By B.T. Lockridge Maybe that was a stupid question. Maybe I do not understand what ‘self defense’ legally means, or why someone would need more justification. Yes, I entered a contest that I have no means of winning the prize because I live in California. However, I think that made me want to write about this topic even more because who will defend the oppressed if we won’t even defend ourselves? People will say, “move to a different state.” They will say it is my fault for voting in representatives that are in effect destroying the 2nd Amendment. Most of them have valid points including these until they say it is too late . . . That’s where they are wrong. Education and culture are the only ways we can drown the fear surrounding firearms and their associated stereotypes. As long as California hasn’t seceded from USA, it is never too late. Just because one side of the political spectrum dominates, doesn’t mean a different point of view can’t gain traction and reel in some legislation that would be gun favorable in the perpetual tug of war that is politics. The idea of carrying came to me only after taking care of my newborn nephew full time. I started to realize why new moms were often victims of theft. Carrying a baby and maneuvering in the modern life we live can really hold your attention making you a perfect victim of just about any crime. Before this enlightening event, I never feared a defensive situation and never found a need to carry despite living in places where crime is a popular statistic. Commonly having one hand or less free of distractions, I decided to look up the process to obtain a CCW Permit. The idea of may issue vs. shall issue comes to mind, but even under both cases presented for a permit, I am still required to validate a need beyond self defense. Why isn’t there a centralized system to do what is now done differently in each county (if you don’t believe that it’s done differently, look up the statistics of CCW permit carries by county, and then google how to obtain CCW Permit with county name to get detailed county specific instructions along with resources, such as a person you can email your “good cause statement” for them to review). Calgun.net proves an invaluable source of information in this regard. So the know-betters in political office created this system by law, and the know-betters who are sworn to protect my family and me decide whether I can do it on my own in their opinion, and I helped them do it by voting and paying taxes because they know better than I do. Every time I think of all these hoops I have to jump through, I revert back to the simplicity of the 2nd Amendment. It states clearly “… shall not be infringed” yet I believe this and many other founding ideas explicitly known as the bill of rights are infringed daily. They have a register of every person who has guns, what guns they have, if they can carry, if their twig’s left berry is missing, but they still feel it is unsafe to provide a law abiding citizen with peace of mind. At its core, I believe the 2nd Amendment translates into “peace of mind.” You will have the means to protect you and your family, where ever that may be, from whoever your enemy may be, including the very government (or police nowadays from the news that is covered) that was sworn to protect your inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Wasn’t that what America was all about? Keyword ‘was’ apparently, because all it takes is a look around to make you feel like this isn’t your grandpappy’s idea of America, the land of the free.