Yesterday we revealed the winners of the 2016 NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund's (CRDF) Youth Essay Contest in the Junior category. Today, it's time to announce the winners of the Senior category, which is for students grade 9 through 12, including home-schoolers. These winners will be receiving cash prizes: $1,000 for first place, $600 for second, $200 for third and $100 for honorable mention. The 2016 contest saw hundreds of entries, all centered on the theme, “What Does the Second Amendment Mean to You?” Evaluating the entries certainly takes some time, but it's a heartening exercise that makes the NRA Staff responsible for choosing the winners very hopeful for the future of the Second Amendment. A hearty round of congratulations go to:
1. First Place: Justin Benjamin, Age 17 "None of the other amendments in the Bill Of Rights hold any weight without the Second Amendment. In fact, there is nothing to enforce anything in the Constitution without the Second Amendment; there is no free speech if the government holds complete control over the populace. The government has no reason to limit itself if nothing else limits what it can do, and the elimination of rights and privacy are a surety if the government gains more power than the people. The system of checks and balances is irrelevant if the people are disarmed, and with no reason for the government to allow citizens their freedoms their liberties and rights quickly disappear..."
2. Second Place: Alexandria Sherman, Age 17 "So, what does the Second Amendment mean to me? I don't want to be a victim at a club or private party where everyone is unarmed. I want to protect myself; I want my Mom to be able to protect herself by owning a firearm. I support the right for every law-abiding citizen to own a firearm. The media and politicians' hype regarding gun control is pure foolishness; the public's right to own firearms is too important to be messed with. Using GrandDaddy's quote, 'You cannot legislate to maniacs,' says it all. Nobody I know wants America to surrender its freedoms to the whims of a few bureaucrats, and neither do I..."
3. Third Place: Sara Gammon, Age 18 "Simply stated, the Second Amendment is the guardian of the people's rights, and thus worth defending. If we did not have it and the Constitution, we would not have our freedom, and citizens must be responsible and stand up for what we are blessed to have. President George Washington must have been speaking about the importance of the Second Amendment in our lives when he said, 'A free people not only to be armed, but disciplined..." Because no matter your background, your age, your race or your gender, you are blessed to live in a free country with rights other countries do not have. I know that I will aspire to fulfill my responsibility to America and do all I can to protect the Second Amendment, but the real question is, will you?"
4. Honorable Mention, Dominic Mancini, Age 17: "The Second Amendment means many things to me. To me, the Second Amendment means that the American people have the duty to protect themselves and others, if possible. The Second Amendment means that as a law-abiding American citizen I have the right to all bearable arms, as defined by the Supreme Court. It means that should it become necessary, free Americans are charged with the task of dismantling a tyrannical government. I think of diversity when I think of the Second Amendment. Most important, when I think of the Second Amendment, I think 'freedom.'"