The Duty To Defend Yourself, U.S.

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - July 07, 2010

United States citizens literally dodged a bullet last week when the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed that private individuals could own a firearm. The 5-4 vote demonstrates the incredible power and authority bestowed upon the nine justices whose decisions can impact the lives of every single man, woman and child in our nation.

There has been a lot of conversation about whether or not our state gun laws are sufficient or deficient. As with most volatile issues, it is all perspective. You may be one of the many who abhor guns. You subscribe to the notion that firearms are the root cause of violence in our society and we would have a safer (and saner) community without them. As a matter of fact, you may believe that an all-out ban on private possession of firearms is not only good policy, but it would serve as the ultimate lifesaving legislation. In other words, no guns equals safe cities.


Others, however, believe that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct. It is a constitutional mandate that codifies the Founding Fathers’ belief that the individual has the right - no, the duty - to protect himself and, by extension, the country by ownership and possession of firearms. You maintain our neighborhoods and cities would be safer if law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry weapons on their person. Two things would be accomplished: You would be able to protect yourself or loved ones, and criminals would be less likely to prey upon someone if they thought their target could be armed. Ultimately, you would be safe and secure knowing that you were prepared for virtually any situation.

I believe that every American has the right to bear arms. All Americans have the right to protect themselves and their families. But we don’t have the right to disrespect the power and potential of the gun. I do believe there should be a registration process that requires a criminal background check. I support denying access to those who have demonstrated a disdain for our laws. I don’t have a huge problem with a mandatory instruction. We don’t send people behind the wheel of a speeding car without knowing if they can drive or not, and we shouldn’t place a Glock in the hands of someone who doesn’t know how to handle and shoot it. If you are experienced, you should be able to pass a brief proficiency test and then move on.

I do believe that a capable and law-abiding citizen should have the right to carry a firearm on his/her person. We tend to think the worse of people who follow the law yet sympathize and support those who don’t. Not true?

Consider the Tea Party participant. Mainstream press and bloggers have belittled, eviscerated and marginalized Tea Party protesters. Some have claimed they hold rallies so filled with anger they lead to violence. Now where is all the brutality among the Tea Party activists? Which event turned into a bloodbath? None. But the hoodlums who recently protested Toronto and the G20 were the complete opposite. There were skirmishes that led to violence and injuries, and there were more than 600 arrests. Toronto spent more than $1 billion for security. The rioters were appalling and, ultimately, embarrassing. Where are the hyper-criticisms in the press regarding the G20 outrage? Sadly, not to be found.

I believe average, law-abiding citizens can be trusted to responsibly arm and defend themselves. Hawaii should convert our law from “may issue” to “shall issue” when it comes to firearm-possession permits. Several states and countless communities subscribe to carry/conceal and are doing just fine.

We are the 50th state and we deserve the same opportunity.

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