After the Parkland, Florida, pro-gun control students-led March for Our Lives dominated the news coverage across the country, reports involving students who were actually pro-gun rights carrying their own protests also surfaced. Unfortunately, they didn’t get the same back-to-back coverage their anti-civil rights peers got.
The approximately 75 students carried signs that hoped to combat the anti-gun rights crowd’s arguments. According to one of the organizers, Chloe Deaton, the idea is to clear misconceptions about gun ownership and the Second Amendment, and not to get involved in political battles.
The sophomore who was wearing a T-shirt that read, “my rights don’t end where your feelings begin,” said that as a civil right, the Second Amendment is extremely important.
“We were built on certain rights and that was one of the original rights, that we should have the right to bear arms,” she said.
On Facebook, libertarian author Wendy McElroy shared her view that the right to own and bear arms, along the right to free speech, should be the two most important to all libertarians.
Without the freedom to speak about the importance of gun ownership, and without the ability to defend ourselves while we speak in support of gun ownership, “neither right [would] exist for long,” she said.
While I have yet to see anyone condemning the Parkland students and their followers for using their right to speak freely, I have seen many condemning people who choose to own guns for self-defense purposes.
If the anti-gun rights crowd were successful and our civil right to self-defense were seriously restricted, then I wouldn’t be shocked to see another group come for the First Amendment next. And as we know, once Americans are targeted over their speech and their gun ownership, there would be no easy way back.
As such, let’s continue to celebrate groups like the one from Rockledge High School, but let’s also stress the importance of letting all who want to speak, speak. And let’s defend their right to do so. Only those who have no legitimate argument respond with the threat of using government to aggress against others.
As libertarians, we have the ability to defend both rights without ever having to resort to the government to impose our views.