By Victoria Martin, News Editor
Armed with pocket constitutions and a yellow flag with a snake in the middle, EC Republicans silently protested the walkout against gun violence on Wednesday, March 14.
Among the 100 students and faculty members, two EC Republican members stood in back of the gathering crowd, brandishing a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.
The presence of EC senior Costaki Danegelis and EC Junior Zach Dixon slowly grabbed the attention and deterred from point of the walkout according to EC junior and student organizer Katrina Mioduszewski.
“It’s annoying that everyone is talking about this counter protest rather than what the walkout was about,” said Mioduszewski.
“It takes away from the discourse and I wish [the counter protest] was not what people were focusing on,” Mioduszewski continued.
“I think that it was a weak counterprotest as well as inappropriately placed. While, yes, this event had a blatant political agenda
it was just as much an event to mourn,” said EC Sophomore Noah Pearson.
After the demonstration had finished Dixon told The Leader that there was no disrespect meant and that they understood everyone’s right to mourn.
“What happened was a tragedy and deserves to be mourned,” said Dixon. “That’s why we stood in the back rather than go in the middle of the patio and make a huge scene and mess up others right to express themselves and mourn.”
Some found the entire demonstration to be uncalled for and misplaced.
“I think it was disrespectful of them to come,” said Mioduszewski. “They came for selfish reason and not with the intention of respecting the lives lost.”
Pearson also found the counter protest to be a nuisance and inappropriate compared to what the majority of students present were trying to accomplish.
“I understand the nature of protest is to be disruptive but at best it was disrespectful and kind of irritating, but at worst it was confusing because again, who even are you and why are you here?”
Because of the disrespect felt, Mioduszewski felt that the opinion of the EC Republicans was not one worth having or being heard.
“Their opinions do not matter,” said Mioduszewski. “The facts are clear that guns are evil and harmful to society and people’s lives. Those in favor of guns have no right to express their opinions.”
Over Facebook, Pearson pointed to his feelings on the lack of message sent by the EC Republican students.
“I think having a counter-protest such as theirs is useless as they have no action, presented no counterpoint, had no clear message; yes, you’re a libertarian good job, what about it?”
Pearson even went as far as calling the organization the two students represented lazy and undeveloped.
“They represent what is clearly the laziest body at this school and I think their protest was representative of that. It seemed reactionary,” said Pearson. “I doubt they will ever make [what they want] clear and instead of ever having an agenda or organizing on their own, that they will always co-opt events like this to boast their own unclear and undeveloped agenda.”
While handing out their pocket constitutions Danegelis and Dixon made it clear they simply did not agree with what was being said and that the focus is not on the real issue.
“If you look at the most recent example, the shooter was tipped off to the FBI several times and the FBI did not do their jobs and report what they knew,” said Dixon. “If they had, [the shooter] would have had his guns confiscated and the shooting would have never occurred.”
Looking at the issue of protocol not being followed, Dixon added changes need to happen to better protect the general population.
“What needs to happen is a change in how that slip up was allowed to happen and then look at that and make sure it cannot happen again,” said Dixon. All the gun safety processes are failing somehow because you are required in all fifty states to have a background check to even own a gun and if you fail that check for whatever reason, you are not allowed to buy a gun.”