By Ethan Suquet | United States
Ahead of Wednesday’s planned student walkouts in protest of gun rights I released the following statement on Snapchat at around 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday:
After giving deep thought and consideration to this issue I cannot participate in the student walkout tomorrow. I’ve seen many people posting about it, and I will add my voice to this. Ending violence gun violence is not something that will be resolved through strengthening gun laws but rather something that will be done through the strengthening of each individual’s moral character and the strengthening of the value that society places on an individual life. We know from the statistics on this issue that since 1990 while the number of guns in our nation has soared to new peaks the amount of violent crime has dropped to new lows. We cannot stop gun violence by infringing on the constitutional rights of our neighbors, but we can stop gun violence by embracing the values of kindness and decency. For that reason, tomorrow while many of my fellow students may participate in the planned walkout, I will remain seated in my sixth period Spanish class.-Ethan.
At first I genuinely considered joining in on this, the person that first asked me to join in on this protest is one of the nicest girls I know, and I didn’t wanna let her down, but in the end I decided as I know many other students will that fitting in by joining in on a popular protest movement is not worth so much damage to the conscience.
It is morally wrong to try to take away a fellow citizens constitutional right to bear arms just because a trending movement on the American left suggests that this is the way to go. Throughout history, the damaging effects of disarming a citizenry have been shown.
Whenever a tyrant ascends to power two of their first actions are usually to take away the freedoms that Americans consider to be their first and second amendment rights, but for this article, I would like to focus on the second.
Tyrants never want a dissenting citizenry to be able to fight back, so to prevent that from happening what they do is take away the tools that citizens can use to protect themselves.
While I fully acknowledge that the United States government is very unlikely to attack its citizens in the near future regardless of whether or not they try to ban certain kinds of firearms, taking this risk is not worthy of a nation founded on the idea of a free citizenry. While the government may not turn on us if we are disarmed, if they do we will lack what the constitution left as the last check against tyranny and be unable to fight back.
Even in the wake of an awful shooting so close to my home I cannot and will not resort to a protest designed to take away the rights of my fellow citizens and I hope that other students come to the same realization as I and at 12 pm they stay in class.
Image from Tenth Amendment Center.