A dream (short story/essay)


PDA






Thernlund
October 15, 2007, 07:48 AM
First off... this is no manifesto. I'm no kook (by most standards) and have no plans for crazy stuff. I'm a good guy with a family and a law-abiding citizen. I write things sometimes as a way to pose a broad question that can't simply be asked straight out without more context. Usually these are just letters to myself or others that never get seen by anyone but me. I have stacks of this crap ranging from parenting to physics to Wall Street to just about any other topic I've given any thought to. This, however, I thought might be appropriate here for some discussion. Or not, but here it is for your consideration anyway. Topical comments welcomed.

****

I had a vision. A sort of dream while I was awake. It was not of any religious icons, or dead relatives. It was of the future. My future. A possible path that my life, and maybe my death, may take under the right (or wrong, as it the case may be) conditions. Will I have the conviction and fortitude to see it through? Can I really bring myself to truly believe what my forefathers did?

I was contemplating the next presidential election and thoughts of a possible outright ban on civilian firearms ownership passed through my mind. Could that actually happen? Really? I think yes. Under the right circumstances I believe that we could see an outright ban. It may even start with the election of our next president. Being that people have a tendency to acclimatize, I envision strategic moves being made in ever-so-small steps. Like a prisoner who digs an escape tunnel with his spoon. He has nothing but time, and little else to fill it. In my vision the beast who would steal my freedom was not sleeping. Not anymore. It was wide awake. But although awake, it only stirred occasionally. And all the while it gathered the intel necessary to finally rise and dominate.

Meticulous maintenance of CCW permit issuance records "in the public interest". Passage of seemingly minor gun control laws, endorsed by those who claim to stand by us. Slow and careful molding of the American mind through the media. These things drive my vision forward into what is now unthinkable. My moment of true self understanding. In this moment, I learn once and for all who I am.

In the morning hours of a sunny March day I learn that after several years of increasingly intense gun control, the United States under international pressure has finally banned civilian gun ownership. In an effort to prevent the appearance of true "confiscation", several billion in tax dollars are allocated to "buy" civilian firearms from their owners. A deadline of July 31st is given for all firearms owner to voluntarily forfeit their firearms to law enforcement and apply for reimbursement from the federal government. Many obey and calmly relinquish their arms. I will not. I will allow the deadline to pass as though it did not exist. This is not about firearms. Nor even any of my property. This is my freedom they're taking. I will stay free. I will defy this injustice.

The deadline passes.

Using records compiled during voluntary firearms forfeitures, the government cites the new laws as just cause to compare forfeiture records with CCW and background check records. Individuals appearing in only the latter must be investigated. I appear on the CCW records, but not on the forfeiture list. I must be questioned. Mid-September, the door bell rings. Uniformed officers.

"Good afternoon, sir. We're just doing a cursory check of former firearms owners to be sure they have complied with the recent laws. Sir, do you have any firearms in the house?"

Out of fear, I lie. "No. I've gotten rid of them."

"From records we've obtained, you were licensed to carry a concealed weapon?"

"Yes."

"As well, background check records indicate that you have owned upwards of 100 firearms."

"Yes."

"I see that you have not applied for reimbursement. That's a lot of money. Why not?"

"I just didn't. I don't have any guns."

"Sir, can you explain where your guns have gone?"

"Look, I don't have them."

I close the door. I watch the officers through the peep hole as they mill around out front for 10 or so minutes, just talking. I have a cold chill. This doesn't look to be over. I've lied to two cops and I don't think they believed me. What will I do? The officers have left, but I feel my veins harden as I hear activity in the house. My wife and children. They shouldn't see the unpleasantness that may come. I may soon be arrested, and I do not wish for them to witness such a thing. I send them away for a day or two. Nice trip up north. Cooler weather. They'll like that.

The next day, a ring. The door. I feel cold, nervous. As I look through the peep hole, I suddenly feel real fear. Several police cars, marked and unmarked, have gathered in front of my house. Two suits stand at my door holding folded papers. I wait quietly as if they might actually just go away like an unwanted solicitor. They won't. Several more rings in quick succession. I swallow and open the door.

"Sir, we have a warrant to search these premises for illegal firearms. Can we enter?"

"Uhhh...". I'm terrified. I think I know what I'm going to do, but I cannot be sure. "No.", I say with a nervous tone.

"Sir, we have a warrant. Please step back from the door."

"You guys don't have to do this.", I say. "You know this isn't right. I've done nothing wrong. I'm no criminal. Please. You know you don't have to do this."

The suits look at each other. They have heard me, and they almost seem to be considering what I've said. This emboldens me, but just a small bit. The terror of my situation still sits firmly in the pit of my stomach. I am cold, and I am burning up. I don't sweat even though my skin is on fire.

"Sir, we have a job to do. Now please step away from the door."

"I haven't done anything wrong. This... what you're doing... this is wrong. You know it is. Please stop this."

Hesitantly... "Sir, please step back. If you don't we will have to use force."

A long pause as I look out into the street. The neighbors are gathering. I feel sick. Among the uniforms I spot three or four individuals dressed in tactical vests carrying black rifles and side arms. Oh God. What is happening here? How could it have come to this? I feel as though I'll vomit. I want to cry. But then, suddenly, I have a moment of clarity. The fear remains, but is now mixed with a sense of righteous indignation. They aren't invited and I am done with this confrontation. "You can't come in. Don't come in here. I won't let you. I haven't done anything wrong.", I say as I close the door.

As if on autopilot, I walk to the safe. I retrieve an AR-15 and two handguns. I load them and return to the front room where I sit on my couch, laying the weapons next to me. Everything is a blur. I sit quietly waiting for something to break the calm. What will I do? Will I stand for my freedom? Or will I remain seated and do nothing. Am I actually a criminal? Am I even right? In this day and age, will anybody think I righteously stood for freedom? Or am I just another loony on the six-o'clock news to have a stand-off with police? Which one is the truth? Am I everybody? Or am I nobody? What will happen if the door opens?

The only thing I know for sure will happen... I will learn who I am.

This is my vision. A vision of how I might be called upon to stand for freedom. My freedom. It is a remarkably stupid thing to put ones life on the line for mere material possessions. Even for items that cannot be replaced. But for an ideal? Maybe. Those before me fought and died for freedom, theirs and mine. That was a long time ago, and times certainly do change. Today there is a place for everything, and everything in it's place. Soldiers fight wars. Police enforce laws. Civilians live their lives in this Brave New World. Are we capable of stepping out of our place? Can the day even come that we would be truly justified in rebellion? Actual rebellion, personal or otherwise? Will I be able to properly recognize that time and rise to the call? Will you?

Or is it nothing more than a day dream?


-T.

If you enjoyed reading about "A dream (short story/essay)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
xsquidgator
October 15, 2007, 09:45 AM
Well put. It's hard not to sound nuts thinking about the unthinkable but the situation you decribe isn't hard at all to picture.

I wish more people would read Unintended Consequences, not because of The Man getting his when he crosses the line, so much that more people need to think about resisting while there's still time to do something. If, like the European Jews in the 1940s did, you wait until you've been starved for a year or more, stripped naked, and are being herded into a ditch, that's too late to wait to resist effectively.

I too am not a kook, in fact I served as a commissioned officer in the US Navy for many years and took my oath to support and defend the US Constitution pretty seriously. As I've gotten older though I've come to view the Constitution and "America" as sometimes being separate from the US Federal Government.

robert garner
October 15, 2007, 10:04 AM
Thernlund;
I first had this vision circa 1974.
As to what We would do? Its real easy to declaim what heroes we are,especially almost annonomously(sp?)Ask rather what will our Police/Military do?The Officer has twenty years toward his retirement,and it will be the LAW he is enforcing, The military will be following orders, as they did in Colorado in 1914, when they used machineguns on striking miners and they women and children,or more recently Kent State. I had hoped that we would be better than this by now but New Orleans should tell you more than I could.
What can we do? Turn our backs on those resting in Flanders Feilds? Plow under all those meaningless stones at Normandy? I do intend my son to inherit all that those souls left for me, I think you will do your duty, your forethought,and its terrible implications bother you,as it would any rational being.However I will bet you have children too. The enemy is pernicious and takes the long view, in a generation or three there will be few who would take this stand,nor even contemplate it,we lose and no shots fired!
robert

xsquidgator
October 15, 2007, 10:25 AM
If nothing else, make sure that you can show them an empty safe! Nope, nuthin' here!

Oleg Volk
October 15, 2007, 11:45 AM
You can give up arms but not the knowledge of their use. That would make you a continued threat to the enemy. The Soviets knew that, that's why they killed off officers they captured in Poland.

The time to reason with cops is before such visits.

Euclidean
October 15, 2007, 01:56 PM
One of the arguments often set forth by those who think it foolish to be prepared for a tyrannical government is that if amnesty to turn in banned firearms were offered, all there would be to it would be to turn in said firearms and then the ex gun owners would be safe from arrest, imprisonment, etc.

However, along the lines of Oleg Volk's comment, just today I was reading something like Wikipedia or something similar about the USSR killing enemy officers captured in Poland during their WWII era occupation. Strange coincidence huh? And I thought about that, and pondered, why execute harmless, defenseless people?

The answer : you can take away the guns, but you can't take away the knowledge. Guns can be fabricated, smuggled in, or stolen. Indeed, the governments of the world have quietly realized the power one wields with the ability to use a simple tool.

Even today and even in America, there are firearms training materials and courses no civilian has access to. In Denmark, IDPA competitive pistol sport shooting events are nationally banned.

I've personally held a concealed handgun permit, 03 federal firearms license, and it would be pretty easy for someone with knowledge of contemporary firearms to realize I have assembled, customized, and repaired my own weapons. I'm not a Navy Seal or a Marine Sniper nor do I have any such silly delusions that I am anything of the sort. But I don't wear a uniform, and I know the concept of the rule of 1000, I am familiar with the concept of bullet drop, and what milradians are, and odds are excellent if you put a real M4 in my mitts I could shoot it just fine.

Somewhere in all this mess I have notes on how to load your own ammunition, and I even have plans which show how to make an automatic submachine gun out of common machine parts, as well as plans for silencers, pistols, and a shotgun. I didn't even get this information for nefarious purposes, I only have them because they lend insight into the engineering of firearms. I thought it was interesting from an academic perspective.

Do you really think that a nation that goes so far as to outright ban guns is going to trust someone like me to just walk around freely? Can a man with this kind of knowledge, incomplete though it may be, who knows the sweet taste of limited freedom be trusted to just let it go because some government mandate says so?

No. And the government knows that.

The fact that they know that is actually a very good thing, and the main reason that the US doesn't have more gun laws than it already does. The problem is though that in each subsequent generation, they've managed to persuade people that more and more restrictions on the RKBA are "normal". I for instance oppose the NICS system, but most supposedly pro RKBA interests in this country support it. Nobody questions the rationale behind the fact that owning a 17" barreled shotgun is a horrible crime but an 18" barreled shotgun doesn't bat an eye. Most people can no longer afford to own machine guns.

Even today, people who in any way support and practice the RKBA are a smaller and smaller minority. Inevitably, and possibly within my lifetime (I'm 26) I will see the day there aren't enough people like me to give the government time to pause and consider its actions before it acts. Slowly there will be fewer and fewer people like me, and as our numbers and strength diminish, the noose around our necks will get tighter.

"I don't believe gun owners have rights", those infamous words uttered by Sarah Brady, pretty much spells out how people like me can expect to be treated if people like her get their way. I've done nothing wrong, I've never hurt anybody, and for that "crime" (or lack thereof), in the minds of a growing number of people, I am not even human.

I will not go to prison for owning a legal product. I will not surrender my property that I paid for. I will not subject myself to the custody of a gun control advocate who doesn't think I have rights. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the chains of slavery?

ilbob
October 15, 2007, 02:15 PM
Gun owners often hope that police would not participate in blatantly unconstitutional activities such as taking guns from law abiding citizens. After all, they all swore to defend and support the constitution, right?

What I see happening is some judge saying that it is OK, and the cops going along with it, or at least most of them. They have already bought into, and enforce, all kinds of clearly unconstitutional laws, and most will not risk their paycheck.

I am hopeful we do not see the day of the gun owner roundups, but it is potentially only an Obama or Hillary victory away.

One of the posters here, Madmike, wrote a very fine book about just how this could plausibly come about. Its called "A State of Disobedience". You should read it. Its available for $4 as an electronic download from webscriptions.net.

We need to stick together now, or we will be picked off one at a time down the road.

Tommygunn
October 15, 2007, 06:58 PM
A lot of people have similar visions ... I have, and I wonder how I would act.
One quibble I have is that I don't think they'd let you close the door on them when they came back the second day ... they would use a "no-knock" warrant and do a "dynamic entry." You wouldn't have the opportunity to get our guns out.
If you didn't have them already, you'd be SOL.
And they would probably do it at zero dark thirty in the morning, too.

esmith
October 15, 2007, 10:09 PM
I imagine scenarios like this all the time. As does one of my friends. If that had happen to me I can't imagine what i would do. The thing that wouldn't make sense is that if there was a gun ban like you have brought up, then it wouldn't be a ban if police still had them. In fact, in your story, the police use firearms to remove your firearms. Hmm...sounds like another step to a totalitarian regime huh? This is why guns are of big of a deal for this next presidential election. Hilary Clinton has announced her hatred of firearms. Without them then the people are powerless.

This is why gun owners to band together to fight these people who wish to take our firearms away.

Crunker1337
October 15, 2007, 10:35 PM
You are a great writer. It brought me in, put me in suspense, and it was a really great read.

I don't really have "dreams" to the degree that you do, but man... what a scary prospect.

Bartkowski
October 16, 2007, 08:17 PM
As does one of my friends.

Ya, but when I have them, they are more along the lines of everyone in my city going away for a long period of time for some reason and I stay......and then different things happen.

If you enjoyed reading about "A dream (short story/essay)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!