In the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shooting that took the lives of 17 people, the debate around gun laws and the Second Amendment rights has intensified.
As reported by Fox News, a group of students at Rockledge High School in Central Florida staged a walkout Friday to protest what they believe is a violation of their rights.
The students held the protest in support of the Second Amendment, claiming that the movement to honor victims and survivors of the Feb. 14 shooting by implementing stricter gun control measures has grown far too political, essentially silencing those who do support gun rights.
“I’m pro-Second Amendment,” said Rockledge junior Anna Delaney, who helped organize the protest. “I wouldn’t mind deeper background checks, of course, but the Second Amendment will not be infringed upon.”
The event stood in stark contrast to the March 14 protest that saw thousands of students across the country ditch school in order to call for stricter measures when it comes to regulating the Second Amendment.
That day, many from Rockledge stood on the football field to form the shape of a heart in honor of the victims of the Parkland shooting.
Several weeks later, nearly 75 students participated in Friday’s event, with the protest lasting nearly 20 minutes, according to Florida Today.
Students walked around the school’s track as they carried American flags and large signs with phrases like “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and “I support the right to bear arms” written on them. Some students even camouflage clothing and “Make America Great Again” hats.
Though the protest stood in stark contrast to the pro-gun control movement that has swept the country, the students backed up their argument by stating that America was formed, at least in part, on the right to bear arms.
“We were built on certain rights and that was one of the original rights, that we should have the right to bear arms,” said sophomore Chloe Deaton, another of the walkout’s organizers.
Zachary Schneider, a junior at the school, added, “It’s all over the news right now that all students hate guns. I wanted to show that not all students feel that way.”
Meanwhile, Rockledge Principal Vickie Hickey said the school gave the Second Amendment advocacy event the same treatment as it did the walkout in support of gun control, as both protests were completely driven by students.
Although the walkout organizers said the event was not held to endorse any particular political beliefs, many who participated expressed their opposition to the new gun control law signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott.
The law, which came in response to the Valentine’s Day shooting, raised the minimum age to purchase firearms from 18 to 21 and implemented a three-day waiting period to buy long guns.
“I finally got old enough to buy my own ammunition and my own guns, and I lost it again,” stated Schneider, referring to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act.
The controversial law also bans the sale and possession of bump stocks — a policy supported by President Donald Trump himself — which are devices that can essentially turn a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic one.
Many of those protesting on Friday said they support a “marshal program” to train and arm teachers and other staff so they can be prepared to act in case of an active-shooter situation.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.