Given that there are definitely two sides to the issue, I wonder what would have happened this week if students had mounted a massive counter-protest in favor of the Second Amendment as others were calling for firearm restrictions?
Much was said about Wednesday’s walkout by youths across the nation and how great it was that they were exercising their freedom of expression by protesting gun violence.
Again, though, suppose some independent-minded group of students (I know, a rare commodity these days) dared to go against the flow and refused to jump on the bandwagon against gun-ownership rights?
Would students have been permitted to exercise THEIR freedom of expression by advancing a position that differed from the increasingly left-wing leanings of educators on both high school and college campuses? Would they have been allowed to leave classes without any disciplinary action, as was the case with Wednesday’s protests?
Well, you can get a pretty good idea about how such an act would have gone over from what happened with a student in Minnesota who reportedly was booted off his campus by the principal. His “crime?” Having the sheer audacity to bring a pro-Second Amendment sign to school while about 100 fellow students were participating in the National School Walkout.
The sign wielded by the New Prague High School student said “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” which prompted Principal Lonnie Seifert to escort him off the grounds.
So the moral of the story seems to be that it’s OK to exercise one’s freedoms as long as they are the “correct” ones — in this case conforming to the anti-gun political and media agenda embraced by many educators today.
Aside from a growing trend among them of discouraging independent thought, I would guess that one of the reasons why such counter-protests weren’t more prevalent Wednesday relates to a faulty assumption: that youths are even taught about the Second Amendment in the first place.
Elementary schools, high schools and universities no longer are institutions of education in some cases, but indoctrination — places where young minds are molded to fit into a carefully constructed social framework. What happened to the days when our halls of learning encouraged students to research various subjects and issues, and then make up their own minds?
On the contrary, mindless indoctrination was on full display with Wednesday’s walkout.
You can’t doubt the sincerity of those who are disturbed by mass shootings on campuses such as the one on Feb. 14 in Florida. These incidents, especially the frequency of them, leave no doubt that solutions are needed, but perhaps ones more complex than simply trying to ban guns — whenever people also can be slaughtered by other means.
The name Timothy McVeigh should ring a bell here, the man who killed 168 people in Oklahoma City in 1995 without firing a single round.
So another troubling thing about Wednesday’s walkout is the fact that while it was an outcry against the senseless killings of young people, it focused only on those from firearms.
It would seem to me that since a desire to prevent deaths is the core issue, why not also take aim at causes which are even more prevalent.
• Each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in vehicular crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control Injury Center. This, of course, includes activities such as cell-phone use/texting, in which younger people are prone to engage.
• Teen suicide rates are climbing, according to a 2017 report by the CDC.
• In one recent year, a total of 1,149 children 14 and younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Of those 1,149 fatalities, 200 (17 percent) were linked to alcohol impairment.
• And what about abortion? During 2014 alone, an estimated 926,240 abortions took place in the U.S. So you would think that all those who are concerned about the deaths of young people by guns ought to be far more outraged by a practice which prevents them from even being born.
It would be nice to see greater attention focused on causes that claim young lives more so than firearms, which also include drugs. There should be sequels to the student walkout favoring stronger gun laws, allowing those other problems to be targeted with equal fervor.
Of course, that would go against the ongoing campaign to convert America into a New World Order communist country where independent thinking is outlawed altogether.
Tom Joyce is a staff writer for The Mount Airy News. He may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.