By David Codrea
U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “A long time tradition, the Congressional Art Competition is a fantastic way to for high school students in Northeast Ohio to show the rest of the country the talent they bring to the table,” my congressman, Dave Joyce advises in an invitation to constituents. “The winning artwork from our district will hang in our nation’s capitol for one year. The student with the winning entry will be invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception in Washington, D.C. in June.”
True, it would be a real stretch to say this falls under the enumerated Constitutional power “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” because that’s done “by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” But this contest has been going on since it was established in 1982, and it’s going to happen regardless of anything I say. So why not treat this as an opportunity to make a statement – and maybe demonstrate the proclivities of the judging panels our representatives select?
Why not encourage young people who have been raised to value the importance of the Second Amendment to enter the contest, potentially educate some of their peers, and show that a counter exists to indoctrinated “snowflakes”? Why not urge students to submit art promoting the right of the people to keep and bear arms?
Information and guidelines for contest participation are posted on the Congressional Art Competition webpage. The rules are:
About the Competition
Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.
Students submit entries to their representative’s office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol.
Entry guidelines and an information/release form for the 2017 competition will be posted in early 2017. All entries must meet the following criteria:
- Be two dimensional
- Be no larger than 26 inches wide by 26 inches tall by 4 inches thick
- Not weigh more than 15 pounds
- Be original in concept, design, and execution and may not violate any U.S. copyright laws.
A link to the Student Information & Release Form to download and print is posted below:
Joyce has an April 28 deadline, and has provided for two drop-off locations. You will need to contact your representative to find out where and by when they want you to submit your student’s entry. One other thing to keep in mind is arbitrary “progressive” censorship, as could be inferred by some announcements, such as by this Colorado “early college” that warns:
We reserve the right to refuse any entries that are deemed inappropriate.
If that happens, nail down the reasons why, including who did the deeming and what justifications they gave. And send the information to me for a potential follow-up report that names names.
Also note that schools participating in promoting the contest may decide to take things a step further with “zero tolerance” policies that penalize even the depiction of a firearm. Curiously, I’ve documented where drawings of guns are allowed and encouraged by school administrators and teachers – when the message is anti-gun. In other words, if you let that discourage an entry, it will demonstrate how “progressive” intolerance chills not just the Second Amendment, but the First, assuring only “approved” thought is allowed.
Finally, why limit the fun to young people? Most readers here are too old to participate in the contest, but there’s another “service” your representative provides that will allow you to make a statement of your own by flying a flag over the Capitol and sending a defiant message to the gun-grabbers inside. Since I've already done that, I'm waiting for ATF to sponsor another “Kid's Art Contest.”
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.