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14-year-old writes: Behind the Battle Lines: The fight to defend the 2nd Amendment

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.


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  1. Dear Emily,

    I very much enjoyed your perspective and your honesty. I know guns are scary; they should be. When you stop fearing – respecting – something that is truly dangerous you stand to get hurt by it. Always fear a gun.

    That being said perhaps you can understand how precious Freedom is that we are willing to keep and bear frightful arms. As scary as guns are it is much more frightening to read these words;

    “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.” (Mao Tse Tung Problems of War and Strategy, Nov 6 1938, published in “Selected Works of Mao Zedong,” 1965)

    I don’t know if you know who Mao Tse Tung was and maybe your dad can help you with that but in a nutshell he was the leader of the Communist revolt in China and ultimately its Primier – and a mortal enemy of not only freedom but our Great Nation.

    Here is another quote;

    “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed (that would be us). –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    It comes from our Declaration of Independence and what it says (as one of the first principles of “We the People”) is that our government has our permission to govern us with just (or good) authority so long as that government continues to govern by justice for our life, LIBERTY and pursuit of happiness. Our government has the sole purpose to protect our Individual Rights (tho it has strayed so very far from that).

    Unalienable Rights are those things about us that make us human. You have thoughts and you speak those thoughts. Your unalienable right is therefore to speak your thoughts and to believe as you wish. Thus our 1st Amendment. The Constitution did not invent or give us these Unalienable Rights. No one can give you or take away from you an unalienable right – they can only allow you the freedom to exercise those rights or enslave you to keep you from exercising those rights. You have those rights simply because you are a human being.

    When the leaders of a nation argue that we should not have the right to bear arms, whatever argument they offer, there is only one TRUE reason they are trying to take your guns – to enslave you and deny all of your other rights. If you enjoy freedom then, scary or not, you must not let anyone take away your Right to Revolution – to throw off an oppressive government that no longer fulfills its obligation to the people to protect their Individual rights! The 2nd Amendment is the only Amendment that tells us why it is included in the Bill of Rights;

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    “…being necessary to the security of a free State.” A free State, in the language of those days, meant a body of people as a nation – not particularly one or more of the several states of a Union. And take note that the words “…shall not be infringed” makes no allowance for any particular conditions – such as mental illness. (We must address mental illness in other ways than to infringe upon our Individual Right to bear Arms). You see then that the 2nd Amendment isn’t really about shooting, about collecting guns, sportsmanship or even hunting. It is about protecting us from Tyranny. It is about keeping the ultimate power of government in the hands of the people.

    Is it any wonder then that our leaders are trying in every way that they can to take that power away from us? Many, many have already suffered unimaginable hardship and shed blood for those rights. Let us stand together and honor their scarifies. Let us continue to be free.

    Thank you for your wonderful letter.


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