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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/17/2002 8:32:34 PM EDT
Today, the National Rifle Association's (NRA) Civil Rights Defense Fund filed a First Amendment civil rights lawsuit on behalf of 12 year-old Virginia NRA member, Alan Newsom. The lawsuit charges the principal and vice-principal of the Jack Jouett Middle School and Albemarle County School Board Superintendent and Board members with violating Newsom's civil rights when they banned him from wearing a NRA logo-ed Youth Sports Shooting Camp shirt to school. On or about April 29, 2002, Alan Newsom was forced to remove his NRA Sports Shooting Camp t-shirt by the vice-principal and told to turn the t-shirt inside out because she considered the NRA shirt illustrations of individuals involved in shooting sports in violation of school policy. Although Newsom was ordered to forfeit his right to free speech and association under threat of school suspension, at the time of the demand there was no rule that prohibited clothing depicting shooting sports. When the NRA notified school authorities that the action violated the student's civil rights, the school subsequently added a provision for the 2002-2003 school year barring any clothing associated with "weapons" and "violence." "The facts are clear. Alan Newsom was singled-out by the vice-principal because he was wearing a NRA t-shirt. The t-shirt clearly depicts individuals involved in shooting sports. The images are in no way inappropriate or violent. This is a blatant infringement of young Alan's Constitutional rights. I was dumbfounded when I learned of the facts of this case after Alan's parents contacted us and didn't hesitate to take up this challenge. I am proud to say that the NRA stands with this brave young man," NRA's Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre said of the case. The lawsuit, which seeks $100,000 in damages and $50,000 in punitive damages plus costs and attorney fees incurred in vindicating Newsom's civil rights, was filed in the U.S. Federal District Court for Western District of Virginia, Charlottesville Division. Among the twelve counts included in the Federal suit are free speech and due process violations under federal and state constitutions. "The NRA wholeheartedly supports the reasonable prohibition of images on clothing depicting violence in a school setting. However, to preclude a student from wearing an article of clothing because it may run counter to the viewpoints or political beliefs of some school officials is deplorable," LaPierre added. In Tinker v. Des Moines School District, the U.S. Supreme Court held "[i]n order for the State in the person of the school officials to justify prohibition of a particular expressed opinion, it must be able to show that its actions were caused by something more than a mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint. The lawsuit also challenges the ambiguity of the new school rule which will not only affect all NRA logos, but also the Great Seal of the United States, the United States Army logo and the state seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia – all with images of "weapons" that would fall within the prohibitions of the school's new policy. "This is clearly a case of political-correctness running unchecked. Alan is a good student who has no disciplinary problems in school. He developed an affinity for shooting sports and his father enrolled him in a NRA Youth Safety Camp to learn basic firearm safety. Alan aspires to represent his country in the Olympics someday. The school authorities harassed and breached Alan's First Amendment rights merely for his interest in the NRA and shooting sports," LaPierre concluded. The lawsuit noted that, ironically, Jack Jouett Middle School is named for an American Revolutionary War hero who is known for his famous ride on June 3, 1781, in which despite the potential for personal peril, he rode through the night from Louisa, VA to Monticello to warn Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other parties that British troops were on their way to arrest Jefferson and others for signing the Declaration of Independence. In appreciation for this act of bravery the Virginia Legislature awarded Captain Jack Jouett a sword and a pair of pistols. The 131 year-old NRA is the nation's oldest civil rights group that advocates enforcement of existing laws to prosecute and punish violent criminals. The NRA is the nation's leader in teaching youth gun safety and promoting marksmanship nationwide. The Association has about 4 million members across America. —nra---
Link Posted: 9/17/2002 8:37:23 PM EDT
I hope they clean house and rape that commie school for all its worth. I can't imagine why all people see is violence when they see a gun or something. Not too long ago, I'd come to school with real size real looking cowboy 6 shooter cap guns with holsters and everything. (1980's) Why is it that now, guns are completely evil and kids can't even SEE them without PCers thinking they'll become influenced to go kill? I bet they are the type that "fear that they will feel the need to kill someone" if they owned a gun! Fucking bastards.
Link Posted: 9/17/2002 10:44:10 PM EDT
IMO they're taking the wrong tack. First of all, a school kid does NOT have 1st Amendment rights that we would have as adults. This has been ruled time & time again by the courts. Similiar theory for military folks. What I would sue is merely the implication that a picture of a firearm in a sanctioned sport is somehow "offensive" or threatening. As we all know, that's total BS. Remember the girl who had her senior picture taken while she was on a cannon & the principle wouldn't allow it at first? Similiar circumstances, IMO.
Link Posted: 9/17/2002 11:52:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2002 11:53:53 PM EDT by 82ndAbn]
Link Posted: 9/18/2002 12:42:54 AM EDT
Someone has to say it... I wish they put as much effort into fighting the antis as they do into protecting their advertising. If the kid was wearing a Bushmaster t-shirt, do you think the NRA would get involved?
Link Posted: 9/18/2002 11:10:25 AM EDT
At least they are attacking the antis on something! If they slashed their advertising budget by twenty-five percent, and spent the money attacking antis nationwide, they would probably see more support.[?]
Link Posted: 9/18/2002 11:16:00 AM EDT
Alright! mark down one good move for the NRA! That makes a total of.........one.
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