We the People Must Be Responsible and Promote Common Sense

I am an advocate of the Constitution of the United States and its amendments that is called the Bill of Rights. I have made it clear that all law abiding citizens, if they choose to do so, have the right not only to keep firearms at home, but also to “bear” them, either carry firearms openly or concealed. I have not objections to background checks, in fact, I insist upon it, when it comes to carrying concealed or openly carrying firearms. Although it is a pain sometimes, I do not even protest that a background check be made when anyone purchases a firearm, unless they are carrying an up-to-date concealed weapon permit; which that person has already undergone a background check. In fact, I would like to see a more thorough background check in light of the recent incident in Colorado. I would be willing to wait for the results before purchasing a firearm to add to my collection, in a reasonable amount of time.

That is because I am a law abiding citizen who sees the importance of the right to exercise the Second Amendment, yet expects those who use those rights to be responsible.

I will relate an incident that occurred while I served in the Gulf War, Persian Gulf, in the campaign to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi thugs.  It is an example of responsibility and firearms, and using common sense and control when a predicament may cause one to take another person or person’s life in self-defense.
One of my duties during Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Desert Calm was driving a passenger bus, donated by the Saudi Arabian government, who part of the coalition nations against Saddam Hussein’s tyranny. This particular incident occurred during the operation dubbed Desert Shield, before kicking Saddam’s army out of Kuwait.
Myself (desert uniform issued later) and maintenance crew
I had been chosen to drive the brigade bus because I was the only one in the brigade who was licensed to drive a passenger bus, among other licenses of tracked and wheeled vehicles. I had been trained at Fort Benningand Fort Knox in the then new requirements of mechanized infantry.
One night, late, I had picked up troops from air transport at the airport and proceeded in the long drive back to the base, I noticed an airport vehicle with a flashing orange light had been following us. I was coming onto the ramp of the express highway, so I thought nothing of it, but instead of taking the nearest exit that led to the airport, the vehicle continued to follow closely. I then slowed down and they slowed as well, without passing.
At that time, I had no “shotgun” that rode with me, I was armed with an loaded M16. Expecting an ambush, I grabbed my rifle from its resting position and rested the muzzle on the open window ledge of the bus on the driver’s side, all the while watching closely in my mirror – plainly seeing there were three people in the vehicle. Since my passengers were not armed, for they were new troops assigned to the base for in processing, I told them to watch closely the figures in the vehicle and if they see anything that resembles a weapon, shout it out and hit the floor. I then flipped my selector switch from “SAFE” to “AUTO”. Still holding the muzzle at the window, I formed a plan in my head if weapons were produced from the vehicle I would use the bus to smash into the vehicle putting the bus at the proper angle to let loose on the occupants.
Fortunately, the tale ends well. The men in the vehicle were obviously airport personnel who never saw Americans before and were just curious. After I had prepared to take action, they took the next exit and the troops in my charge and I were safe from attack.
The reason why I wrote this is not to tell a “war story”, but to emphasize that those who have firearms must exercise common sense and control at all times, all the while being prepared for what may or may not come. If I had been “trigger happy” that night, I would have killed innocent people as well as embarrassed my nation and the US Army with an international incident – and rightfully so, court-martial proceedings, dishonored, and put in prison.
It is not a light thing to take another human’s life. 
It is certainly NOT like the movies depict, except a few that are too realistic – like Saving Private Ryan. Having and using firearms is a serious responsibility, especially if a decision is made to take someone’s life in a threatening situation. Whether the person or persons deserved it, it is still a stain upon one’s soul. Something we must live with, but necessary to save innocent folks or yourself.
It is important that law-abiding citizen be afforded the opportunity to defend themselves, their property, family, and fellow human beings against predators – whether two legged or four legged. Most predators seek easy prey, preferably unarmed, and it is why most violent crime victims are women – which means that it is important for women to be able to defend themselves with a firearm if they choose to do so. It is also important for those with no military training to attend firearm safety and self-defense courses.
However, with those Second Amendment rights and other liberties, we are also compelled to be responsible and act according to common sense and the immediate situation. 
Like on that night on a Saudi Arabian highway. 
I know that if they wished us harm, they would have been taken care of; but I was relieved that they were just innocently looking to see Americans up close – and most importantly, innocent lives were not taken and I did not dishonor my country or my military superiors (myself and family).
I just wanted to make the point that we are blessed with rights and liberties that other people do not have in other nations; we must respect those rights, prevent them from being taken away, and use those rights in liberties with responsibility in the unwritten part of the Constitution. We must use common sense in using those rights.
It is that we have a multitude of rights and liberties, or used to, and  exercise them before our government became corrupted, and that makes us responsible for using them correctly as well as protecting them from those who would take them away, property rights has already been taken away, in various forms and fashions that tyrants have done throughout history.
The United States has never been a perfect Union. Indeed, we, or those who we selected to operate OUR government has transgressed rights and liberties under different reasons and excuses – coming to a head today.
We the People are at a crossroad that is critical to our future. We can continue to allow transgressions to occur against our Constitution or we can do something about it – reforming ourselves and those who are elected to serve the People and not the other way around.
The Tea Partymovement is not “radical” – unless you want to declare that, our Constitution is “radical” – for that is what the leftist tyrants are saying. The world has always been chaos – with peaceful periods too few and far between. We must address it. But we must also recognize that our republic is the best system ever devised in the history of humanity and civilization.
Are you going to throw it away or allow others to take it away?
Let’s educate ourselves and reform ourselves, our attitudes, our standards, our values – and then we can “change” the government back to where it belongs as a democratic republic that stands upon the rock of the Constitution, a strong foundation as long as it is adhered to.