On Feb. 27, the Young Americans for Freedom club at the UW hosted a special event in conjunction with NRA U entitled “Defend the Second!” The seminar encouraged UW students to rise up and defend their Second Amendment rights in light of a perceived threat by legislation that serves to increase gun control in the United States.
“It’s not about safety, it’s about control,” Ben Carpenter, a representative of the NRA’s lobbying firm, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA), said in reference to the talks of increasing gun control in wake of the most recent mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Many Supreme Court cases were referenced throughout the night, including Presser v. Illinois, which states that states cannot “prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms,” according to the main presenter.
“The Gun Control Act of 1968 was a knee-jerk reaction to a few high profile criminal acts,” Carpenter went on to say. “It’s an important liberty that is being taken away from us.”
Other statistics included in the presentation stated that only 0.4 percent of all non-natural deaths in the United States were due to gun violence, and that violent crime had gone down 95 percent since 1975 with the increase of firearms in the United States.
“Contrary to popular belief, more guns equals less crime,” Carpenter said.
Attendees of the presentation were encouraged to team up with NRA U to increase awareness of the cause on campus and were given one year of free membership to the NRA as a thanks for coming.
Washington’s gun laws state that gun laws on campus are decided by the campuses themselves. The UW’s own laws prohibit “possession or use of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals or other dangerous weapons or instrumentalities on the university campus.”
The general consensus among attendees at the seminar was that these laws “take away our right to defend ourselves where we spend the most time.”
The Young Americans for Freedom and NRA U both continue to advocate defense of the Second Amendment on campus in hopes of decreasing gun laws.
Reach reporter Divya Rajasekhar at email@example.com. Twitter: @divraj16