Commentary: Oath includes focusing on liberty and independence

This column was written before the most recent school shootings.

Society cannot eliminate every risk, but we can let our youth know their security and well-being are priorities, and they can always share their concerns.

Our young people have a right to feel safe in their surroundings.

In the Delaware Code, Title 29, Section 5102 states:

“Every officer and employee of the State or any political subdivision thereof shall take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State before commencing duties as such officer or employee.”

The oath for the Senate is as follows:

“I do proudly swear to carry out the responsibilities of the office of Delaware State Senator to the best of my ability, freely acknowledging that the powers of this office flow from the people I am privileged to represent.

Bryant Richardson

“I further swear always to place the public interests above any special or personal interests, and to respect the right of future generations to share the rich historic and natural heritage of Delaware.”

Every so often I will reread the Oath of Office and question myself as to my faithfulness to that oath.

My concern as a citizen is that too many lawmakers are not honoring their oath of office when they propose changes in our laws that erode our rights.

My concern as a member of the state legislature is that with one-party rule, we are lacking serious debate on these critical issues.

Delaware’s motto is “Liberty and Independence”

What is liberty? One popular definition is this: “…the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.”

My main concern at the present time is that too many of our state lawmakers are poised to infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens found in the Second Amendment to our U.S. Constitution and in Article 1 in the Delaware Bill of Rights, Section 20.

The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Article 1, Section 20 of the Delaware Bill of Rights states:

“A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use.”

Here are the “infringement” bills that are scheduled to be heard in hearing this week:

Senate Bill 68 seeks to ban the possession, purchase, manufacture, or sale of the most commonly owned semi-automatic firearms in Delaware.

Senate Bill 70 would outright ban the possession, purchase, sale and manufacture, of any magazine that can hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition.

Senate Bill 82 replaces the previously introduced gun control measure, Senate Bill 69. This bill would impose a requirement that individuals obtain training and a permit in order to purchase a firearm in Delaware.

Is it possible to eliminate every risk? You would have to take away everyone’s right to bear arms, and even then the results would not protect us from danger.

In fact, history shows us just the opposite occurs when you take away a person’s right to protect themselves and their family.

A disarmed citizenry is at the mercy of the lawless and has no protection against tyranny.

Sen. Bryant L. Richardson is a Republican serving the 21st District, which covers the Seaford, Laurel area.

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