Protecting the right to protect yourself

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

I am always amazed at how far career politicians will go to test the bounds of their dignity when confronted with the simple question, “where do you stand on the Second Amendment?”

More often than not, they will provide an abstract answer tailored to placate the audience currently in front of them. Nothing is more disingenuous than a politician with manicured hands standing in a duck blind trying to prove that he believes in the right to bear arms.

I believe that an honest man will never have to worry about remembering what he has said or who he said it to. I believe that the Second Amendment is crystal clear, “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The Second Amendment is a fail-safe woven into the fabric of our Constitution that ensures the God given rights and freedoms upon which this country was built. The Second Amendment isn’t just about preserving gun ownership, hunting rights, or target sports.

It is about each and every law abiding citizen having the right to play a role in ensuring our collective freedoms. It is the manifestation of our resolve to exercise our right of self-determination. It is a means to protect the lives and liberties of our families and to ensure that our Republic will endure.

Our government goes to great lengths to protect the freedoms of speech, of religion, to peaceably assemble, and frequently does so in situations that bear great public opposition. It defies logic for our government not to protect our right to keep and bear arms with the same zeal as our other Constitutional freedoms.

Sadly, we find ourselves in a society today where The Second Amendment is restricted by over thousands of state and federal regulations. America’s greatness is founded in personal accountability and community awareness. Unnecessary over-regulation does nothing to strengthen our communities, decrease crime, or to ensure our safety.  Overreaching firearms laws do however increase the chance that an otherwise law abiding citizen may overlook an obfuscated regulation and unwittingly become a criminal.

Imagine if the same standards applied to the rights protected by the First Amendment. What if the federal government required a permit to publish a newspaper? Would you pay a fee, and then endure a waiting period to go to the church of your choice? What if your state decided that it was simply going to outlaw public assembly?

To me, the words “keep and bear arms” means that every law abiding citizen is a vehicle through which we collectively preserve the means to protect ourselves.

Concealed carry permits should be issued without any unreasonable hurdles, exorbitant fees, or arbitrary justification. In my home state of Maryland, in order to obtain a concealed carry permit, I need to provide a lengthy application with a non-refundable fee and “documented proof” of threats against my life. A judge will then arbitrarily decide if I deserve the privilege to protect myself.

The years of street experience that I accrued as a law enforcement officer with both the NYPD and the Secret Service imparts a personal perspective regarding the responsibility that carrying a firearm implies. I was raised in the inner city. I didn’t grow up hunting and I had never fired a gun until I was on the police force.

While serving in law enforcement, I shot regularly to maintain a high level of proficiency. I carried a gun every day for 17 years while working. Although I may not be what you would call an avid gun enthusiast, I am a lover of freedom and I do cherish our civil liberties.

The arguments for restricting our Second Amendment rights on the grounds of public safety seem fraudulent at best. Perhaps the goal isn’t to eliminate guns, but is instead a pathway by which to silence the voices of freedom. Either way, the Second Amendment is the only one designed to ensure all of our freedoms and any encroachment upon them are unacceptable.

1 comment

  1. the early 80’s, living in a crap part of Holyoke MA –

    pst! the nice parts of town have less crime against people and property cuz people have money, and are into ripping each other off through the legal / political system!

    A concealed piece would have been nice.

    in 1980-1 I worked graveyard in a bakery with an old Polish guy who had the camp tattoo on his forearm & a permanently  broken ankle from the Gestapo. He took the bus to High Street & had to walk about 10 or 12 blocks to work – he always had a rolled up newspaper in his hand … with an iron bar in the middle. I’m pretty sure he was breaking the law of the day … cuz he was NOT going to play Blanche Dubois, and rely on the kindness of strangers. Imagine that?

    I think there should be some mandatory, paid for by the community, firearms training.

    I’ve almost been shot 3 times by empty guns…

    rule #1 – treat EVERY gun like it is loaded, ALWAYS.

    (oops! they were loaded! LOMG!)

    I’ve had firearms training:

    1. as a kid at the Y with BB guns a loooooong time ago,

    2. in the air force,

    3. … somewhere else.

    I’ve brought many people over to Wade’s guns in Bellevue (years after my near misses … ) for their first shooting experience.

    10 hours of training before a CWP wouldn’t bother me.

    oh yeah – when I moved to Seattle from Boston when I was 29 in ’89, and found out all I needed was a driver’s license to buy a handgun … Go West Young Man! yahoo.


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