By Jessica Schladebeck
| NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |
May 02, 2018 | 4:03 PM
Hundreds of students on Wednesday walked out their classrooms in support of the Second Amendment as a direct response to a recent walkout organized by the survivors of a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., which inspired thousands to stand together in protest of gun violence.
More than 300 schools in 40 different states registered for "Stand for the Second" — a 16-minute student walkout organized by New Mexico 18-year-old Will Riley.
Students from California High School in San Ramon and those from Grand Ledge High School in Michigan walked out of class in droves around 10 a.m. while other protesters at schools like Waukee High School only had a handful of like-minded teens join in the demonstration.
Many of them sported t-shirst, the name of the demonstration written in blue block letters across the front, while others waved flags and held up signs.
The event comes just more than a month after students staged a mass walkout to protest gun violence in wake of the Valentine's Day school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Protesters nationwide left their classrooms and remained outside for 17 minutes to honor the 17 people gunned down in the halls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School exactly one month after the deadly attack. More than 100,000 New York students participated in the rally while more than 3,000 similar demonstrations unfolded across the country, officials estimated
Still, Riley said it does not reflect the views of everyone his age.
"These Parkland high school students do not speak for my generation," Riley wrote in a column published in the Carlsbad Current Argus.
"I am not a hunter. I am not a shooter. But this issue is not only about guns. This is a battle for the very heart and soul of our country. My goal is simple. I want to spread awareness that not all of my generation shares in this shortsighted crusade to strike a grievous blow for our nation. "
The Carlsbad High School senior explained that he organized his "Stand for the Second" event to directly counter previous gun violence demonstrations.
"Disruption of education has never, and will never be our goal," according to the event's website.
"We do however recognize that when anti-gun students organized their walkout, they were allowed and often encouraged by their schools. In light of this fact, we ask we receive the same platform to express our views."
The meaning behind the 16 minutes he's allotted for the walkout is also a direct nod to the anti-gun violence walkout in March: "In the spirit of civility with school districts around the country, we are asking for one minute less than the other side received," according to the website.
The time was also set to recognize the number of Americans saved annually by firearms.
"Every year an estimated 1.5 million Americans use a firearm to defend themselves," Riley said. "During a 16 minute walkout, that breaks down to 91 American lives saved during the walkout. We want Americans to know that firearms are overwhelmingly used for good in our country."