Saturday across the nation, conservative students and supporters rallied in support of gun rights. March for Our Rights is a counter to the massive student-led rallies against guns and the Second Amendment. Their movement is small and described as laying the groundwork for growth.
The highly publicized wave of student-led gun-control activism after the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school in February has left some conservative students feeling as though their views are not being taken into consideration in the debate about how to stop school shootings. As the March for Our Lives movement has been trying to push gun-control legislation across the country, a group of students who want to protect Second Amendment rights is sponsoring rallies nationwide on Saturday.
The students organized rallies in 10 cities to defend the Second Amendment rights of Americans. You can see a short video of the Washington, D.C. rally HERE. You’ll note the number of those gathered is quite small. The organizers expected the modest response but hope the initial rallies will lay the foundation for growth in the coming years.
Besides Washington, D.C., rallies were held in Los Angeles and Chicago, along with seven other cities. NRA is not a sponsor of the group, but the group has been interviewed on NRATV. Planning for the rallies began in April when the anti-gun rallies were so prominently featured in national media and supported by donations from billionaires and millionaires on the left. The conservative students found each other on social media, using Instagram and Facebook, and shared a common interest in support for the Second Amendment.
— March 4 Our Rights (@M4OROfficial) June 23, 2018
Conservative students across the country are reacting to the hijacking of the issue by the students from Parkland, Florida and their supporters. One student from Boca Raton, now executive director of March for our Rights DC, explained her reaction.
Morgan Sachs, executive director of March for Our Rights DC, said she heard from high school students who “felt they were being silenced” during the gun debate that followed February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Sachs, who graduated from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, about 10 miles from Parkland, said not everyone from the town is in favor of gun control.
“When students from that high school took control of the gun-control narrative, it was shocking to me,” she said. “I knew students there did not entirely agree with it. Students at my school totally disagreed.”
Sachs hopes Saturday’s rallies will give Second Amendment supporters a “chance to feel comfortable.”
And for a black, Hispanic conservative student in Phoenix, the issue has made her feel quite alone in her advocacy of the Second Amendment.
For Kenya Rodriguez, expressing her deeply held belief in conservatism and the Second Amendment has been anything but comfortable. Rodriguez, who is black and Hispanic, said people have called her racial slurs for her views. She said she has very few supporters at her Phoenix high school.
“I’ve had everybody turn against me,” she said. “I have no close friends, no supporters . . . it has created a big divide.”
Rodriguez, a 17-year-old rising senior, said she wants to join the Army after graduation and believes that some want to take away the right to bear arms. She wants to form a pro-gun student group at her high school and hopes that more like-minded students will become vocal after the march.
Other marches around the country may have drowned out any media coverage the multi-city rallies may have garnered otherwise, but there was this report on Fox News.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 8, 2018
There was a competing march scheduled in Philadelphia – one that was in support of the Parkland students’ movement.
Yesterday, we came across this FB event for a “March For Our Rights” rally in Philadelphia the same day as Still Marching. We would just like to say that this will not deter us from marching for common sense gun reform and safer communities. Come out in full force on 7/7 🧡 pic.twitter.com/e8pnebOxvk
— Still Marching Philadelphia (@stillmarching) July 5, 2018
As with any group at the beginning stage of organizing, the March for Our Lives seems to be experiencing some messaging difficulties. The rally in Houston, for example, was scheduled the day before the rally planned by the Parkland group. On their Facebook page, there was confusion as to why a rally was scheduled for July 7 when the other group was scheduled for July 8 and an open carry group had a counter-protest rally planned. I admit I didn’t see local coverage Saturday in Houston.
Still, good for these conservative high school and college students. Every moment has to start somewhere and these young people are attempting to organize on a national level. Their movement has the potential to be a counter to the gun-grabbers among the next generation. The leftists are quite experienced in public protests. Maybe the conservatives can take a page or two from their playbook and get some big money for events and advertising talent behind them, too.
Update 7/9/18: The first reference to March for Our Lives was in error; it should have been March for Our Rights. It’s been corrected above.