It’s safe to say that we now live during a time where we get our information from reading Tweets and skimming article headlines that pop up on Facebook. But for some students, obtaining true knowledge takes time, research, and reflection. “In a world where things happen in an instant and danger is always lurking, the firearm provides the indiviual with an added measure of security.” -Bianca A. For the past 20 years, the Civil Rights Defense Fund (CRDF) hosts an essay contest for students from elementary to high school all across the country. This past year’s contest received 580 essays answering the question, “What does the Second Amendment mean to you?”
The goal of the contest is to engage students in scholarly research about the Second Amendment as well as reflect on how the Second Amendment and other Constitutional rights affect their daily lives. Not only do students develop research skills, but they begin to understand how the Second Amendment is present in their hobbies and passions, whether that's hunting, plinking, or competitive shooting. Students also begin to think how their lives would be negatively impacted if their right to bear arms was suddenly taken away.
The two winning essays from last year were written by Bianca A. of Florida, and Rachel B. of Wisconsin. Both demonstrated knowledge of not only why the Second Amendment was written by our Founding Fathers, but how it is still a vital right for Americans today.“I may hunt, target practice, and someday conceal carry because of the leaders that fought for this right in the past.” - Rachel B.
Each year, the contest is open from January 1st - December 31st. Which means... the 2016 contest is currently open! All students enrolled in elementary, junior high, or high school during the 2016 - 2017 academic year, including homeschooled students, are eligible to participate.
Submissions are divided into two categories for judging: Senior (9th - 12th Grade) and Junior (8th grade and below). The 2015 judging committee was made up of NRA Assistant General Counsel Skipp Galythly, NRA Assistant General Counsel Morgan Shields, Paralegal Emily Freeman, and Paralegal Steven Brantley. Each category will award First, Second, Third, and Fourth place winners. The winners of each category receive cash prizes amounting in $1,000, $600, $200, and $100, respectively.
Click here for more information about the CRDF Essay Contest requirements and how to enter!