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EOW means “End Of Watch” or the end of a shift. After a law enforcement officer dies in the line of duty, there is a ritual. Usually around the time of the funeral, a dispatch will call the officer’s unit; wait a few moments; repeat the call; wait a few more moments and then announce the unit is is out of service or off duty. Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal’s shift ended in the afternoon of September 27, 2019. Gone but not forgotten.

I happened to drive by the area where Deputy Dhaliwal was shot not long after it happened. The investigation was still ongoing and there were a number of vehicles from the sheriff’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety on the scene.

I checked my phone for the news and read Deputy Dhaliwal had been shot and was in critical condition. I hoped and prayed that he would make it and grieved when I heard he had died.

The man accused of shooting Deputy Dhaliwal had a history of violence. He was a convicted felon who should have still been in prison. He was paroled in 2014 and twice violated the terms of his parole. There was an active warrant for his arrest that was three years old.

Under a federal law that dates back more than 80 years, the man who allegedly murdered Deputy Dhaliwal was forbidden to possess a firearm; it was a federal offense for anyone to knowingly hand him a gun even to look at.

As Deputy Dhaliwal walked back to his unit to run an ID check, the man ran up behind him and shot him with a gun the law says he should not have had.

So what we have is a person who was a fugitive, armed with a forbidden firearm, who killed a law enforcement officer who was about to discover his secret and take him into custody. A person whose criminal record runs back a quarter or a century and includes assault, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated kidnapping. A person who is 47 years old.

And here’s your solution: “First, we need universal background checks, especially the majority of private sales of guns. Secondly, we must raise the national minimum age of buying a gun up to 21 to keep more arms out of the teenagers’ hands. Furthermore, implementing a one week wait period for all gun sales to reduce rash suicides. Finally, we must increase taxes on gun manufacturers to discourage industries from producing mass gun sales.”

Is it just me or is there a total lack of any connection between your proposal and the death of Deputy Dhaliwal?

Are you actually using the death of an honorable law enforcement officer to promote measures that would not have done one damn thing to prevent it?

That’s pretty cold. Pretty sleazy, too.

You became an American a couple of months ago. I read your article about it. Did you miss something in the process? After all, America isn’t like India where civil rights can be suspended whenever the government finds it convenient (yes, I have read the Indian equivalents to our Constitution and Bill of Rights).

As a freshly minted American, you wrote, “Today, the only people who should rightfully be holding a gun are being shot dead by those who should have never had a weapon in the first place.”

I won’t argue that Deputy Dhaliwal’s killer shouldn’t have had a gun. He shouldn’t even have been on the streets until 2024.

But here you are, at age 17, having spent most of your life in a very different culture, making pronouncements on who should have the right to hold a gun in America.

You’re free to make those statements. As an American, you have the freedom of speech; the right to publish what you wish without prior censorship. These are good things. In the United States, they are regarded as inalienable natural rights that existed before the Constitution and do not depend on the Constitution or the government to be exercised. That’s why the First Amendment forbids the government from enacting laws that might curtail or deprive you of those rights. Understanding this is very important to your understanding of America and Americans.

To put it simply, the First Amendment does not confer any rights; it protects rights that the government cannot grant or withhold.

Now we come to the part where you seem to be having problems: the Second Amendment.

All Americans have the right to keep and bear arms, not only for the common defense but for self-defense and other lawful purposes. Like the freedom to speak and write, the right to be armed is a natural right. The right to life includes a right to continue living which means a person has the right to resist anyone trying to injure or kill them. Most countries say that a person has the right to self-defense but in the United States, we have the right to effective self-defense which includes the use of weapons comparable to those with which we might be attacked.

As with the freedom of speech, the right to be armed is not granted by the government. Just like the First Amendment, the Second Amendment is a prohibition; it forbids the government curtailing or depriving us of the right.

In your article about becoming an American, you mentioned the you have “an equal opportunity to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” No doubt you were thinking of what Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.”

It’s important to note that word “among.” Because also among those rights are freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the keeping and bearing of arms.

How do I know this? Because when the anti-Federalists refused to ratify the Constitution without some specific guarantees, these were among the first that were put off limits to the federal government.

The result is that all Americans who have not committed a felony; have not been found guilty of domestic violence; are lawfully in the United States; have not been dishonorably discharged from military service; do not use controlled substances; are not under indictment; are not fugitives from justice; and have not been adjudicated as being mentally unfit to handle our own affairs or to present a danger to ourselves or others have the right to not only hold a gun, but to own a gun and even carry a gun for our own protection.

I don’t know what Deputy Dhaliwal’s views on gun control were. But I do know that most working police officers don’t believe gun control laws will work and have a positive view of armed citizens. This includes city police officers and deputy sheriffs, such as Sandeep Dhaliwal.

Like all law enforcement officers in the state of Texas, Deputy Dhaliwal took an oath to uphold the law, including the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Texas. Both of these include protections of the right to keep and bear arms.

If you would honor Sandeep Dhaliwal as a Sikh, you should also honor his oath as an American law enforcement officer.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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