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Veterans, especially those have been in combat, are in a unique position nowadays. Our country has give them an elevated place in our culture, for reasons both good and bad. And gun violence is something to which they bring personal experience and knowledge. These are people who, unlike the president, did not avoid military service. They have paid dues and earned the right to be heard.
I think that his new combination of concerned combat vets and outraged high school students is both unexpected and powerful, and may possibly finally lead to some results.