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What happens when one’s opinion becomes so intertwined with one’s sense of self-worth and entitlement that any challenge to their driven need to be right becomes perceived as a personal threat?

Anger? Rage? Violence?

Several months ago, I made a right-hand turn onto the near lane of U.S. Highway 101 South. As I made the turn, an oncoming truck abruptly changed lanes mid-intersection into my lane, nearly colliding. It swerved, accelerating back to its original far lane, then slowed to become nearly parallel with me. Although I made a legal turn and he had illegally changed lanes, his rage was obvious. He continued with a familiar gesture as he leaned across the passenger screaming. The other young man in the truck glared at me. I thought about pulling over to explain that I had made a legal turn but then I realized, I was afraid. So, I turned at the end of the block and doubled back to the Coos Bay Police Department and parked.

If I had tried to talk with the driver, would a gun have been pulled on me? I wish I could say no.

In my family, you could only handle a firearm after you passed Oregon’s Hunter Safety Course. As a sixth-grade teacher, my classroom celebrated students who completed that same course.

Decades later during my concealed carry coursework I learned that moving toward a home invader could mean you were not in imminent danger, legally. I was instructed to advance toward the danger only take a stand between the immediate threat and family members.

In a recent photo of two St. Louis attorneys, the woman was holding a handgun aloft like it was a lit cigarette, a clear danger to herself and others. She had no idea how to properly handle a firearm and to call the automatic weapon her husband was yielding a rifle, was misleading. My .32 Winchester Special is a rifle. He held an assault weapon. The barefoot McCloskeys had obviously left the safety of their home to protect what?

Compare that to the video of Chris David, a Navy veteran who was brutally beaten then drenched in pepper spray in our Portland for attempting to simply, as he stated “… have a civil discussion” with federal agents. He stood unmoving as his bones were broken.

It’s time to stand, like Chris David, and protect what’s important, our Constitution.

Sue Powrie

Myrtle Point

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