“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Bill of Rights-- Amendment II
2006 was a very important year for changes. That year brought a victory for us gun lovers, as short lived as it was, when the people spoke up about localized gun restrictions, voting against a town or village’s right to mandate restrictions on its people. Rumsfeld, our Secretary of Defense, was forced to resign due to accusation of incompetence regarding our war in Iraq and the Democrats had won the majority of Senate seats with overwhelming support from the people.
2006 brought us a new law to eliminate smoking from ALL public facilities with much support from the non-smokers without realizing the future implications of this small and seemingly harmless enforcement. They introduced to us, the “jerk” line; a number one can call anonymously to tattle on your neighbor if they are doing something wrong. This started early in that year as an experiment in our local sports arena…with much support from the patrons there. If someone is cussing too loud or being too obnoxious, you could use your cell phone to call this number and have security deal with this person. Many initially believed this to be a good idea, feeling confident they can watch their favorite team without the distractions of unruly fans. But the definition of “unruly” became very general and fell at the mercy of the offended. By late 2007, the “Jerk” line had spread outwards, hitting local cities, giving anyone open permission to report bad behavior like smoking, leaving shopping carts in parking lots, kids in groups of 4 or more being reported as nuisances. This then graduated to neighbors reporting questionable behavior, small gatherings now came with a guaranteed knock on the door from local police, because someone somewhere thought these gatherings included illegal behavior. It became VERY clear to me how gullible were most people in this country. We were slowly being manipulated into believing we had a right to tell on our neighbors, that we had a right to limit personal choices. Somehow, people were convinced it was AMERICAN, that all of this was for the good of this nation. A nation whose very foundation was the unlimited freedoms of its citizens.
Yet the most impressionable attacks that took place this year were the non-stop media fed barrage of racial injudiciousness from all levels of publicly recognized personalities. On more than one occasion the racial slurs and hateful outbursts from highly publicized figures laced every TV station and radio channel, fueling even more contempt among citizens. These outbursts weren’t directed at just one race of people. One attacked the Jewish, another the Blacks. Muslims have been victims of stereotyped hatred since the 9/11 attacks and the Hispanic took the heat on more than one occasion due to aggressive E-Coli outbreaks from the food they managed. More violence was being reported of young children being shot, and in one case a mother accused of killing her infant in a microwave, with efforts to highlight the ethnicity of the people involved. Television programs went crazy encouraging racial division despite their efforts to seem “politically correct” in their scripts. The media embraced these incidents, insuring that anyone with a direct line to the media were fully aware of the events being reported.
2008 brought with it the biggest change this country had ever seen. In between reports of progress overseas and new terror plots being exposed were continuing efforts to take away more of our personal rights, now with the permission of The Patriot Act. More school shootings had taken place, but progressed to areas least expected. Locations many believed to be secure due to the lack of advertisement or participation in worldly affairs, frightening us into believing no one was safe from attack. Schools had become targets on a regular basis by mid 2007. The largest massacre surpassed that of Columbine in a small communal town, killing 34 boys and girls under the age of 15, at the hands of a fellow schoolmate. For two weeks our televisions showed nothing but carnage and funeral services, accompanied by angry parents blaming this country’s liberal gun laws. The anti-gun crowd got widespread attention. “GUNS KILLED OUR CHILDREN,” they screamed. “Take the guns, spare more lives,” they chanted on news station after news station, their voices loud and their message convincingly strong. Once again, most of us self proclaimed diehard Americans rejected this silently. The few that did try to argue received minimum press coverage, always complemented with the bloody images of dead children. It never ceases to amaze me how largely influential subtle media tricks are to the average mind. These cunning plays on words and images once again encouraged our governing body to make changes to appease those loud anti-gun protesters. This change started around the end of 2007 with the Senate elections and the overwhelming victory for the Democratic house, most of which opposed the freedoms of gun ownership despite local elections to the contrary. The Second Amendment was still argued behind closed doors, but because of the phrase “well regulated militia,” the government asserted that only the members of a government supported militia should possess guns. Apparently the rest of us civilians and citizens didn’t qualify as “the right of the people.” This argument won the governing bodies their new laws and the right to amend the constitution to include ONLY those persons willing to work as police or Militia FOR the government, be it full time or voluntarily for those “need only” crises. Volunteers lined up in numbers and Contracts were signed by people determined to keep their guns, without a second thought to the potential uprising that would soon take place. Most assumed they’d never be called to action, confident they did the right American thing in order to keep their guns. To those of us that didn’t want to enlist in any form of government militia, incentives were used to “bribe” us. They organized local fairs, offered free meals and entertainment in trade of our guns, some places offering a “buy-back” incentive, paying people for their weapons. In early 2008 more laws were established regarding guns, laws which now required all weapons dealers to turn in their stocks and list of customers. Now that the ownership of guns was completely at the mercy of the government, private gun dealers could no longer do business. The names on those lists were then compared to those enlisted as militia. Those not licensed through the government were then visited by local police and militia volunteers, demanding the specific weapons registered in their names through the private dealers. These visits, unbeknownst to the homeowners, came with a warrant for search and seizures whenever our police were met with resistance. Most of these took place without much incidence, but I know many within my network of like-minded Americans who were reluctant to give up their guns and chose to go down fighting. The news agencies, for the most part, neglected to mention these events, afraid it would fuel more violent protest and put more of our police in harms way. Not on GLP though. GLP became filled with story after story of civilians being killed in numbers due to their stance, as well as the number of police and local volunteers who were killed doing nothing more than what the government expected.
Still, much of our nation sat idle, watching these events unfold on their televisions, unafraid. Those who didn’t own guns or support the ownership of guns felt unaffected by the politics and police actions that were taking place around them. I was still, at this point, equally unaffected, but unlike the others VERY much afraid. I owned guns, but my guns were purchased without records so there were no traces to me.
The reality of what was taking place hit home in August 2008, changing forever my attitude and complacency toward our government. I was home on my computer discussing with my cohorts the atrocities of our new gun laws and the conspiracies that lie within these rulings when they, the militia, came down my street in a caravan of armed vehicles. I looked out my window to see them park all along the street, about 15 of them. They poured out of their vehicles one after another in an endless line of blue suited men with rifles in arms. They separated into two groups, then spread out in four directions. I remember the apprehension I felt describable only as a knot in my stomach that seemed to grow when they approached my side of the street. Apparently they had caught on to many of us unregistered gun owners and upgraded their efforts to search ALL properties. They knocked on my door within minutes of parking. I couldn’t breath as I prayed very quickly they wouldn’t find the safe in which I hid my own illegal firearms. When I opened my door the first thing I noticed were the apprehensive expression on the faces of the two armed men standing before me. Although polite, one kept his rifle pointed toward me and his eyes intensely focused on my hands as I answered their questions. I calmly allowed them access to my home to conduct their search, yet can’t recall exhaling until they were done and on their way to my neighbor’s house. I stood, still disbelieving what I had experienced, at my doorway and watched in absolute disgust the expressions on the faces of my surrounding neighbors when their turn came. Many argued, throwing verbal abuse at these men, some even throwing their guns and ammo at them. Then I heard it; the first shots fired just three homes down from me. Each bullet fired echoed down the entire street forcing many of us who were outside watching to retreat back into our homes and hide. At one point the noise was so loud as shots fired without pause, it numbed my eardrums, drowning out the terrified screams of women. I remember crouching behind my front door until the ringing in my ears was so loud it created an anxiety within me I’d never experienced. It was the most uncomfortable silence imaginable outside. The birds had stopped chirping, the screams of panic had been carried away by the slight breeze and there were no conversations to be heard from behind the false security of my walls. It wasn’t until I heard the sirens that my confidence came back. I opened my door expecting to see our police in groups discussing what had just taken place. Expecting to see a few of my neighbors in handcuffs being directed to the back of their vehicles. What I saw were clouds of smoke complemented by shells that riddled the street I lived on, sparkling in blinding flashes each time the smoke cleared enough to allow the sun’s rays to illuminate them. I stood for a moment, afraid to acknowledge what was left of the violence we’d all heard. Everything remained quiet, until very slowly, almost in waves, the surrounding conversations crept into my senses. I walked around in tentative steps until I became completely aware of the ruckus around me. I looked down just before I stumbled on the first dead body I’d ever seen with my own eyes. I couldn’t believe the amount of blood that had sprayed around him. A sickening impulse took over me and I had to touch him, to turn him over, regretting to this day that I had. He had no face even though the back of his head was perfectly intact. I heard a faint sob and looked up past the dead man at my feet to see the uncorrupted of victims…a 3 year old boy, lying in a puddle of his own blood with his eyes still open, faintly sobbing between his struggled efforts to breathe. His body laid in such an unnatural manner that it made me sick to my stomach, with one leg stretched out and the other tucked underneath him along with both his arms. I quickly approached then kneeled down beside him. I knew this child. I used to watch in delight as he played with his puppy in his front yard. I put my hand underneath his head just as his eyes rolled upward, staring blankly and directly at the sun. With utter despair I watched his dark skin grow ashen. I watched helplessly the color of his brown eyes turn black as his pupils dilated and when I saw the last tear he would ever shed finish its path down past his temple and lay to rest on my wrist, I finally threw up. I stared at him for a few moments, wondering where his parents were. Wondering why they had left him to die alone. When I looked in the direction of his house, I knew why; both his mother and father shared his fate. The front door was wide open displaying the body of his mother. His father draped over the shot out bay window of his living room. Both had the same ashen skin and black eyes this child now had. An entire family had been erased from my neighborhood in a matter of seconds.
For the record, for the world and anyone reading this now, this family’s name was Mr. & Mrs. James Alexandris and their son Devon and they died true Americans! They died fighting for the very rights upon which this country was founded. I would realize much later how fortunate this family was to die before seeing the worst this country would have to endure.