Freedom

"I went because I believe these freedoms to be the main reason we have enjoyed our place as the most prosperous country in recorded human history."

I am a 29-year-old Hispanic woman living in Gilbert. I am an artist by trade and have no political affiliation.

And I support the Second Amendment.

Gun rights are not a racial issue. They are not a matter of political affiliation and they are not a privilege to be revoked. Self-defense is a basic human right.

Recently I attended the gun rally in Virginia to show support for what has become our most controversial constitutional right. The mood was electric and positive with people attending of all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life. It didn’t feel like a state of emergency. 

But before I went, I waded through countless headlines that would have convinced most people I was attending a white supremacist rally. 

This idea that the Second Amendment is only valued by racist, white men is deep-seated in current social thinking. But common sense says that race has zero to do with protecting yourself.

Who is most in need of self-defense but those outnumbered or physically disadvantaged? Think minorities and women. 

In feminist circles, guns are often referred to as “The Great Equalizer.” To us women, a firearm is often the only difference between life and death.

Martin Luther King Jr. applied for a concealed carry permit after his home was bombed but was denied that right because of the color of his skin.

It is time for us to ditch this propagated myth that defending oneself is a white man’s cause and start questioning the motives of any agency that would have us believe that. 

It is a minority cause, a women’s cause, an LGBT cause. More than that, it is the right of every living organism.

Deep within the DNA of every living thing is a peculiarly resilient facet that resists being oppressed. It is that plucky rebelliousness of life that refuses to die. The flower growing amid the ashes. The songbird singing through the cage. 

It is related to an innate sense of justice, this need to be free. It is the essence of life and vitality. It Is in this spirit that our constitution was written and it is this very same spirit that these rights are meant to protect.

Standing in the middle of that peaceful, determined crowd 22,000 people deep, I felt I was standing with family. 

For a moment, we were just people – people determined to be heard; determined to be free.

Looking up through the government-erected fence, up the steps to where the politicians stood looking down at us – those who would strip me of my ability to protect myself from harm – and looking up further still at the snipers that those same politicians had hired to keep a close eye on me, I felt something our founders understood.

I went to the rally in Virginia because I believe in the freedoms they fought for us to have.

I went because these freedoms are under attack.

I went because I believe these freedoms to be the main reason we have enjoyed our place as the most prosperous country in recorded human history.

And I went because I’d hate to be part of the generation responsible for letting it slip away.