Now that schools across the country have forced students to participate in gun-control rallies and walkouts, thousands of brave students are leading a counter-movement – one that is focused on protecting the Second Amendment. It’s a bold move that these students are taking, and Americans should take note of the significance.
The Stand for the Second movement is the brainchild of Will Riley, a senior at Carlsbad High School in New Mexico. His idea was to create a walkout opportunity for students who support the Second Amendment – many of whom were forced by school administrators and their teachers to participate in the nationwide school walkouts over the past several weeks. Will’s thesis is that students who are not in favor of gun control should have an opportunity to exercise their Constitutionally-protected First Amendment right to free speech, and that it is healthy for our democracy to showcase an alternate viewpoint on guns. He’s exactly right on both counts.
Thanks to Will’s hard work, thousands of students on Wednesday, May 2, will participate in a school walkout focused on the Bill of Rights and, specifically, our cherished Second Amendment rights.
Tea Party Patriots Action has made a name for itself in two primary areas – first, in protecting the Constitution, and second, in organizing large events that capture media attention and spur individuals to take more action to protect individual liberty. With that foundation, Tea Party Patriots Action was naturally drawn to the effort of helping these students fine-tune their event-organizing skills, and also develop a deeper understanding of why the Second Amendment was so important to our nation’s founders – and why it continues to be an important pillar of freedom in the United States.
Our support for these students includes providing a website with an interactive map and RSVP capabilities, sending T-shirts, stickers, and buttons to students who will attend the events, providing how-to guides for the student organizers and attendees, and ongoing training and support for the students.
It is not too late to organize an event for May 2, and my staff and I are on call over the next few days to help students who want to take a stand for the Second Amendment.
Over the past few weeks, as I have had the opportunity to engage with these students and learn more about why they want to take a stand for the Second Amendment, I have been both inspired and impressed. These students are already making a conscious decision to defend the Constitution – and that is a really encouraging sign for those of us who want to ensure future generations are as committed to the protection and promotion of individual liberty.
Will Riley has said that he is not a hunter, and rarely shoots, but was motivated to launch this movement because he believes his generation has a responsibility to participate in this national discussion about gun-control measures. Other students have told me that they believe guns save lives, and they want to protect the Second Amendment as a vital aspect of self-defense.
The Second Amendment, one of our most fundamental rights as American citizens, is also one of the most misunderstood aspects of the Constitution. Over the past decade, the Supreme Court has weighed in on the topic in two separate cases – District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. In both rulings, the Supreme Court clarified and specified that the Second Amendment’s purpose is two-fold: to safeguard against an oppressive government and to enable individuals to defend themselves against attacks by others.
As the late Justice Antonin Scalia explained, and as Justice Samuel Alito has echoed, our nation’s founders believed the right to bear arms was absolutely necessary for the preservation of individual liberty and the preservation of an individual’s safety and security.
The students taking a stand for the Second Amendment on May 2 are laying the foundation for future generations to appreciate what the Constitution protects, and what the Supreme Court has now unequivocally reaffirmed – that the right to own a gun undergirds individual liberty in our nation, and is an absolute necessity for individuals who want to be able to defend themselves.
To all of the students walking out of their classrooms on May 2 to advance this national discussion, thank you. Your stand for the Second Amendment is noticed and appreciated.
Jenny Beth Martin is chairman of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.