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Daily News' 'Everything is awesome!' front page pushes back on gun-control critics

Thumbing its nose at critics of a controversial cover last week, the New York Daily News doubled down with a sarcastic front page on Monday referencing gun control and President Obama's address to the nation.

"To all those who have been offended by hearing the truth about the nation's gun scourge & the NRA & the cowardly pols who think nothing is wrong, 'Everything is Awesome,''' the headline blares beside images of puppies, kittens and a polar bear with a cone on its head.

Underneath the puppies, the cover also references President Obama's address on Sunday night in which he spoke about the shootings in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 people dead. Obama said the country is prepared to meet the "evolving" threat of ISIS and terrorism.

The Daily News' reference to the NRA and gun control is in response to a controversial cover it ran the day after the San Bernardino attack that featured tweets from Republican politicians referencing prayers for the victims with the headline, "God Isn't Fixing This." The cover was heavily criticized by conservative politicians and media.

The newspaper also featured a cover labeling Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, as a terrorist.

Monday's "Everything is Awesome" headline hearkens back to the 2014 hit "The Lego Movie,'' which features a theme song of the same name by Tegan and Sara played by the villain to brainwash the characters into thinking nothing is ever wrong. The gun control debate has been reignited in the wake of the terrorist attack in Paris and the San Bernardino shooting, with anecdotal evidence of gun sales spiking across the country and a new 24-hour network dedicated to firearms set to launch in January.

In his speech, Obama touched on the fight against ISIS and the aftermath of the San Bernardino shootings but was criticized for not offering any new ideas on combating terrorism and for not reaching out to Republicans.

"To not have a new strategy, to not explain new military options or political options or to embrace some sort of unifying vision, really is a problem,'' NBC News' Andrea Mitchell said on TODAY Monday during an appearance alongside Bloomberg Politics' Mark Halperin.

Obama's address also drew sharp criticism from Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump and other candidates.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

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