In light of recent mass shootings, students convened to discuss Second Amendment rights with affiliates of the National Rifle Association on Wednesday night.
Dozens of students and members of Turning Point USA convened on Oct. 25 on the Tempe campus to discuss the Second Amendment and attend a presentation from representatives of NRA University, a program that educates students about the NRA.
The event, titled “Defend the Second,” was hosted by ASU’s chapter of Turning Point USA, a nationally based nonprofit that aims to "identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government," according to TPUSA's official webpage.
“Our club exists for high school and college students to help educate each other on First and Second Amendment freedoms as well as the ideals of capitalism and free market,” said Kaitlyn Wender, the president of ASU’s chapter of TPUSA.
Wender, an economics and political science senior, said NRA University has been on tour to each of the Turning Point chapters at universities and the their strong relationship with Turning Point helped bring this event together.
At the event, the "NRA U" representatives claimed that gun control measures have not had an impact on crime rates, and showed data they felt supported that contention.
TPUSA at ASU Vice President David Lattimer, a computer science and electrical engineering senior, said that TPUSA, with the help of other organizations, want to educate people on the Constitution.
“Turning Point promotes free market solutions to different problems and we also educate people on the Constitution," Lattimer said. "One of the reasons we bring in NRA is that they want to educate people on the Second Amendment, so we try to bring in other organizations that educate people on different topics.”
"NRA U" is a training seminar that tours universities in an effort to teach students more about the Second Amendment, gun safety, the NRA and the gun control debate.
“With this event, we just want to educate students on their Second Amendment rights — it’s kind of been a contentious issue for a while now and that’s just one of Turning Point’s values is the right for people to keep and bear arms and that rights don’t get infringed," Kaitlyn Wender said.
This is TPUSA's first full year on ASU’s campus, so the club is in the process of growing the chapter as much as it can, said Abbey Schroeder, a political science and public policy sophomore and TPUSA at ASU's recruitment chair and activism events coordinator.
Schroeder said she joined the organization when she heard the founder of TPUSA, Charlie Kirk, speak about the club’s values.
"(TPUSA's promotion of) having a conversation with people rather than just fighting about anything just really resonated with me,” Schroeder said.