Counter-protest will support gun rights

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In conjunction with the national March 14 student walkouts today, some Columbia Falls High School students are planning to hold their own memorial for the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings, but without the “anti-gun” message that some national organizers are sending.

Senior Braxton Shewalter said he wanted to include another perspective in response to the Women’s March message that the walkout is intended “to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship,” and the organization’s support of gun control policies. Shewalter said he will stand with a group that “supports the responsible gun owners around the U.S. and NRA [National Rifle Association].”

“We want to state again that the intention is to honor the victims, but we are taking a different stance when it comes to gun control. The people running this [walkout] event have tried to claim that this is not a protest, but we can state the obvious here and that it is indeed a protest against guns, Congress, and the president himself,” Shewalter said.

Shewalter said he realizes gun control is a polarizing issue.

“We have many people against us, but we have many who are for us. Regardless, we believe that our message deserves to be heard, too,” Shewalter said.

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