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Want to feel secure? Arm yourself
By C. Scott Shields, Times Guest Columnist
Call me crazy, but with the recent Omaha mall shooting I am beginning to see a pattern with all of the mass-murder shootings in this country. They all seem to include a deranged gunman, who after killing as many people as possible unimpeded decides to kill himself before the police take him into custody.

No one should be surprised this scenario keeps playing itself out in America since you do not have a constitutional right to police protection. Yet, despite having no right to any police protection, there are many people in our society who want to deny your right to keep and bear arms for the defense of yourself and your family.

What do you do if you are in a mall and a psychotic human being opens fire? I guess if you are unarmed you just wait to get slaughtered, or perhaps you run for your life.

However, if you are armed, at least you have a chance at survival, especially in Pennsylvania where all law-abiding citizens have a right to carry a concealed weapon.

The right to be armed is a basic individual constitutional right just like free speech and the right to conscience. Our Pennsylvania constitution, in the Declaration of Rights, states, “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned” in Article 1, Section 21.

This same Declaration of Rights also states, “To guard against transgressions of the high powers which we have delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of government and shall forever remain inviolate” in Article 1, Section 25.

This crystal-clear language confirms your individual right to self defense with a firearm.

Turning back to the mall scenario, why is this individual right to be armed important to all of us? It is important as it gives each and every one of us the right and ability to provide for the protection of ourselves and our families.

Shame on the able-bodied people in that Omaha mall who chose not to be armed. They allowed an armed man free reign to kill until the police arrived. I saw the same pictures and video as everyone else, and shook my head at the police officers who were running to the scene with the AR 15s in hand â€" much too little, and way too late!

There is a movement afoot in Pennsylvania to curtail and even eliminate your constitutional right to keep and bear arms in defense of yourself and your family. The opposition states they are all for your hunting rights, but fail to make mention of your inviolate right to self defense. I am left without answers as to why some of our politicians ignore some parts of our Constitution, yet attempt to champion other aspects of the same Constitution they took an oath to uphold. It makes little sense, but agenda-driven ideologies are always riddled with moral and intellectual dishonesty.

For instance, Gov. Rendell says he supports a sportsman’s gun rights but he wants sweeping new gun control. Yet our General Assembly has held fast in upholding your constitutional right to be armed.

Then you have a Philadelphia City Council which recently sued the General Assembly for more gun control, and the City Council is asking a judge to force the General Assembly to violate your individual right to be armed.

And now, unbelievably, Mayor-elect Michael Nutter has announced he wants to allow his police to stop and frisk individuals on the street to combat gun violence. He even believes he can do this within the bounds of the Constitution.

I beg to differ, and I offer this to mayor-elect: I dare you! I will drop a lawsuit on Mayor Nutter opposing his unconstitutional stop-and-frisk policy so fast it will make his head spin.

Instead of curtailing our individual rights, why don’t all of our government officials acknowledge the rights of all citizens to self determine their own safety, including the right to bear arms to protect themselves and their families from random gun attacks? Taking away that individual right to self-defense is not going to reduce crime; it will just enable the deranged few to develop killing strategies where they know a citizen response will be lessened and/or eliminated.

Back to the me-being-crazy part: I am not, but I am constantly attacked by groups like Handgun Control and the No Place for Hate crowds as a result of standing up for your right to keep and bear arms and your right to express your viewpoint on any subject without fear of arrest.

I have a lot of work to do as there are politicians who want to take these basic rights away and also many citizens who are willing to give up these basic rights in exchange for a false sense of security. However, I send this warning to all of you. As Benjamin Franklin once stated, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

C. Scott Shields, Esq., is the mayor of the borough of Rutledge.

Want to feel secure? Arm yourself

[Edited to shorten link - Please see Forum Rule #8 - Thanks, Jeff :)]

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This is a refreshing viewpoint offered by an elected official! Now, if we could just propagate this.
 

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Great article. It boggles my mind to think that people still feel that by making something illegal it will prevent it from happening.
 
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For instance, Gov. Rendell says he supports a sportsman’s gun rights but he wants sweeping new gun control. Yet our General Assembly has held fast in upholding your constitutional right to be armed.
This is one of the filthiest tricks used by these evil basages.
Sportsman's gun rights is an act of prestidigitation.
The magician at work:
Look at my right hand while I steal this liberty and presto its gone. But wait there is more! Now notice in my left hand the bill of rights. It says nothing about you your right to kill Bambie or poke holes in paper and....presto a gun free America and you didn't even notice; aren't I clever!
 
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