Written by Emily B., posted with permission from Emily and her father, Jeff B. via Phil Tong:
Behind the Battle Lines: The fight to defend the Second Amendment
by Emily Ball, 14 years old
I was completely against going at first. My dad and some other guys from 2A, the gun supporting group in Hawaii, were going down to the capital for a peaceful protest. Being against the whole gun thing, I didn’t want to go. My dad called it a lesson on the First Amendment, a Social Studies project. But I was adamant, guns scared me so why would I want to support them? It wasn’t until I got a little sick, and had to cancel my other plans for the day, that I actually considered it. Throw in the promise of a manapua lunch (my all time favorite food ever) and I decided that I might as well go and see it. That didn’t mean I had to do anything, or support anything, I was just going to be an observer. But what I saw when I got there, well let’s just say it kinda took me by surprise.
First of all, there were waaaaay more people than I had expected. The line stretched from one end of the capital to the other, there were at least 100 people waving signs, flags, or just waving. Second of all, there were families. I don’t know why, but I had expected a bunch of men like my dad who loved shooting. Those guys were there, but so were their wives and their kids, some of whom couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6. Add in the fact that half the guys were in aloha shirts(the dress code was business casual), it made the whole gun thing seem kind of…good. I mean, these were the people that you went to work with everyday, who you said hi to when you saw them in your neighborhood, not crazies who were gonna hurt you. Not saying that there weren’t crazies there ( a guy yelling to impeach Obama), but I guess you could say that it was the first time when i considered the fact that maybe these people could be onto something.
I think that what I appreciated the most about this peaceful protest was how it brought together a group of people who believed in something, who felt so passionately towards protecting their rights. Who am I to say that they’re wrong just because it’s a right that scares me. Honestly, it was kind of beautiful seeing them all their together, perfect strangers, or maybe old friends. There was a kind of harmony, for lack of a better word, that is so rarely seen nowadays. And so many cars honked their support, not just cars but buses, and tourist trolleys, and even policemen. It was obvious that this was something bigger than I had ever imagined.
While I might not completely agree that guns are good, I do agree that maybe we should be working to keep the guns out of the wrong hands, like the mentally ill, and in the ones that can protect us, like the families waving their signs. It took the first amendment to make me realize that the second amendment wasn’t so scary after all. From a fourteen year old girl behind the battle lines, I’ll admit that this second amendment stuff, maybe it is worth defending. It’s at least worth taking another look at, that’s for sure.