WEST VALLEY CITY — About 35 students walked out of Hunter High School Wednesday to support of the Second Amendment and show “there is another side to this story,” said student organizer Collin Thorup.
The national school walkout in March in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, may have captured international attention, but the demonstration did not reflect the feelings of students who support the Second Amendment, Thorup said.
“We can speak for ourselves. There’s two sides for this. A big problem we see right now we feel everyone thinks the teens are only one-sided since the Parkland shooting survivors have been talking,” Thorup said.
He explained that the group, led by members of a small but growing organization Teens for the Republic, walked out for 16 minutes because “it’s estimated that 500,000 are saved by guns each year. We put it right in the middle, and figured that nearly 100 people every 16 minutes are saved by guns,” he said in an interview earlier this week.
The sophomore said he was among a small group of Hunter High students who did not take part in the national school walkout on March 14, when thousands of students walked out simultaneously across their time zones for a 17-minute observance honoring the victims of the Parkland school shooting. Seventeen students and staff were killed and 17 others wounded.
Afterward, “I stated my opinions a few times and got a lot of hate for that, saying I didn’t support what they were doing.”
Thorup suspects that many more students feel the same way but they fear being bullied and ostracized by peers.
Essentially, the group supports the Second Amendment, seeks to protect the Constitution and opposes restrictions on the sale or use of firearms.