The United States of America are the "Land of Free", where the right to keep and bear arms sanctioned by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is seen as the first and most important tool provided to protect the freedom of opinion and expression as sanctioned by the First Amendment. And as a matter of fact, as much as the anti-gun groups would like to deny any connection between these issues, latest news show how these two rights are in fact pretty much intertwined.
Reports came on April 20th from Logan, a small down in West Virginia: Jared Marcum, an 8th-grade student, entered the local Middle School wearing a T-Shirt with the emblem of the National Rifle Association of America, the silhouette of an hunting rifle and the "Protect Your Gun Rights" slogan; this prompted an argument with a teacher who asked the young student to either remove the T-Shirt or to wear it inside-out so that the emblems and the slogan would be out of sight; as Jared Marcum refused, he was removed from his classroom, suspended from attending further lessons and then delivered to the local Police to be arrested for disturbing the education process and obstructing an officer.
Reactions have of course been very violent, as the boy's father, Mr. Allen Lardieri, prompted protests against the school and local Police; the boy has later been released from custody, and there's no news about any charge being pushed against him at the moment. He was also reportedly admitted to school again, with no further comment about the NRA T-Shirt which he wore again in class. Both the school and the local Police refused to issue any comment so far; the Logan County Schools' dress code, which is posted on the school system's website, prohibits clothing and accessories that display profanity, violence, discriminatory messages or sexually suggestive phrases. Clothing displaying advertisements for any alcohol, tobacco, or drug product also is prohibited, but no mention is made about guns. As a matter of fact, on the first day of Jared's suspension, some of his friends reportedly wore shirts displaying images of firearms and according to a FOX TV report, at least one was told by an educator to change their attire.
Observers noted how this may be the latest chapter in the heated debate over gun rights Vs. gun control sparked in America by the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that took place on December 14th, 2012, in the town of Newtown, Connecticut. Right after the shooting − which saw 20-years-old Adam Lanza claiming the lives of twenty-two pupils and teachers of the school before shooting himself and after killing his parents in order to steal his mother's guns to commit the ordeal − the American anti-gun groups started bashing the National Rifle Association for having "hands dirty of blood", and pushed many pieces of legislation to introduce tighter gun control on both State and Federal levels.
Two distinct gun control amendments − a ban on military-style firearms and non-low capacity magazines pushed by California Senator Dianne Feinstein and a provision for background checks becoming mandatory for gun transfers between individuals proposed by Senators Joe Munchin and Pat Toomey − was rejected by the United States Senate on April 17th. On the other hand, the U.S. Senate approved an amendment proposed by Senator James Inhofe on March 23rd, which will forbid the United States from signing the United Nations' Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), as it contains provisions regarding the civilian trade of sporting firearms which conflict with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. At the same time, the so-called "gun lobby" is countering the passage of restrictive laws in States such as Connecticut, New York and Colorado: forty-four companies pledged to refuse sales to Law Enforcement and Government entities in these States that will enact gun control laws and regulations, and these very same pieces of legislation are being challenged in court, while important gunmakers and related entities decided to move away from "anti-gun" States and relocate in pro-gun legislations: MagPul Industries Corp. was the first to announce its intention to leave Colorado after restrictions were passed in March. In a nutshell: pro-freedom forces may have won several considerably important battles, but the war against gun rights wages on, and it's everybody's responsibility to do their part so that our brothers and sisters of America aren't stripped of their gun rights − with us, in Europe and worldwide, being right next in line.