The surviving students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, received a major boost this week, with the Obamas offering their full support for their efforts for gun reform.
On Feb. 14, 17 people, 14 of whom were students, were shot to death at the school by a troubled 19-year-old ex-student with an AR-15 rifle. The student was arrested and is awaiting trial on 17 murder charges.
The aftermath brought grief to the small Broward County community, as well as an outpouring of political activism from students there pushing for gun reform. Their actions spread to other schools and culminated in a remarkable CNN town hall, where Stoneman Douglas students grilled U.S. Rep. Marco Rubio and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch on their resistance to gun control.
Michelle Obama took to Twitter on Wednesday where she expressed her appreciation for the students' tenacity.
"I’m in total awe of the extraordinary students in Florida," she wrote. "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."
On Thursday, former President Barack Obama also said that the students had his support.
"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," he said. "We've been waiting for you. And we've got your backs."
Celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and George and Amal Clooney have spoken out in support of the students as well.
The students' actions have defied past calls to action regarding gun reform. Despite scores of mass shootings at schools since the infamous Columbine High School massacre in 1999, gun control efforts have gained zero traction. Instead, many states have loosened gun laws to allow for more liberal concealed weapons or open carry laws and expanding the range of locations where guns are permitted, such as colleges and parks.
Watch Jimmy Kimmel call for gun control after the October mass shooting that left 58 people dead and injured nearly 600 at a country music festival in Las Vegas in the video below.
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