As high school students across the map walked out of school Friday on the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Colorado’s Columbine High School, Second Amendment activists were preparing for a Saturday rally at the Washington State capitol in Olympia that could draw some 2,000 gun owners.
The Wall Street Journal predicted that “thousands” of students would be walking out of class Friday to demand more gun control laws. Many seem oblivious to the fact that all school shootings have occurred in “gun free zones,” mandated by what has proven to be one of a plethora of ineffective gun control laws.
According to US News, the walkout is supposed to involve students in more than 2,600 schools and institutions. They “observed a 13-second silence in honor of those killed at Columbine.”
This new walkout comes as Second Amendment activists in Washington State are preparing for what could be one of the largest pro-rights rallies in that state in recent memory. According to the state Department of Enterprise Services, some 2,000 people are expected at the noon event on the Capitol steps. Many of them, according to an agency notice, “are expected to openly carry firearms, as allowed under state law. There is no prohibition against openly carrying guns on the grounds of the state Capitol Campus in Olympia.”
This comes in the wake of last weekend’s gathering that drew about 200 people in a steady rain. Perhaps they were just establishing a beachhead for the much larger crowd.
While the student gun control movement has been described as a grassroots effort, it has gotten support from established gun prohibition lobbying groups. What’s happening in the Evergreen State looks like a true grassroots effort, organized by two activists, Tessa Ashley and Allen Acosta. They have used social media to spread the word, and embattled Washington gun owners – demonized by a well-financed anti-gun lobbying group based in Seattle – appear eager to fight back.
The gun issue is divisive, and to many in the Second Amendment community, it appears that the gun control groups are exploiting the fear and concerns of school students to energize their political agenda.
Gun rights activists contend that they are being made the scapegoats for crimes they didn’t commit. They argue that gun rights aren’t what is wrong, it’s the individuals who commit these violent acts. When a terrorist drove a rented truck into a bunch of people on a New York City bicycle path, the truck didn’t get blamed, and neither did every truck owner in America face penalization. When two brothers set off a bomb made from a pressure cooker at the Boston Marathon, the pressure cooker didn’t get blamed, nor did the appliance industry.
Trucks and pressure cookers are far easier to obtain than a firearm, say rights activists. Yet, anti-gunners are feverishly campaigning to eliminate guns.
While gun owners, especially those who are parents, certainly sympathize with worried students, the new activist high schoolers shouldn’t demand the elimination of a fundamental right exercised by tens of millions of citizens, say gun rights advocates.