LawDog on Satwant Singh Kaleka

The LawDog Files explains a bit more about the character of this good man, and also a little about just why he was at such a disadvantage when it came time to do his duty. (H/t: D29)
One of the tenets of the Sikh religion is that adherents must carry on their person a knife, called a Kirpan. The Kirpan is a reminder that the carrier should have the courage to defend all those who are persecuted or oppressed.

In our enlightened, politically-correct times, however, this has caused some problems. The blade -- traditionally between six inches and three feet in length -- seems to be "intimidating" in the Age of the Common Man, and thus has been variously legally required to be "less than four inches", or blunted, or even sealed inside of its scabbard with glue.

I mention this because initial reports state that when Evil presented itself in his place of peace and began to slaughter those of his flock, 65-year-old Satwant Singh Kaleka did his level best to punch the ticket of the decades-younger murderer with what the Media has described as a "butter knife" -- a blunted blade, less than four inches in length.
I have long advocated -- and in Georgia, successfully -- for the extension of weapons carry laws to knives. In spite of that, it's rarely the case that a state with 'shall-issue' permits for handguns has the same approach to its knife laws.

The Sikhs have an additional problem, which is that their universal duty means that they run afoul of 'special places' laws. For example, in Georgia, it is illegal to carry a weapon, even with a permit, into "a place of worship." That law is ill-advised on its face, but it's especially terrible in the case of a Sikh temple. It criminalizes the performance of their duty in the very place most consecrated to the way of life that solemnizes the duty. Presumably the police could drop by every weekend and round up the whole congregation unless they comply with this pretense, and carry "symbolic" knives instead of real ones.

The state legislature won't be in session again until next year, but let's undertake to repair this injustice. Asking them to make do with symbols instead of the real thing is disrespectful of a highly honorable faith, and it may have cost a very good man his chance to stop an act of murder. He gave his life trying, but with the proper tool he might have succeeded.


douglas said...

The last time I was at a Renaissance Faire, I noticed that I felt quite safe, even though there were many people walking about with swords and daggers of all sorts and sizes, man with multiple blades on them. No one seemed to be concerned. And why should they have been? Even if someone were to try to attack, there would be many an armed citizen there to do something about it. Perhaps it's the perfect place to note to a friend who is anti-gun that they needn't be.

Bob said...

Here in Oregon, the cossetted yuppies of Portland dictate much of our law. However, if you have your CHL, you can also perchase and carry an automatic knife.

I've always admired the Kirpan tradition too.

RAVEN said...

The Law is not there to empower, it is there to enslave.
We now have to fight Law, in order to secure liberty, instead of the other way around, as envisioned by the founders.
My wife left, unarmed, on a long motorcycle trip, because the Law and the State, deemed her life unworthy of protection from aggressors. This is a disgusting state of affairs.

Anonymous said...

They should have a scholarship in the name of Satwant Singh Kaleka! Kaleka is a hero and a legend! Sikh rights group gave Brian Murphy $10,000!

Anonymous said...

Love won. Love saved so many lives that day, thanks to Satwant Singh Kaleka, Lt. Brian James Murphy, Officer Savan Nick “Sam” Lenda, Abhay Singh, and Amanat Singh! Fifty to 100 years from now, one of the last survivors of the Sikh Temple would have said, “I survived the Sikh Temple shooting and my life was saved by then a 9 year old child!” WE ARE ONE!