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.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.
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.
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.