Every year the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund (CRDF) sponsors its Youth Essay Contest. Students from kindergarten to their senior year of high school are encouraged to submit a writing sample to a competitive and thought-provoking contest. The theme for the 2015 essay submission was, “What Does the Second Amendment Mean to You?” Students from across the United States were eager to answer this question in a personal, yet fact-based manner and then cross their fingers in hopes of being a Youth Essay Contest winner.
The contest was open to all students who were enrolled in elementary, junior high or high school for the 2014-2015 school year. Home-schooled students of equivalent grades were also welcomed to submit their essays.
Let’s take a look at what the Junior winners (grades 8 and below) had to say about the Second Amendment:
Congratulations to Rachel Becker of Boyceville, Wisconsin, for taking first place in the Junior CRDF Essay Contest! She is a 13-year-old 8th grader who began her essay with this:
“Freedom. Freedom of speech. Freedom of the press. Freedom of religion. All are key amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America. Freedom is what makes our nation who we are as Americans. Today some amendments are being attacked and it is controversial on whether some should still apply to our lives….Although some say we must have gun control, the wisdom of our Founding Fathers gave us this amendment as a means of protection, safety, and freedom from the government.”
Second place was awarded to Sylvia Nica of Cincinnati, Ohio. Sylvia is a 14-year-old 8th grader who thoughtfully concluded her paper with the following:
“Though today America has greatly changed and the Constitution adapted and stretched, the ideals of our nation are still ever present. We still embolden our rights with pride and dignity. The Second Amendment may be just a string of faded words on yellow paper, but to me they mean much more than that.”
James Sanders of Trout, Louisiana, took third place in the 2015 Essay contest. The 11-year-old 6th grader did a great job with this introduction:
“The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I think this amendment was written into the Constitution by our forefathers to ensure that every person living in America would always have the right to defend themselves. It gives each person a right to own a gun to protect himself, his family, and his country. It also helped provide a means for early Americans to provide food for the table. Why would anyone want to take that right away?”
Fourth place was won by Taris Mister of Toledo, Ohio. The 12-year-old 6th grader had this to say about the Second Amendment:
“The Right of The People to keep and bear arms is a pre-existing right which the government may not violate. The people means each and every individual, just as it does in every other place it is used in the Constitution. The introductory clause just modifies the main part of the sentence, and does not change the meaning, especially when you realize that ‘the militia’ consists of every individual between the ages of 16 and 60.”
Congratulations, to all our winning Junior writers and great job to all the other talented students who submitted their writing samples!
The Defense Fund is accepting essays for the 2016 school year. All submissions must be postmarked by December 31st and the essay contest winners will be selected and notified early in 2017. For more information, please visit the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund website.
If you’re a writer and have a love of the Second Amendment, we hope to announce you as one of the winners for next year!