Eugene, OR – The Young Americans for Liberty chapter at the University of Oregon gave away firearms and firearm accessories at their latest activism event on Friday night.
Around 65 students and community members showed up to play no limit Texas hold ‘em style poker for a a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a gun range membership. The runners-up won other prizes including a semi-automatic .22 rifle with a high capacity magazine, gift certificates to local gun shops, and an assortment of poker accessories.
Young Americans for Liberty at UO partnered with Project Liberty and local gun shop in the Eugene area to host the event to promote gun culture and start a campus wide dialogue about student safety on campus.
Thomas Tullis, president of YAL at UO was pleased with the turnout from the student body. “The reaction from students was overwhelmingly positive. A lot of the students were very excited for the chance to win a free firearm.”
Despite a mostly positive reaction from the student body, UO student government did receive a formal complaint regarding the event from a graduate student who was under the impression that there could be firearms on campus. Event organizers for Liberty Poker Night were contacted by both the Dean of Students, the director of event services and members of the student government sternly warning them of the prohibition of firearms on campus grounds.
“With the administration talking about rape culture and showing concern for the safety of students, we thought it would be a great way to stir up discussion about a common sense approach to solving violent crime,” said Lauren Groleau, Secretary of YAL at UO.
“It’s pretty clear there is a big disconnect between the students and the administration. Students are aware of violent crimes on campus and they want to be prepared. Just because an American citizen wants an education doesn’t mean he or she should be required to surrender their rights,” said organizer Josh Brainard of Project Liberty.
Other groups on campus expressed enthusiastic support including the President of the UO veterans club, Matti Cone.
There was also free libertarian literature provided that was available for all who showed up. As a placeholder for the firearm prizes, YAL brought two empty gun cases. Police and university officials were notified beforehand that these cases would be empty. The event ran until 11:00pm when a winner was declared.
UO Young Americans for Liberty meets at 6:30 every Thursday evening in Peterson 103. Students and community members from all sides of the political spectrum are welcome.