I am not impressed with the students who traveled to Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., to protest, march and make demands after the Florida shooting. They challenged President Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to “Do Something” about gun violence.

These two events should have been in memorial of Aaron Feis, the assistant football coach and security guard at Douglas High School, and Chris Hixon, the athletic director and wrestling coach. It was they and other heroes who rushed to place their flesh between the students and a murderous man. It was these two unarmed men who left their families behind while they confronted a gunman. It was the policies created by the school district that gave them no other choice but to die protecting the students.

While they were being buried, some of you stood before the president of the United States and your U.S. senator and demanded less security, less protection and less freedom. You demanded more loving teachers and coaches stand prepared to sacrifice their lives for your feelings.

President Trump did not create a gun free zone keeping your school accessible only to bad guys with guns. It was not Sen. Rubio who disallowed trained school staff to be armed to protect you. Your fellow students were vulnerable because of the feel-good polices of your school and your school district. There was no reason to travel to the state capital when the problem is at your own school board.

You were easy targets because the adults managing your schools purposely left you that way. Changing gun laws, instilling mental-health restrictions, background checks, metal detectors or more gun free zones will not secure your safety.

Every safeguard in place to protect you failed, so why are you going to the same people (government) demanding more protection? The history of the shooter was well-known by the school, mental-health officials, police, FBI, his friends and his guardians. But your attention has been drawn to the president? Everyone failed you, every place you have relied on for protection has failed you. And they continue to fail you by encouraging you to give them more power and influence over your lives.

Those teachers who did not teach you about the Constitution failed you. Those who suggested you do not have a right to protect yourselves failed you. Your anger and frustration is misplaced. Look around you. Your leaders are failing you. Because they failed to teach you the history of government disarming and restricting citizens’ access to self-protection, they have failed you.

While I am impressed with your courage and determination to enter adulthood by recognizing your power, I am not impressed with your call for less power. Your lack of understanding the greatness of our form of government is disturbing to me. We are great not because we are well-governed. We are great because we are free. Government is to manage certain parts of our lives, not rule over our lives. There is no government solution that will keep you safe if you are not prepared to participate in your own safety.

As you enter adulthood, try to understand that your personal safety depends on you, not Trump or Rubio. The ability to protect yourself, family, neighborhood and country cannot be dependent upon anyone but yourself. The harsh reality is that if Hixon and Feis were armed, their heroic acts could have saved some of your friends. There was nothing about the gun free zone that protected you, and there is nothing Trump could have done that would have given more power to those brave coaches. You were not endanger due to lack of a background check. It was not a bump stock adjustment, AR-15, high capacity, flash suppressor weapon that made you less safe. You were a target because you were defenseless. Stop being defenseless and you will be safer.

The only thing President Trump and Sen. Rubio could do for you is restrict your freedoms. The placement of restrictions on your independence is the only results of laws. You are free due to birth, not from laws. Laws can only regulate the free exercise of freedom. Therefore, going to the head of government demanding they do something is demanding less freedom for yourself. President Trump is safe, Sen. Rubio is safe. Demand the same safety they have! It is not about safe spaces, background checks or gun free zones. Demand real safety for your school.

What makes you think the solution to your fears is in Washington or Tallahassee? Don’t you know you cannot ban the Second Amendment? That would never make you safe. Those citizens who understand this are also failing you by not speaking up and not fighting back for you. We are sitting quietly and allowing those failing you to have their say during this mourning time. We should be speaking the truth to you and not allowing their misdirection to continue. I apologize for the silence and will remain quiet no longer.

You cannot ban bad, you must control bad. We have tried banning books, alcohol, interracial marriages and a ton of things over the last century. It has never worked because it cannot work. Name a program that has ever eliminated poverty, drug abuse, murder or pimping.

Let’s do what works.

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