Ordinarily after a mass shooting in America, attention and uproar builds for two to three days before giving way and allowing NRA-bought Republican politicians to pretend like it never happened.
That’s a big part of why, tragically, “ordinarily after a mass shooting” is a phrase that can be written in 2018 America.
This time is different, and count former President Barack Obama as one of those who can see the reason why (tweet below).
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Vox charted the coverage by the major news networks devoted to gun violence in the days following the highest profile massacres of the last several years. Three days after a single gunman’s assault on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida left 17 dead, the coverage followed a familiar pattern, dropping from nearly eight percent of network coverage to less than three.
Then student survivors started to make news. Coverage four and five days later climbed, nearly doubling the two-day attention from prior tragedies.
That’s no accident. It is the result of poised, passionate, and truly courageous leadership of student survivors who have held Republicans’ feet to the fire, battled the NRA’s corporate bullies, and refused to back down even amidst a vile smear campaign from right wing media.
President Trump has responded by trying to avoid the student survivors in a truly cowardly display, and as usual, Obama used his Twitter account to demonstrate the class and leadership that has been been absent the White House since he left office.
Obama knows that these teenagers already have proven to be heroes, showing more courage in the last week than every Republican in Congress has shown in a year. In them he sees hope, a chance to finally bring about the change we need to America’s deadly gun policy, and he told them he was glad to have them on his team.
He also made sure they knew that he is on their team as well. Thanks Obama.
Young people have helped lead all our great movements. How inspiring to see it again in so many smart, fearless students standing up for their right to be safe; marching and organizing to remake the world as it should be. We've been waiting for you. And we've got your backs.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 22, 2018