Walkouts Assault Liberty in More Ways Than One
Students and teachers were punished for not submitting to leftist groupthink.
Liberty-loving Americans must make a commitment to be active in demanding government that honors the constitutional rights of its citizens, and we must work to that end ourselves in our communities.
While the next few paragraphs will analyze the recent student walkouts in support of gun laws, proceed with the frame of mind that the rights of Americans — the fundamental ingredients of a free people — are in danger. This is neither fear-mongering nor hyperbole. All the evidence supports that those of us who love Liberty must immediately rise to the occasion to be guardians of that Liberty — or be the generation that will witness it become a memory.
Not only are we watching, yet again, the Democrats infringe upon the Second Amendment — to rightfully bear arms, not to hunt, but to protect oneself, one’s property and defend one’s rights — but America is witnessing the First Amendment under direct assault by the same group of political activists whose agenda is clearly to make every citizen a ward of the State.
Nationwide, student walkouts occurred last Wednesday in many schools. These planned protests were meant to “demand stricter gun laws,” as reported by CNN, and to “protest gun violence,” according to NPR. The opening line of the USA Today article written just a week after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting was on target in noting the issue at hand was “the debate over gun ownership rights.”
Yet the cause of the Parkland massacre is now known to have resulted from failure after failure of current laws, systems and people in place to protect innocents. It was not because of lax gun laws. As has occurred too many times, Democrats stand on the coffins of innocents to push their agenda of gun control.
Among the nationwide coverage of these interruptions in the academic school day for the purpose of demanding limitations on the Second Amendment were cases where those who chose not to protest were punished for exercising their own First Amendment rights.
Hilliard Davidson High School senior Jacob Shoemaker of Ohio explained his decision not to participate in the walkout, which resulted in a two-day out-of-school suspension. Instead, Shoemaker sat in a locked classroom doing his homework because, in his words, “They were forcing me to make a choice, a political choice in the classroom.” The choice, the senior explained, was to go outside the school to support gun control or to an alternative study hall where he would be “seen as supporting gun violence.”
In a televised interview with Fox News, Shoemaker posited that “students should be able to make a choice and not be forced into a situation by the officials in their school district.” He drew a provocative contrast between the National Walkout Day to support gun control and how a similar walkout would be treated if the issue at hand were abortion. “If this whole protest was about abortion, I promise you this situation would be handled very different,” said the well-spoken senior.
He said he had endured insults such as being an “awful person” and “disgusting human being” who’s “so pro-gun and disrespectful to the lives lost in Florida.” But Shoemaker nailed it as he finished the interview: “They’ve gone and politicized that situation. It’s not a political event; it’s a tragedy.”
Don’t miss the Rahm Emanuel moment, young sir. The current mayor of Chicago, a city with some of the most rigid gun laws and the highest homicide rates, once advised Barack Obama, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Indeed, a tragedy is always fitting to become political fodder when it means advancing the leftist agenda.
The Ohio student was punished for failing to oppose the Second Amendment, as well as for failing to parrot the same propaganda as the mob — hence he was also punished for exercising his First Amendment rights. But he wasn’t alone.
Julianne Benzel, a history teacher at Rocklin High School in California, was placed on administrative leave following the class discussion that supplemented the organized walkout. Benzel dared to pose this question to her students: “If a group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided, ‘I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes’ and go in the quad area and protest abortion, would that be allowed by our administration?”
The blizzard of snowflakes melted because they were being confronted with a question that required critical thinking to justify one act of speech versus another. Snowflake parents reportedly called to complain because their equally fragile children had told them of the challenge to think. Subsequently, local school leaders issued the following statement: “A Rocklin High School teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave due to several complaints from parents and students involving the teacher’s communications regarding today’s student-led civic engagement activities.”
Don’t miss the awful irony. While these very educrats claim this walkout was a “student-led civic engagement” activity, a group of kids may not be free to lead a prayer for fear of being sued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Double standards must end not only because they’re wrong but because they’re unjust acts that erode the legitimate liberties of Americans.
When our Founders wrote that Americans are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” those words were meaningful as a group devoted to freedom prepared to take up arms against a tyrannical government that held in oppression its subjects. Today, most don’t even understand the term “unalienable.”
The rights we possess that are unalienable can neither be taken away nor granted because they are not an act of an institution or government; they are possessed by all of humanity as God-given rights. If we don’t stand as guardians of these rights through the proactive toil and commitment of electing the right leaders, demanding a constitutional government and defeating the enemies of Liberty, the greatness of our nation will become a relic.
It’s an election year. Let’s remove barriers to freedom.