Disgusted students in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, stormed out of a vigil May 8 for a high school student shot to death this week after two politically tone-deaf Democrat politicians and a left-wing group tried to turn the event into a posthumous pep rally for gun control.
This major public-relations setback in the leftist war on guns came a few days after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a new commonsense law allowing teachers to be armed while on duty. Parkland, Florida, was the site of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead on Valentine’s Day last year.
The reaction to the attempted hijacking of what was supposed to be a memorial service for an innocent victim forced the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to apologize for its affiliate, Team Enough, for politicizing the Colorado event.
Some of the students leaving the vigil were chanting “mental health,” according to local media. Apparently, it was a call for better mental health services to prevent future mass shootings. Some of the students complained they were not allowed to address the crowd at the event.
“What has happened at STEM is awful, but it’s not a statistic,” one student said, according to Time. “We can’t be used for a reason for gun control. We are people, not a statement.”
“I do wish there had been a little more time between commemorating those we lost and the events that took place, before people began pushing agendas,” STEM senior Joe Eriqat told the Denver Post.
The two ghoulish left-wing politicians were Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), one of the many nobodies seeking the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination, and soon-to-be one-term Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), whose congressional district includes the K-12 institution known as STEM School Highlands Ranch, according to Fox News.
“We live in a great country, but we need to fix these broken gun laws,” Bennet told the audience.
“You and your children deserve more,” Crow said at the vigil. “You elected leaders to pass laws … our children deserve action.”
“STEM School students walked out of a vigil tonight after @RepJasonCrow & @SenatorBennet spoke,” Kyle Clark, an anchor with 9NEWS in Denver, wrote on Twitter. “Students said their grief was being politicized. They later returned, took the mic, and some said they didn’t want to be used to promote gun control.”
Approximately 2,000 people crowded into a high school gymnasium to commemorate the life of 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, who was shot dead as he attempted to confront one of the shooters. Police say Castillo and two of his classmates halted what could have become a mass-casualty event. Eight others were reportedly injured.
“They were just talking about Kendrick like he was a prop and that wasn’t something I could handle,” said Christopher, 17, a senior at the school.
“We are pretty much really mad because they turned us into politics about gun control when we came here to respect our brother Kendrick,” said a student identified as Gavin.
Students became uncomfortable when Laura Reeves of Moms Demand Action moved forward with a stump speech advocating gun control.
“Her whole speech was about politics, not about Kendrick,” a 17-year-old STEM senior told the Denver Post. “She painted this really dystopian life with bullets on every corner — that’s not how it is here in Highlands Ranch.”
In an historic occurrence not likely ever to occur again, the gun-grabbers of the Brady Campaign issued an apology to students.
“We are deeply sorry any part of this vigil did not provide the support, caring and sense of community we sought to foster and facilitate and which we know is so crucial to communities who suffer the trauma of gun violence,” the group said.
Meanwhile, gun-grabbers have been on a losing streak lately.
A few days ago, the Wisconsin Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit against Armslist LLC that claimed the company’s website was liable for the 2012 acquisition of a gun by Radcliffe Haughton who went on to murder three people. The court found the federal Communications Decency Act shielded the company from liability for posts by third parties.
At the end of April the Supreme Court of the State of New York dismissed two charges against Benjamin Wassell under the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (NY SAFE Act). Wassell had been found guilty of selling a semi-automatic rifle to an undercover law enforcement officer.
But the court found then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D), an ambulance-chasing left-wing crusader, erred in prosecuting the defendant himself instead of leaving the matter to the state police. This is reportedly the first conviction under the NY Safe Act to be thrown out. The statute, pushed by leftist demagogue Andrew Cuomo, the Democrat governor of the Empire State, is infamous for banning sales of “assault-style weapons” and possession of large-capacity magazines and clips.
And a constitutional challenge to New York City’s uniquely restrictive gun laws is pending in the Supreme Court, which on April 29 denied a request by the city to indefinitely suspend the case.
In the case known as New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York, the city claimed the appeal should be paused because it was in the process of amending its peculiarly onerous law that prevents lawful gun permit holders from transporting their unloaded, locked-up weapons outside city limits. The Supreme Court rejected the motion. Oral arguments are expected to take place in the fall.
Former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement is asking the high court to expand on the constitutional gun rights it articulated in District of Columbia v. Heller (2010), which protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, and McDonald v. Chicago (2012), which holds the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” is constitutionally incorporated, or made applicable, to the states.
Clement said the case “is a perfect vehicle to reaffirm that those decisions and the constitutional text have consequences.”
And law enforcement officers and individual Americans loyal to the Constitution are resisting gun-control over-reaches in several states.
The “Second Amendment sanctuary county” movement got a huge boost recently from Illinois, where 64 of the state’s 102 counties have reportedly signed on.
More than two dozen counties in Colorado say they will resist the state’s red flag law, which makes it easy to take a gun owner’s firearms away. The gun-removal petition can reportedly be filed by telephone or in person and the filer doesn’t have to provide his or her address or even be a resident of Colorado.
Legislation committing jurisdictions to resist overbroad anti-gun measures has been adopted or is reportedly under consideration in jurisdictions in Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington.
Since 2013 Alaska has prohibited state and municipal agencies from using government assets to help enforce federal gun-control measures. Idaho enacted legislation in 2014 nullifying future federal gun laws. In 2014 Kansas enacted the Second Amendment Protection Act which declares any “act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States which violates” the Second Amendment to be “null, void and unenforceable in the state of Kansas.”
All of these legal and political challenges to anti-Second Amendment laws, coupled with student revulsion at the disgusting tactics of the gun-control movement, bode well for America’s future.
This article by Matthew Vadum appeared May 10, 2019, at FrontPageMag.