Tag: student walkout

Parkland Students Don’t Speak for Me or My Generation

Op-Ed by Will Riley | United States

For the past month, Americans have been subjected to wall-to-wall cable news coverage of a well-orchestrated campaign to dismantle the Second Amendment. This campaign, organized and funded by national gun control groups, has exploited a handful of grieving teens from the Parkland, Florida high school shooting tragedy. As a high school senior in Carlsbad who supports gun rights, I am disgusted by how these students and their adult handlers are trying to define my generation. My generation is not anti-Second Amendment. My generation does not agree with retired Justice John Paul Stevens that the Second Amendment should be repealed. In fact, millennials are more pro-gun than our parents are. It’s time the media starts hearing from the millions of young Americans who respect the Constitution and recognize that the Second Amendment is fundamental to our protection and safety, as both individuals, and as a nation.

A recent Gallup poll found that 66 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds said they think that concealed carry guns would make the U.S. safer, 10 percentage points higher than the national average of 56 percent. A separate Pew Research Center poll found differences between millennials and the generations before them on two gun control proposals, outlawing “assault-style” weapons and banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Both Republican and Democratic millennials are more conservative on these proposals and less likely to favor them than Generation Xers, baby boomers, and even members of the so-called “silent generation,” those born between the mid-1920s and mid-1940s. These Parkland high school students do not speak for my generation.

I am not a hunter. I am not much of a shooter. But this issue is not only about guns. This is a battle for the very heart and soul of our country. My goal is simple. I want to spread awareness that not all of my generation shares in this shortsighted crusade to strike a grievous blow to our nation. That is why I have decided to start this movement, Stand for the Second, and began planning a student walkout paralleling the National Day of Action and March for our Lives.

Rather than focus on the victims of firearms, as the gun control walkout did, our walkout will recognize all the American lives saved each year by firearms. Every year an estimated 1.5 million Americans use a firearm to defend themselves. During a 16 minute walk out, that breaks down to 91 American lives saved during the walkout. We want Americans to know that firearms are overwhelmingly used for good in our country. More importantly, the Constitution guarantees the right of every law-abiding American to Keep and Bear Arms. That is what we want to remind people of – our Constitution is still relevant today and the Second Amendment, in particular, is still sacred.

Currently, my Stand for the Second walkout is expected to draw about a thousand students at Carlsbad High School, with a small residual effect causing smaller walkouts in Artesia, Hobbs, and possibly Roswell. However, this is not the vision I want for our movement. I want a nationwide movement to defend the Constitution. Unfortunately, I don’t have the benefit of wealthy organizers and funders like the Parkland students enjoyed. It’s pretty much just me and my friends trying to get the word out. I am asking everyone who sees this, to consider a Stand for the Second walk out at your high school. Because my generation is so connected to social media, I think our message should be spread on Twitter and Instagram, and whatever other sites you use. You can link to my website on social media to help promote it: standforthesecond.com

My generation has an obligation to define itself and not let ourselves be defined by national gun control groups. This is our opportunity to stand up for the Second Amendment and have our voices heard in this critical national debate.

Featured image source.


Facts, Gun Violence, Walkouts and Feelings

Isaiah Minter | United States

As millions of Americans across the country prepare for the March for Our Lives demonstration on March 24th, I expect the event to be little more than mass virtue signaling masquerading as youth activism. The truth is, millions of individuals carrying colorful signs and slandering those who agree with them does not make gun control good policy. Rather, it shows the foundation of gun control argumentation: emotion. Not facts, but feelings. And when discussing an issue as serious as the safety of our children, this approach does absolutely more harm than good.

If we are serious about improving the safety of our children and reducing gun violence, it is imperative that we pursue truth and evidence, not emotions and foolishness.

Therefore, I hope that this piece, in addressing common myths on the matter, functions as a resource for all Americans to understand the good intentions behind gun control are no substitute for its inability to yield positive results.

All in all, the American people have a right to facts. So here they are.

No, there have not been 18 school shootings this year.

When we think of school shootings, we usually think of students and teachers being killed by a shooter. We picture Columbine, Newtown, and Parkland, not a simple firearm being discharged on school grounds. By rejecting the sensationalized media view of the definition of school shooting, this statistic clearly is fake news.

America does not have a mass shooting problem.

Despite all the media hysteria, America isn’t even in the top ten of countries with the greatest frequency of mass public shootings and the annual death rate from them.

From 2009 to 2015, there were roughly 25% more per capita casualties from mass public shootings throughout Europe than the US.

Moreover, one study done in early 2017 found that all of the worst public mass shootings since 1970 have occurred outside the US. Of the worst 44, 40 have occurred outside the US and of the worst 67, 59 have occurred outside the US. Looking at the US specifically, from 1982 to early 2018 there were 98 mass shootings that resulted in 816 total deaths, or 23 deaths a year. While there has been a slight uptake in the frequency of mass public shootings, mass shootings account for just 12% of mass killings, which account for less than 1% of annual homicides.

Even when looking at homicide rates between US states and the rest of the world, America is not a haven of unimaginable violence.

In comparison to the rest of the world, the US does not stand out. There are clearly some state outliers, mainly Washington D.C., but keep in mind that the nation’s capital has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

We can all agree that homicides and mass public shootings are tragic, but the notion that a country ranked 28th in international homicide has a gun crime epidemic that can only be solved by swift gun confiscation is clearly false.

More guns do not equal more crime.

Because guns are killing machines, more guns mean more crime. Unfortunately, the claim runs contrary to the evidence.

The plain fact is, gun crime, and violent crime, in general, has been falling for decades in America despite increases in gun ownership of roughly 10 million per year. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics:

“U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent over the course of 18 years, from 18,253 during 1993, to 11,101 in 2011. During the same period, non-fatal firearm crimes decreased even more, a whopping 69 percent. The majority of those declines in both categories occurred during the first 10 years of that time frame. Firearm homicides declined from 1993 to 1999, rose through 2006, and then declined again through 2011. Nonfatal firearm violence declined from 1993 through 2004, then fluctuated in the mid-to-late 2000s.”

Even if we compare rates of gun ownership and homicide state by state, the claim is not supported by data. Moreover, with respect to homicide and firearm ownership rates outside the US, a positive correlation remains to be seen.

In the event that a country, we’ll call it Nation A, has a high gun ownership rate and a high level of crime,  it does not logically follow the high level of crime must, or even can, be explained by the high level of gun ownership. It may even be the case that the level of high crime exists in spite of the high level of gun ownership.

For instance, the nine European nations with the lowest gun ownership rate have a combined murder rate three times that of the nine European nations with the highest gun ownership rate. It may very well be the case that firearm ownership explains very little of the disparity in murder between the two groups.

In any event, because crime is influenced by many factors independent of firearm ownership levels, the gun control side remains unfazed by hard evidence. For if they had any concern for the evidence, they would find that gun control has saved more egos in the last month than it has human lives in the last century.

Guns save lives.

As gun control pundits lament over the lives taken by guns, they ignore the massive disparity between the lives taken by firearms and the lives saved by them.

In 2016, some 16,459 murders were committed, with roughly 11,961 of them committed by firearms. Now, based on a study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, US citizens use guns in defense over 989,883 times a year.

If in one year, 11,961 people were killed by guns – we’ll round up to 12,000 – and 989,883 people had their lives saved by guns – we’ll round up to 990,000 – that means  each year in the United States firearms are used to save lives at least 80 times more often than they are used to take them.

The CDC offers a lower figure, finding that Americans use guns in defense of the home roughly 500,000 times a year.

Ultimately, estimates of defensive gun usage range from 500,000 cases a year to 3 million. In any case, guns are used significantly more often to defend a life than to take one.

Years after Columbine, the state of Colorado passed the 2003 Concealed Carry Act, allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms. According to the CATO Institute, this law helped halt a massacre in December 2007 when an attacker who opened fire in the New Life Mega Church was shot by a volunteer security guard with a concealed handgun.

Elsewhere, three school shootings were thwarted by adults with firearms. In 2015, a 62-year-old man who had fired at several people was shot and wounded by an armed civilian. In the same year, an Uber driver shot a gunman who had opened fire in Logan Square. On the whole, armed citizens kill roughly twice as many criminals as police do, but one would never know this from the media.

The NRA does not bribe politicians.

When it comes to campaign contributions and lobbying, the NRA is not that influential. In 2012, the top 20 lobbying spenders were as follows:

  • US Chamber of Commerce: $136,300,000
  • National Assn of Realtors: $41,464,580
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield: $22,569,532
  • American Hospital Assn: $20,123,200
  • Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America: $19,260,000
  • General Electric: $18,970,000
  • National Cable & Telecommunications Assn: $18,890,000
  • Google Inc: $18,220,000
  • Northrop Grumman: $17,540,000
  • AT&T Inc: $17,460,000
  • American Medical Assn: $16,505,000
  • Boeing Co: $15,640,000
  • Southern Co: $15,580,000
  • Lockheed Martin: $15,347,350
  • Verizon Communications: $15,020,000
  • Comcast Corp: $14,750,000
  • National Assn of Broadcasters: $14,510,000
  • Royal Dutch Shell: $14,480,000
  • United Technologies: $14,454,750
  • Business Roundtable: $13,890,000

*The NRA spent $2,980,000 in comparison*

The truth is, the NRA is not some sort of lobbying terrorist organization. In 2016, the organization spent just $1.1 million, ranking them 488th in campaign contributions for groups spending more than $1 million. In the same election cycle, the Republican party spent $638 million, or 580 times what the NRA contributed.

Since 2000, the NRA has spent $203 million in campaign contributions. While it is true they do give a lot of money to politicians, the NRA exerts more pressure on the political process by motivating their base, sending voter guides to their members in support of favored candidates. Moreover, they spend more money on independent expenditures than campaign contributions.

Contrary to what the media is pedaling, the gun lobby is not a greedy organization that condones the senseless murder of children. Rather, it is a genuine grass root group in Washington composed of millions of law-abiding citizens that value gun rights.

Me funding you because you support a position – what the NRA does – is not the same as me paying you to support a position. The latter is bribery. 

International gun control did not work.

Britain, Australia, Mexico, all the international cases of gun control that liberal pundits love to use are not as successful as they are made out to be.

In Australia, the firearm homicide rate was declining years before the gun buyback program in 1996. In the 7-years before and after the buyback, the homicide rate declined at the same rate. 3 years after the gun ban, armed robberies and firearm-related murders had increased by 69% and 19% respectively. Additionally, a decade-long study concluded that the gun measures taken by Australia had no effect on crime rates.

In 2000, 3 years after the gun ban in Britain, crime rates had drastically increased: sexual assault by 112%, assault by 130%, and armed robbery by 170%. Half of the areas with the lowest number of legal firearms had a gun crime rate above average, compared to just 10% of the areas with the highest number of legal firearms.

Mexico has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, and yet in 2012, the country’s gun homicide rate per 100,000 people was over three times higher than the US. All of this comes in spite of the fact that Mexico has one legal gun store, compared to nearly 65,000 n the US.

Gun crime was declining in Australia before the gun buyback; crime in Britain has risen since the ban, and Mexico remains a country stricken by violence despite the gun control.

American gun control did not work.

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban didn’t lower crime. California’s strict gun-control laws failed to prevent San Bernardino. Connecticut gun control legislation since Sandy Hook has proved ineffective. Gun control failed in Chicago, it failed in Washington D.C., The Orlando nightclub Pulse was a gun free zone, as were Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland.

For all the talk on the dire need for tighter gun laws, more signs and tears are offered than cases of hard evidence supporting gun control. And the reason why is clear: American gun control did not do what it was intended to do.

Image Source Matt Baldry

The Failed Disruption of the Student Walkout

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

A wave of activism has taken hold of the high school students of this country. Youth political activity is now in, but it is merely another iteration of teens attempting to make an emotionally-charged change in a way that is good for PR, but bad for the world.

The student-led walkout on Wednesday consisted of high school students exiting the school and standing outside for 17 minutes. The intention was to raise awareness for gun violence, and although they will rarely admit it, it has the political intention of moving towards gun control.

If you don’t see it this way, come on. The celebrated results have been increased gun restrictions in multiple states, and the movement is the clear precursor to the March 24 “March For Our Lives,” a march with a clear gun control agenda. Stop beating around the bush, if you are walking out, chances are you want gun control. This is no innocent apolitical movement.

The obvious intention is to raise awareness of gun violence so that we may solve what we are now aware of. The mainstream method to do such a thing is to implement gun control on any level and of any kind. This is not going to work, though, for multiple reasons.

The most popular gun control example, Australia, has time and time again been revealed to be a faulty model for gun control. The statistics show the country was experiencing a downward trend before and after the buyback. Japan as an example has its flaws because Japan’s lack of gun violence stems primarily from its collectivist culture. The U.S. has a culture of gun ownership, meaning there would be substantial pushback to restrictions on any similar level within the country.

The resulting pushback shows the clear counter-productivity of trying to reduce violence through gun control. Who is controlling? The violent hands of the state would be the ones grabbing the weaponry. An institution of violence working to take the weapons from a gun-loving populace is in for a fight. The only result would be more violence.

Walking out to restrict gun rights should not be our goal. Rather, we should be what many are calling walking up. Like many of the ailments in modern society, deranged psychopathy that causes such tragedies as those of Parkland and Columbine stems from social isolation and lack of a father figure. The only thing that can fix this downward spiral is more human connection, and those responsible for this increase in connection are those that read this piece, along with everyone else.

Become the friend of the one who sits alone. Become the father-figure for the one who is growing up fatherless.

It requires personal work and sacrifice to make a change like the one we all want to see, and walking outside of your school for 17 minutes is flat out lazy. Broken boys and girls sit next to you in class every single day. Put in some work and make a real difference.

Featured image source.

The Student Walkout Movement? It’s Pro-Gun

By Andrew Lepore | United States

“The 2018 student walkout movement will be one of the largest and widespread movements in favor of guns and coercion in recent years”

Since the recent tragedy in Parkland Florida, a series of student walkouts have sprung up across the country. These protests, intended as a call to action for state and federal lawmakers, have gained significant traction and support from mainstream media outlets. This 17-minute walkout will take place at my high school this week, and is likely to see widespread support among to student populace. Emma Mair, a co-organizer of this weeks walkout, told the School Committee last Wednesday, “Silently walking out to protest the country’s current gun policy is how Masconomet students would like to stand in solidarity with the Parkland victims and survivors, with all shooting victims and survivors.”

The end goal of “protesting the countries current gun policy” is different according to the opinion of each individual protester; although it ranges from stricter background checks, a national registry, banning bump stocks/ other accessories, and the full-on ban of “assault weapons.” Due to the fact that these protests hope to achieve stricter laws regarding guns, even full-on bans; this movement is, in fact, one of pro-gun, pro-violence, and pro-coercion.

“If you are for gun control, then you are not against guns, because the guns will be needed to disarm people. So it’s not that you are anti-gun. You’ll need the police’s guns to take away other people’s guns. So you’re very Pro-Gun, you just believe that only the Government (which is, of course, so reliable, honest, moral and virtuous…) should be allowed to have guns. There is no such thing as gun control. There is only centralizing gun ownership in the hands of a small, political elite and their minions.” -Stefan Molyneux

The very idea of laws making it harder for law-abiding citizens to protect their family, and the outright banning of certain firearms if passed into law would be enforced through the barrel of a gun. I don’t think these students have any idea what they’re really begging for. Do they think that Congress just signs a paper and at the stroke of a pen all guns are magically transported to some safe government vault? Do they think millions of Americans would just all come together and turn their firearms into the state? Considering the people who own these firearms do so precisely for protection against government tyranny (which is the main purpose of the second amendment), I don’t think that would be so easy.

Let’s pretend following the protest, Congress passes a bill making guns harder to get (for law-abiding citizens, of course, criminals will get guns regardless of laws), banning bump stocks/ other accessories, and banning assault weapons. Imagine this legislation is announced and the country is told that all tactical accessories and assault weapons should be turned into your local police station. Not only that but, they announce all people on any form of ADHD, depression, anxiety, or other mental health medication would no longer be allowed to purchase a gun of any sort; and that any with those conditions who currently own a gun would be required to turn theirs as well.

To those ignorant of gun culture and its distrust of government might think this is an easy task. Many think guy owners are some dying minority of rednecks that can easily be corralled and tamed. The truth is there are over 270 million privately held firearms, and America has the highest gun ownership per capita rate in the world, with an average of about nine guns for every 10 Americans. It would probably be safe to bet that almost every single one of these gun owners has a serious distrust of the government. Many Firearm owners think the state has been planning to disarm them since the 90’s, and they simply would not go down without a fight. This hardcore sentiment dates back to 1776, the War for Independence, and the signing of the Second Amendment to our constitution. It is reflected in the popular NRA slogan “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.”

This sentiment may not be unjustified. Considering Before the holocaust the Jews were disarmed, before Stalin’s great purges the people of the USSR were disarmed before Mao starved and murdered millions of his own people the Chinese were disarmed. While genocide may seem like a far-fetched scenario for America, all it takes is small steps to reach such great evil.

When the state makes a victimless action in and of itself a crime, resistance to that law becomes imminent (and to me, justified). When in resistance to the power of the state, even when justified, you will face the full force of the authoritarian iron fist of the state and its enforcers.

What happens when these stubborn, independent firearm owners refuse to hand over their guns to the first man with a shiny badge who knocks on the door? Waco, Texas 1993; members of the Branch Davidians religious group are suspected by the ATF to be converting semi-automatic rifles to fully automatic rifles in their isolated rural compound. After an initial failed ATF raid on the compound, the FBI took over the operation. The FBI surrounded the compound and began siege tactics as the Branch Davidians refused to surrender themselves or their firearms. On day 51 of this siege, the feds attempted a tactical assault with tanks armed with tear gas to flood the compound and “force the group out.” They used CS gas (2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile), which can be highly incendiary, yet the feds made no preparations to put out a fire had it occurred. The assault resulted in a fire ripping through the compound, killing 26 children, and 45 adult men and women.

This is the power of the state. This is the power of laws enforced through the barrel of a gun. The means to an end for a law is always violence. In other words, the goal which a law is aimed at achieving is always achieved by violence or the threat of violence. Sure there are FBI negotiators, but that does not change the nature of crime, punishment, and enforcement within the United States. The power of a law simply comes from the barrel of a gun.

This brings us back to the Stefan Molyneux quote:

“You’ll need the police’s guns to take away other people’s guns. So you’re very Pro-Gun, you just believe that only the Government should have guns (which is, of course, so reliable, honest, moral and virtuous…) should be allowed to have guns.”

The point of wanting to use guns to disarm law-abiding gun owners is hypocritical enough itself, but weren’t many of the people who are in favor of only allowing police and military to have guns just a few weeks ago protesting police for systematic racism and brutality? And also aren’t many are in opposition to wars of aggression in the Middle East? Why are they one week protesting against police and the next week they’re declaring only police should have guns? This makes very little. It proves to me that this is no movement against guns and violence. It is a movement to strip Americans of their right to self-preservation.

In conclusion, The 2018 student walkout movement will be one of the largest and most widespread movements in favor of guns and coercion in recent years. I will be staunchly advocating for the rights of the American people to keep their own weapons, and I will not tolerate any government steps to infringe upon those rights.

Image Source John Stuart

The Walkout Movement Is Just Another Instance Of Ridiculous Lefist Reverse Virtue-Signaling

By Austin Anderholt | United States

Why I will be the only student not to walk out on March 14th

In reaction to the Stoneman Douglas high school shooting that killed 17 on February 14th, many Americans (especially youth) are planning on walking out of school sometime in the next few months. As it seems, the most popular one of these will occur on March 14th, where at 10:00 AM, students and teachers will walk out of class for 17 minutes to “mourn” the loss of the 17 victims of this large school shooting. I go to an extremely liberal school, and many students (as well as some teachers) are planning on engaging in this walkout. I personally find this repulsive, and although I am sure I will be one of the only students at my school to do so, I will not be participating in the 17-minute walk out.

Shortly after president Donald Trump’s inauguration, a group of feminists organized a nationwide protest called “The Women’s March”. Essentially, the idea of the protest was to attack the president as much as possible while still pretending that their march was to support women’s rights.

I’ve nicknamed this tactic the “Heads I win, tails you lose tactic.” Imagine this scenario:

A party gives you an ultimatum. They say “If you participate in our event that means you support our movement, but if you do not participate, it is not because you disagree with our movement, but because you support evil.” If you disagree with the ideas of said party, this gives you two options. You can either choose to join the party’s event with which you disagree with, or you can not join the event, wherein the party in reference will state that it is because you are an evil person. It’s a lose-lose situation.

This reverse virtue signaling tactic is commonly used by leftists. For example, the demonstrators in the Women’s March protest were almost entirely protesting against Trump. Their signs, speeches, and costumes were virtually 100% attacks on Trump. However, many of these feminists would freak out if one said: “I disagree with the Women’s March movement.” Why? Because many of these feminists are still pretending that these marches were for “Equal rights” and could, therefore, disregard any political dissent as “Sexist” and “Against equality.”

This “heads I win, tails you lose” tactic is now also being used by the left to push their gun control doctrine. Many students at my school are telling me that:

“The student walkout is about mourning the parkland students and mourning the parkland students alone. It isn’t about gun control, so if you choose not to participate you’re saying you don’t care about the parkland victims.”

“The student walkout is about gun control, and to join the protest would be to support gun control. If you choose not to participate, you’re saying that you oppose gun control.”

These statements are of course contradictory, and as someone who is both opposed to gun control, and cares about the Parkland victims, I am stuck in quite the predicament. This is why the left loves these kinds of protests. They force you to either side with them and be considered “A good person” or to disagree with these radicals and then be considered some sort of monster. Heads, they win. Tails, you lose.

So what’s the solution? Well, there’s two:

First, one could organize a counter-protest. This way, they could support the second amendment and solidarity with the Parkland victims.

The second option is what I am doing. That being refusing to participate publicly. By publicly calling out the ridiculousness and hypocrisy of the protest, you are not only fighting this leftist lie, but you are delegitimizing and showing other potential protesters how stupid and disgusting the movement really is.