AP Photo/Ed Andrieski
It’s graduation season throughout the nation. For many of us, myself included, it will soon be time to watch our kids walk across a stage in a cap and gown, accept their diploma and begin the next chapter of their lives.
For some, such as my son, that means going to college.
Now, I have some reservations about him going to college, but he’ll be going. With what he wants to do with his life, he’ll need it. So will a lot of other graduating high school seniors who will shuffle off from home to pursue higher education.
One of the things I’m warning my son about, though, is that he’ll have to deal with hysterical people like this.
Controversy ensued at the University of Toledo when the school’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty hosted Larry Pratt, Executive Director Emeritus of Gun Owners of America.
The chapter, one of about 900 nationwide, invited Pratt to give a lecture Wednesday entitled “Eliminate Gun Free Zones” as a way to provide balance to the debate on gun control in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 dead.
Some students, however, were apparently uninterested in balanced debate, preferring to accuse the group of racism and white supremacy.
“Good afternoon. Just a reminder that @ToledoYAL is bringing white supremacist @larrypratt to speak on @UToledo ‘s campus today,” Connor Kelley, a member of the school’s College Democrats chapter, tweeted the day of the event.
“Today is the 50th anniversary of MLK’s assassination,” he added a few minutes later. “The students of @ToledoYAL decided to remember him by inviting a white supremacist to speak on campus.”
“They smeared our speaker as a white supremacist and continually interjected in the speech,” [YAL Chapter President Jolie] Schlievert told Campus Reform, adding that their demeanor was extremely rude and that she “could not be more disappointed by their behavior.”
Nor were the College Democrats the only ones targeting YAL.
Now, let’s be clear. Larry Pratt is a proponent of the Second Amendment. If he’s guilty of anything, it’s speaking about it to anyone who will have him speak, and that’s about it.
The problem isn’t that college students have opinions. They’re typically voting age adults who are free to think as they choose.
No, the problem is that colleges are overrun with people who don’t just have opinions but are willing to make it so you can’t hear any opinions but theirs. That is what this was about.
Pratt was there to speak in favor of an idea that people like this don’t want to be heard. They don’t want people to think that gun free zones are anything but good, regardless of the facts saying otherwise.
When this year’s seniors become next year’s freshmen, this is what they will have to contend with at campuses all over the United States. This is what our kids will be dealing with, people who don’t want to let others speak unless they parrot the anti-gun talking points.
It’s why it’s important to talk to your kids not just about the value of the Second Amendment, but about the importance of the First as well.