COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - While students across the country walked out of class Wednesday demanding change in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, a group gathered in Coeur d'Alene in support of their Second Amendment rights.
Organizers called it the North Idaho Carry 2nd Amendment Support Rally. They gathered carrying signs and guns at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds to "voice their opposition to the nationwide calls for more and stronger gun laws," according to an email sent to kxly4 news.
"I definitely respect their right to protest or walk out as they see fit," said attendee Jesse Stinton, referring to students walking out at schools nearby. "I also think it's important that we protect the Second Amendment."
Others in attendance questioned the legitimacy of the walkouts.
"First they said they wanted to be safe and express their feelings that they're not [safe]," said organizer Brian Welch. "Then they morphed it into a political event and demanded that their political representatives come and listen to them."
"I understand that kids want to be safe," Welch continued. "But, they have to understand that their feelings are subjective. Our rights are guaranteed."
While many in attendance expressed condolences for the lives lost in the Parkland shooting, others took a more divisive stance. One protester carried a sign with pictures of Hitler, Joseph Stalin and other dictators that said "Birds of a Feather Grab Guns Together." It also included a picture of David Hogg, the student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who was the victim of an unproven conspiracy theory that called him a "crisis actor."
Another sign showed "logos of tyranny" with a Nazi swastika and other symbols. It also included the logo of Coeur d'Alene High School.