By Frederick Su
Northwest Asian Weekly
As an Asian American growing up in the 1960s in the middle of the white American West (Nevada), I was subjected to racial insults and the immediate threat of bodily harm. I was a scrawny 14-year-old picked on by brawnier upperclassmen or a gang of young white men.
On the schoolyard, there were no teachers or other adults around — no one around to police the miscreants and racists. I was on my own and survived because my father had taught me boxing and judo. (He understood racism.) I stood my ground or I would have been stomped into the ground.
That one year in Nevada formed me into the man I am today and has colored my perception of the world as a less than benign place.
Since those days, I have embraced the Asian tradition of martial arts (no, I am no expert) and the American right of law-abiding gun ownership. My father taught my brother and me how to use a rifle and handgun safely and responsibly. During my college days, I took up deer and bird hunting. After college, I entered the Marine Corps during the Vietnam era. During boot camp, I almost shot expert with the M14 rifle, a weapon I still have fond memories of.
I actually voted for Bill Clinton the first time, but when he pushed his assault weapons ban through Congress in 1994, I took notice. I joined the NRA, mainly because I knew, like millions of my fellow countrymen, that just because you own a weapon doesn’t and should not make you a criminal. As the Democrats turned left and frowned on gun ownership, I turned right and embraced the Republican Party.
“The Second Amendment,” as Charlton Heston, famed actor and late president of the NRA, once wrote, “is America’s first freedom.” The Supreme Court recently upheld in Heller vs. DC that the Second Amendment is an individual right.
The right of self-defense is an inalienable right, of which the Second Amendment forms a basic part. Though Barack Obama says he supports it and the shooting/hunting sports, that is “one of the most blatant lies ever to come from a politician’s mouth,” says Illinois State Rifle Association executive director, Richard Pearson.
Pearson ought to know. He has bumped heads against Obama on a number of issues while Obama was an Illinois state senator. Obama voted for a bill that would have banned almost every hunting and target rifle and shotgun owned by Illinois citizens and would have authorized state police to forcibly confiscate said weapons. Obama voted four times against allowing a homeowner to use a gun in defense of home and family. “I have never met a legislator who harbors more contempt for the law-abiding firearm owner than does Barack Obama,” Pearson writes.
The NRA has given Obama and Biden F grades. As a law-abiding citizen who owns guns, I don’t want to be legislated into being a criminal.
Don’t think you need a firearm? Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice recounts the time in the 1940s, I believe, when her father and other community members organized into an armed militia to fight Ku Klux Klan members bent on terrorizing the Black communities. Then, do you remember the Los Angeles riots when Korean merchants pulled out handguns and assault weapons to stem the tide of violence and looting of their businesses?
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I heard on the e-mail grapevine about a fellow publisher hiding in his attic because hoodlums were rampaging through his house. Can you imagine the feeling of fear and helplessness? And, oh, where were the police in all these instances?
As the late renowned shootist, Jeff Cooper, once wrote: “An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.”
Obama is no friend of the law-abiding gun owner. Don’t believe him when he says he is. ♦
More information on Obama’s gun policies can be found at www.gunbanObama.com. Frederick Su is the author of “An American Sin,” a novel about an Asian American and Vietnam.
Frederick Su can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.