As the March for Our Lives protest continues throughout the nation, a number of counterprotests have popped up to advocate for the Second Amendment.
As the Washington Post reported, on Saturday a group against gun-control laws were staked out before the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., where protesters were prompted to come by messages from the National Rifle Association’s Facebook page.
Though the counterprotesters have expressed opposing beliefs regarding Second Amendment rights, many admitted things have been civil so far.
Signs from the counterprotesters ranged from “Keep your hands off my guns” to “If the Govt can have tanks, I can have my AR 15.”
Lots of marchers are trolling Trump by taking photos outside his hotel with their signs. These guys are counter-protesting in favor of gun rights pic.twitter.com/3iQz4eWJJU
— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) March 24, 2018
Some, such as Army veteran Brandon Howard, argued that rather than strict gun-laws that possibly infringe on citizens’ rights, the rule of trained teachers carrying firearms to protect their students should be implemented.
“They need teachers who, on a voluntary basis, have been trained in the use of a firearm, if they do so choose, carry it concealed in the classroom every day,” Howard said.
Numerous other gun-control protests took hold throughout the nation, from gun-rights advocates waving flags before the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. to hosts of counterprotests being held in Boston and even in Salt Lake City.
Hello from Salt Lake City, where I am following a rally for gun rights. “I believe it’s their goal to unarm America,” said Brandon McKee, of the Washington marchers. “That’s why we’re here today. We’re not going to stand idly by and let them tell us what we can and cannot do.” pic.twitter.com/qiNmGAnkak
— julieturkewitz (@julieturkewitz) March 24, 2018
Police in Boston separate small group of 2d Amendment supporters from a small group of gun-control activists who are shouting at each other pic.twitter.com/24cRzdp5Iz
— Katharine Q. Seelye (@kseelye) March 24, 2018
Some of the protestors in Salt Lake City were seen carrying pistols, with one sign that read: “What can we do to stop mass shootings? SHOOT BACK.”
The counterprotests have even sparked a Twitter movement called “March to the Range,” where conservative gun-rights advocates have posted pictures of themselves or others at shooting ranges while the March for Our Lives goes on.
The massive amount of money being spent on this astroturf #MarchForOurLives could have funded a massive amount of good armed school security officers and training for teachers who care enough about students’ lives to carry. I suggest NRA members #MarchToTheRange tomorrow!
— Chris Loesch (@ChrisLoesch) March 23, 2018
Though the topic on gun control has been debated heavily the past few weeks in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that took 17 lives, students, in particular, are leading the way in demanding that Congress create stricter gun-laws throughout the U.S.
Advocates for gun-laws have been seen holding signs such as “Arms Are for Hugging” and “Never Again,” with other protestors shouting, “Enough is enough!”
“We wanted to make sure we were a part of history and of the change we’re trying to bring about, and make it feel safe at school,” said high school junior Lindsy Voelker, 16, who joined the movement in New York with her friend Sophia Reynolds.
“Seventeen students were killed, and then no one talks about it. It’s crazy. We’re students. We should talk about it. Around our school, a lot of people own guns,” she said, adding that hardly anyone in their “conservative” neighborhood talked about the Parkland shooting.
Reynolds and Voelker also expressed their frustration as to the lack of resources available in their region for speaking up about gun violence and taking accountability for the safety in their schools.
“If we’re going to be the future of this country, we need to be taught about these things,” Voelker added. “So if we want to do anything about it, then we have the choice.”
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