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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Larry Simoneaux
Bio: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  February 24, 2008
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Topic category:  Other/General

"...shall not be infringed."

This one’s been under the radar for a while now, but it’s about to become a lot more visible.

Next month, the Supreme Court is going to take a look at the District of Columbia’s ban on handgun ownership. The argument at hand is basically, as it has been for years, whether or not the Second Amendment’s guarantee to “keep and bear arms” is an individual or a collective right.

I’ve been around firearms all my life and there are many ways I could approach this, but I’ll deal with it from the perspective I’ve come to consider the most important - that of being a father.

I’ll explain.

I was raised with the old-fashioned notion that this title carries several very specific responsibilities. One of them is that I am my family’s first line of defense in any tough situation. Unfortunately, in these times, I believe that that notion has been pushed too far into the background and, in many cases, has been forgotten altogether. Many are now more than willing to hope and pray that, when something bad happens, someone will come along to make everything right again.

Yes, we have police officers. The problem for me is that none of them live with me and, given the fact that I and my family aren’t their only concern, they will most likely not be nearby when I need them most. Yes, we can call “911” at any hour of the day or night. The problem is that such a call will likely be made to report what we’re now experiencing or, worse, the hell that we’ve just been through.

Added to the above, I also believe that, when you’re staring down the bad guys, the three most useless things to you are: (1) Things you need but don’t have (a means of self-defense) ; (2) Laws you’ve followed but they haven’t (“Gun Free Zones”); and (3) Help that’s minutes away when seconds are all you have.

As I approach my 60th birthday, I’ve become all too aware of the fact that, in dealing with an assailant or an intruder far younger and stronger than I, the chances of my subduing him (or them) are not as good as they once might have been. Too, I’m not willing to bet either my or my family’s well being on the benevolent nature of the thug(s) we may be facing.

All of the above lead me to the conclusion that certain steps are therefore appropriate in order to protect myself and my family from harm should the need to do so present itself. For that one reason, among many others, I believe that I have the inalienable right to possess a firearm.

I know that there are many of you who disagree. I know that many of you are willing to forego a firearm and place your trust in the institutions that have been set up to come to our aid when needed. The problem, as noted, is time. You may not have any.

There are “goblins” everywhere in our society who can look just as normal as you or I. You read about them every day. These individuals have no inhibitions as regards harming others in order to satisfy whatever “need” they might have at any given moment. They have no regard for the law or for any of the boundaries that good people abide by. They simply ignore them and, should you be their target, they will lose no sleep over the fact that you had to be hurt or killed to satisfy their desires.

Because of several experiences in my extended and immediate family, I long ago made a personal choice and a moral decision to provide myself with the means to act should any member of my family be threatened while I am present.

I leave it to the “goblins” to figure out what that means.

I did not do this out of the perceived need to take the law into my own hands nor to perform any macho posturing. I did it to ensure that some measure of protection would be available to me and mine should it be needed.

And for these raesons, I believe that the Supreme Court should strike down the D.C. handgun ban. That’s because, when it comes to protecting those we love, the law to be obeyed comes from a much higher source than the one that enacted such a ban.

It’s just that simple.

Larry Simoneaux

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Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

Read other commentaries by Larry Simoneaux.

Copyright © 2008 by Larry Simoneaux
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