joined the newly invigorated fight for common sense gun reforms on Wednesday, praising the “extraordinary” Parkland survivors for their courage and persistence, pledging to stand with their efforts.
In a tweet, former first lady Michelle Obama said she and former President Barack Obama are in “total awe” of the young people leading this fight for change.
“We’re behind you every step of the way,” Michelle Obama said in a tweet.
I’m in total awe of the extraordinary students in Florida. Like every movement for progress in our history, gun reform will take unyielding courage and endurance. But @barackobama and I believe in you, we’re proud of you, and we’re behind you every step of the way.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) February 22, 2018
The former first lady’s tweet comes after her husband, the former president, posted his own thoughts following the tragedy in Florida, telling the country “we are not powerless” to prevent these massacres.
We are grieving with Parkland. But we are not powerless. Caring for our kids is our first job. And until we can honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep them safe from harm, including long overdue, common-sense gun safety laws that most Americans want, then we have to change.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 15, 2018
The issue of curbing gun violence became a key priority for Obama during his presidency following the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut where 26 people – including 20 children – were killed by a deranged gunman.
Sadly, because of repeated efforts by NRA-owned Republicans to block common-sense solutions like universal background checks, Obama was unable to sign into law any comprehensive reforms to American gun laws. Still, he spent much of his presidency urging the country – often with great emotion – to take meaningful steps to prevent these tragedies.
In a stark contrast, as Jason Easley wrote earlier, Trump needed to be reminded via a small cheat sheet to say empathetic things during Wednesday’s listening session at the White House. It’s just not part of his character to feel any concern for anybody or anything other than himself – even when he’s sitting face-to-face with grieving family members and friends.
It’s unclear whether the Obamas will be more vocal on this issue after last week’s tragedy in Parkland, but their empathetic and supportive words were much-needed for a country currently lacking compassion from the Oval Office.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.