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How many times have you heard someone say that they didn’t realize how much they appreciated something after having lost it?  Whether it be losing a person, health, the right to drive, or providing for one’s family, all too often it is only appreciated once it’s been taken away.

Ask a person sitting in a jail or prison cell, about the freedoms they lost when they committed their crimes, were caught, tried and sentenced.  They no longer have the freedom to go and do what they want.  Their lives are controlled by others.  What they eat is controlled by others.  Even their ability to communicate with loved ones is controlled by others.

Now imagine a whole country of people that live like prisoners with the government controlling every aspect of their lives.  That’s what life is like when a nation of people loses their freedoms.  They often don’t realize what’s happened to them until it’s too late.

One of those freedoms that we Americans hold so dear is the freedom to own and bear firearms, given to us by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.  The battle to preserve that freedom is being waged not only in Washington DC, but in many states throughout the land, including Oregon.

Leading the anti-gun and anti-Second Amendment movement in Oregon is State Senator Floyd Prozansky (D-Eugene).  He recently held a panel meeting to discuss proposed anti-gun laws, and opened that meeting up to the public for comments and testimony.

Undoubtedly, the most powerful testimony came from Manuel Martinez, a Cuban immigrant who came to the US legally a number of years ago to escape the communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro.  Martinez told the committee what it’s like to live in a country where one’s freedoms and rights have been taken away by the government.  He also told them that it was gun control and the taking away of the people’s guns that allowed it all to happen.

In the most dramatic part of his testimony, he pointed a finger at Prozansky and told him:

“You people don’t know what freedom is because you never lost it.  You haven’t been tortured.  You haven’t been the assassinations.  You haven’t been mothers begging for the life of their son not to be killed because the only reason they want is to be free.  And they kill the mothers, and they kill the son.”