How Not To Promote Pro-Gun Ideals On Campus

April 20th is a day that will live in infamy - not because it’s Wiz Khalifa’s favorite holiday or Hitler’s birthday, but it is the anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School. This year, many students stood together in solidarity to show support for victims of gun violence and their families.

Many high schools staged walk-outs for this cause, but at our school, there was a demonstration where students set up signs with facts about gun violence and laid on the ground with “bloody” bandages like they were victims.

I stumbled upon this demonstration on accident, and when I went to go check it out, I saw that a group of guys was crowded near the demonstration, but not quite in the way of it. One was wearing shorts with the Gadsden flag snake stitched into them (from the brand Chubbies) and a shirt that looked like he skinned an early 2000's Taco Bell seat, and another was wearing an NRA t-shirt.

They were passing out pocket constitutions, NRA stickers, and asking students if they wanted to sign a petition for campus carry to be put in place at our university. A few of them were talking to students closer to the demonstration, trying to spark debate and conversation. What really set me off was the photo they decided to take with the demonstration - they stood behind the demonstration and held up a Gadsden flag.

 

I tried to talk to a few of the ones who were trying to debate with people, but quite frankly I couldn’t speak to them long enough to get any information as to why they were out here without feeling like I was going to implode. Once they tried to change the subject to “Racism isn’t real,” and offered me an NRA sticker, I had to leave.

While I am always for having political conversation and debate, I could not deal with how utterly disrespectful their actions were. Politics aside, this demonstration was to offer their support to victims of gun violence and to educate people on these issues, and this group came out and completely took over and took this silent demonstration away from them. Passing around a campus carry petition during a demonstration about gun violence in schools is extremely disrespectful as well, but I don’t feel like that’s one that I need to explain. This demonstration wasn’t to push some radical political agenda about banning all guns, and these guys turned it into that.

My blood is boiling. I am saddened to see that my fellow students would participate in such rude behavior and that they would advocate for such a dangerous idea. What we need to do as a student body is let these people know that we won’t allow this on our campus. We are not compromising our safety so that a few frat lords can bring their guns to school.