I believe in America and in Americans. I take second place to no one in love for my country. The Sikh speakers, especially the President of the temple, exceeded me in patriotism by a long shot. America is not blood, and it’s not soil. America is ideas, and the people who believe them. These were Americans. They might have been born here or far away. But once they started talking about America, the “best” and “safest country in the world”, you could tell that they were Americans. These are not scare quotes, these are direct quotes from the speakers. Thomas Jefferson might have had a problem understanding the accents, but not the sentiments.
And now for the funny part. There must be some sort of gun enthusiast radar. I don’t know if they found me or I found them, but we found each other. The guys I was sitting next to were both Sikh and gun owners. We talked about guns, and we’ll be getting together sometime soon to go shooting. One of my new friends said that he was surprised that no one in the Temple shot at the intruder. He was mystified as to why there was no one with a gun available to shoot back. He assured me that it was almost certain that there were concealed carriers in the congregation. I did not go to the temple to advocate for concealed carry. I was, however, treated to a discussion of how banning guns would not change anything. I was told that criminals would get guns no matter what the laws, and that taking guns from the honest people would only make things worse. In short, it was a discussion pretty much like any that you would read on any pro-gun blog.