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Kirpan Justification

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Trimaan Malik, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Trimaan Malik

    Trimaan Malik
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    Resolved: In the United States, the right for Sikhs to wear the kirpan in public places is justified.

    Interesting topic.
     
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Trimann ji

    I am not part of the debate. However, I would like to note that in some parts of the US, Sikhs may wear their kirpan in public places.
     
  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Gurmit Kaur ji

    I agree with your assessment. There is nothing to fear. There is a lot of teaching and learning required. Really we need to do more.

    On another note. I think it is interesting to make the comparison. Gun control is very controversial in the US. Politicians in most states tread carefully on this issue. Even Hilary Clinton in her primary race for the presidency would not support it in states where gun ownership is very much a hot topic. This comes from the US Constitution's 2nd amendment which guarantees the right to bear arms -- extends to daggers and knives. There are of course controls, but these tend to be implemented on a state by state basis. For example, in most states a person cannot stockpile explosive devices in a shed in his backyard. On the other hand, most countries in Europe have a very strong norm against personal ownership of weapons -- except perhaps for hunting rifles, but certainly not for personal arms.

    Snatam Kaur and Ganesah Singh performed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2 years ago. I went to the conference. Her kirpan, IN FULL VIEW, had to be a foot long. She performed in a public place -- a Unitarian Church. Everyone there who was khalsa wore a kirpan. No police in sight. No one got hysterical. Pennsylvania BTW is a pro-2nd Amendment state, but prohibits knives more than 2 inches long, hidden or not. New York is not in favor of personal ownership of weapons. In Arizona you are breaking the law if you conceal your weapon, not if you wear it openly. Texas makes no requirement that a kirpan must be kept in a safe place. It can be worn openly or in your pocket. This is a very complicated issue.


    Understanding the "kirpan" gets mixed up with social, political and legal values related to "all weapons." That is where some of the work needs to be done in order to pull the kirpan discussion out of the backdrop of social hysteria about ownership of weapons.
     

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