Obama on March for Our Lives: ‘All Because of the Courage and the Effort of a Handful of 15- and 16-Year-Olds’

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Barack Obama waves goodbye to the audience as he attends a talk at the Art Gallery Of NSW on March 23, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. The former US president is on a private speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand and spoke to more than …
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Former President Barack Obama said that just a “handful of 15-and 16-year-olds” were responsible for the March for Our Lives protest last weekend where thousands of protesters demanded “gun control” in Washington, DC, and in other cities around the country.

Obama was speaking at the Global Opinion Leaders Summit in Tokyo on Saturday where he cited the march, which was planned following the shooting deaths of 17 people at a high school in Florida last month at the hands of a former student with a long history of mental illness.

Obama said those students did not want to “be silent victims of the gun violence that is so pervasive in the United States.”

“These are young people that are 16, 17 years old,” Obama said. “And today there was a march in Washington with hundreds of thousands of people and these rallies were duplicated all around the world.”

“And this was all because of the courage and effort of a handful of 15- and 16-year-olds who took the responsibility that so often adults have failed to take in trying to find a solution to this problem,” Obama said.

In his remarks, Obama said young people have “lost faith in existing institutions” and that they need “to find ways to make these institutions more relevant to the times and to connect with young people and you can’t do that unless you give young people some ability to participate.”

Obama said the teens who planned the march are an example of that kind of participation.

“I think that’s a testimony to what happens when young people are given opportunities and I think all institutions have to think about how do we tap into that creativity and that energy and that drive,” Obama said.

But as Breitbart News reported, the rally first planned by high school students was quickly hijacked by the left and gun control groups,  transforming it into a turn out-the-liberal-vote event.

Breitbart News also reported that very few teens actually attended the D.C. event.

“Research by University of Maryland sociologist Dana R. Fisher has revealed that about than 10% of the participants in the main ‘March for Our Lives’ anti-gun protest in Washington, DC, on Saturday were under 18 years old,” Breitbart News reported.

The average age of participants, Fisher said, was “just under 49 years old.”

Fisher is studying the demographic makeup of the so-called “Resistance” to President Donald Trump and published a commentary in the Washington Post recently:

Contrary to what’s been reported in many media accounts, the D.C. March for Our Lives crowd was not primarily made up of teenagers. Only about 10 percent of the participants were under 18. The average age of the adults in the crowd was just under 49 years old, which is older than participants at the other marches I’ve surveyed but similar to the age of the average participant at the Million Moms March in 2000, which was also about gun control.

At the D.C. march, the National Education Association teachers’ union handed out posters from Amplifier.org proclaiming that kids, not guns, should be protected. The anti-gun Brady Campaign also passed out literature at the D.C. event telling participants to press members of Congress to pass stricter gun ownership laws and to vote out gun rights lawmakers in the midterm elections.

Some of the groups involved in organizing, promoting, and funding the March for Our Lives include the anti-gun Giffords — an organization started by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) — Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Move On, the Women’s March, and Planned Parenthood.

As Breitbart News reported, Cameron Kasky, 17, acknowledged that the anti-Trump group Indivisible helped with the march and said that their assistance is necessary because of the role race allegedly plays in school shootings. Kasky said in an interview on Friday with National Public Radio:

You know our story was told because we are an affluent white community and we have to shine the spotlight that was given on us on everybody in the world that has to deal with this on a daily basis. So people like Indivisible, who represent students who are in lower-income communities and don’t get to speak out the way we do because people don’t listen — we have to connect with these students.

Obama praised young people in general in his remarks in Japan.

“What’s interesting when you meet young people — I find this in every country — they are actually just as idealistic as previous generations — maybe more,” Obama said. “They’re very well-informed.”

“They’re very sophisticated,” Obama said. “They know what’s happening around the world.”

“They have a keen sense of injustice and right and wrong,” Obama said.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

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