On Tuesday November 19th, the KU Chapter of YAL organized an Empty Holster Protest with the goal of informing students about the truth of gun free zones. We wanted to educate about new Kansas legislation and identify support.
We brainstormed ways to address this issue. We came up with a tactic known as the Empty Holster Protest, where students wear empty holsters all day as they go about their daily business, to class, to lunch, all part of bringing awareness about campus firearm policies. We put together a plan early to execute this strategy.
We met with like-minded groups on campus and I decided to lead the effort as I am passionate about 2A issues. We also made sure to contact YAL National and several gun rights organizations to see if we could get support. The Leadership Institute approved a grant for our event so we could purchase flyers and holsters. Craig, our Regional Field Coordinator for the Midwest, helped us along the way and in securing funding.
Our next step was to get the word out about our activism event. We were able to meet with groups and present our ideas with an attractive flyer we created. We then took to the campus posting flyers in highly visible areas, organizing a time to chalk about our event, and posted to various social media sites (i.e. Facebook, local event calendars, and other websites). Finally we created a media advisory to go out the week before and a press release for the day before to inform the media of our activities using a reliable media list that we are building.
We were successful in attracting huge media locally and nationally to our story!
- Channel 6 Lawrence (with video)
- KC Kansan
- Kansas Public Radio (with audio)
- Kansas City Star
- Topeka Capitol Journal
- KAKE Wichita
- Channel 41 Action News
- NRA-ILA (podcast coming soon)
- University Daily Kansan
- Lawrence Jounal World
- Campus Reform
- And Many More!
We devised a petition to engage students at our table in order to identify support. There was a lot of people supporting our efforts which resulted in getting over 60 signatures advocating protection of concealed carry policy on campus.
That evening we hosted a Town Hall Forum on the topic of Defending the 2nd Amendment on Campus which featured State Senator Greg Smith (R), Al Terwelp State Director of the Kansas Libertarian Party, and Mark Reinke with KC Preppers. We also want to recognize our local partners the Douglas County Republicans.
Because of our efforts this issue is heating up locally! Next we are hoping to organize a coalition to advance the 2nd Amendment on campus and locally in our county.