Mr. Chandler - I was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky and have lived in Frankfort most of my life, excepting the time that I spent overseas in military service in Germany and when I worked in Saudi Arabia.
My father, Shelby Riggs, was a member of your grandfather's Kentucky State Police security detail in the 1950s. I used to get chewing gum from Happy when we would visit my Dad at the Governor's office. Somewhere in my house I still have a pin that reads "ABC in 63" from Happy's campaign for governor that year.
I tell you this so that you understand that I have always been and always will be a Kentuckian, and have known your family and followed your political fortunes all my life. I love this state and its tradition of independence and freedom, as I trust that you do.
While I disagreed with your endorsement of Mr. Obama for the presidency, I understand that it was your duty as a Democrat to do so. That, and Mr. McCain was hardly any better. I held my nose to vote for him, but I was voting against Obama, not for McCain. However, I did vote FOR you to be our representative to the House.
But now we've seen Obama's true colors. He is embarking on a program that could wreck our nation's economy and ruin our society. It's time to be more critical of his plans and his intentions, regardless of party affiliations.
I was one of the founders of the Kentucky Coalition to Carry Concealed (KC3) which was the organization that was most instrumental in the passage of HB40, our concealed carry law, in 1996. We worked hand in hand with Rep. Bob Damron to make that happen. I have returned after some years absence to the board of directors of KC3 because I see that we have more work to do to defend our rights, and to do more to expand our freedoms. As one who's been involved in the political fight to defend our personal freedoms I'm deeply concerned about the threats to our right to bear arms that we anticipate will come from the Obama administration. We know that several of those within his group have long histories of hostility to firearms and to gun owners. To believe that he and his cronies won't move to attack our right to bear arms would be the greatest naivete, a luxury that we as adults cannot afford.
I hope that in the months to come that you will remember your roots as a Kentuckian, and when the radicals in the left wing of your party who now serve in the White House and the Congress call on you to support their efforts to infringe our freedoms that you will remain true to our traditions, and will choose to be a Kentuckian and not a lackey to your party's leadership.
We're embarked upon a very difficult chapter in our nation's history. It will be essential for each of us to recall our traditions and the wisdom of the founders of our nation.
Our Kentucky forebears worked hand in hand with the men who carved out the Constitution, and they brought their understanding of those principles west with them when they founded this state and wrote our constitution. It states "All men are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned:' and goes on to enumerate them. The Seventh is: "The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons.". There is no confusion in the Kentucky constitution, no clauses that may be misconstrued such as are found in the U.S. Constitution. Kentuckians have a right to arms, bestowed on us by our Creator and no man may challenge it.
We are all citizens of this great nation, but we are first Kentuckians by birth, and disinclined to servitude by our nature. Please recall that, and stand fast against any efforts by those in your party who will attempt to dismantle our freedoms. Your state demands that of you and I have no doubt that your grandfather, and my father who introduced me to him, are watching both of us from on high to see if we live up to our heritage.
I will do my best to do my part. Will you?
Respectfully - Charles Riggs, Frankfort, Ky.