Sunday, February 11, 2007

Why Carry

Someone I know once asked me why I support the right of citizens to own and carry guns for self protection.

They argued that in a civilized society we must trust the police to defend us and they took particular offense at the concept that citizens would ever need to own semi-automatic weapons like the civilian version of the M-16.

What amazed me about this discussion was that this person, who I really respect, is a holocaust survivor. As a youngster he was saved from the Nazis by hiding in the attic of a Polish family...where for three years he had to live in constant fear of discovery.

Of course the Nazis made sure that civilians in Germany and occupied lands could not possess firearms.

I explained to my friend that semi-automatic weapons are fun to shoot, they are accurate, can be used for hunting, competition and in the advent of a national security disaster, they are fine for self protection.

Needless to say, I did not convince him.

But the most recent example of reality bring home the issue of the necessity for the right to keep and bear arms, was the chaos surrounding hurricane Katrina.

Despite attempts by local law enforcement to confiscate the legally own firearms of Katrina survivors, most survivors that did not evacuate and owned firearms, derived a real sense of safety and in many cases prevented harm from looters and other criminals who readily used the disaster to prey upon defenseless hurricane victims.

Katrina showed Americans even more than the events of 9/11, that we can't always rely on the police or the military to protect us.

So as we open the marathon presidential election campaign cycle, one key issue that will be studied closely on the left and right, will be the candidate's stand on the second amendment.

One early prediction -

No candidate will win the White House unless they stand firmly in defense of the right of lawful citizens to keep and bear arms.

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