Barack Obama, writing for Time magazine’s “Most Influential People of 2018” on Parkland, Florida students Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, David Hogg, Emma González, and Alex Wind:
America’s response to mass shootings has long followed a
predictable pattern. We mourn. Offer thoughts and prayers.
Speculate about the motives. And then — even as no developed
country endures a homicide rate like ours, a difference explained
largely by pervasive accessibility to guns; even as the majority
of gun owners support commonsense reforms — the political debate
spirals into acrimony and paralysis.
This time, something different is happening. This time, our
children are calling us to account.
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.
But 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world anew; to reject the old constraints, outdated conventions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.
He has such a distinct writing style — I can hear his voice as I read his words.