The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Most citizens are familiar with the Second Amendment to our Constitution of the United States, protecting our right to keep and bear arms for “the security of a free State.” Our Washington State Constitution goes even further. Article I, Section 24, under the heading “Right to bear arms,” says “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired…”

Now, more than ever, it is imperative that lawmakers stand firm on the right to keep and bear arms. We must be able to see through the rhetoric and alarmism that are blowing at full gale. When a truck is driven into a crowd to kill scores of people and injure hundreds, we don’t hear pleas to ban trucks or ban the biggest, scariest-looking trucks. When knives are used to kill dozens and maim scores of people, we don’t hear pleas to ban knives. In the U.S., far more people are killed each year with hands and feet than with guns. A gun, like fire or water or a truck or a knife, is a useful tool that can be misused by evil or deranged people. It makes no sense to punish an innocent person for another person’s crime.

A gun is also an equalizer, giving extra strength and power to the weaker and more vulnerable. Here in the 39th Legislative District, many of us live in rural areas and it might take awhile for a sheriff to arrive. When the home of a senior citizen couple was broken into not long ago, the wife heard her husband struggling with the intruder in the living room. The intruder had already inflicted multiple severe wounds by the time the wife had retrieved a gun from the bedroom. She shot and killed the intruder and saved her husband’s life and likely her own. The helicopter carrying him to the hospital flew right over my house, so this issue hits pretty close to home. Sometimes there are multiple thugs attacking a home and it takes more bullets to stop them. It is wrong for government officials to impair the People’s ability to defend themselves, so I will continue to oppose any further restrictions.

As a legislator for four years, January 2013-January 2017, I stood very strong on our right to keep and bear arms. In fact, I was the first person to ever win the “Legislator of the Year” award as a freshman, from Hunters’ Heritage Council, as well as from Safari Club International. I had a consistent A+ rating from NRA even before I was elected, due to my active advocacy. It’s one thing to say you’re a member of Washington Arms Collectors, a Life member of NRA and of Front Sight Nevada, and a concealed carry permit holder. Memberships can be purchased. It’s another thing entirely to stand firm in the heat and push for more liberty and fewer infringements on your rights. My record is solid. It would be a pleasure and an honor to serve you again.