“What’s that?” the third-grader asked, pointing to the Kydex holster poking out from under my apron. I kneeled down next to the table so we were eye to eye and could talk privately. “It’s my gun holster,” I said, covering it discreetly as I spoke. “But it’s empty. We’re not allowed to carry guns in the school.” “We don’t need one here though, right?” he half-asked, half-stated. “We’re safe here, right?” I nodded my head. What else was I supposed to do? Tell him the crowded lunchroom is a potential free fire zone? That the nearest good guy with a gun is God knows where? Of course not. It’s not his job to vigilant. It’s mine. And I am. Vigilant and unarmed, surrounded by life so precious that contemplating its violent extinction threatens to make me violently ill. And yet, what can I do? Well . . .
I do what I can. For one thing, I write the truth about guns seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year. I crank-out more than a million words per annum, all aimed at defending and extending our natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Well, most of them. Some of them are crafted just for fun. Because guns are a hoot and TTAG’s readership revels in its firearms expertise—even as it senses storm clouds on the political horizon.
Yes, there is that.
We’re in a strange period right now. The post-Newtown push for civilian disarmament brought us to the edge of radical new federal gun control. The People of the Gun pushed back with sufficient strength to defeat Uncle Sam’s designs on their firearms freedom. But even as a federal law mandating “universal background checks” hit the skids the Democratic machines in California, Connecticut, Colorado, New York, New Jersey and Maryland tightened the screws on gun owners. But good.
The post-Newtown gun control legislation is just now being implemented. Badly, of course, as state governments once again prove that prohibition is a bloated bureaucracy’s best friend (in terms of creating more bloat). But there’s no question that the tension between gun owners living in these states and their duly elected government is rapidly increasing. Not to put too fine a point on it, they are girding themselves for battle.
Anyone who believes that most New Yorkers will register their AR-15s, for example, is dreaming. This lack of compliance will inevitably lead to the nightmare of SWAT-led gun confiscation gone wrong (for all concerned). Empire State gun owners—who are now legally restricted to seven rounds in their pistols—can see it coming. If things don’t get better—politically, culturally and/or in the courts—they’re going to get a lot worse. You can almost hear them wondering: what then?
I’m not sticking around to find out; you know, personally. I’ve left the Rhode Island for Texas where gun ownership is much more of a right than a privilege. But I’m not abandoning hard-pressed gun owners in my old stomping grounds. The flame of firearms freedom is flickering in New Jersey. As I write this I’m flying into the Garden State to debate a former gang member about gun control. And I’m nervous. Not about the debate. About being unarmed.
Permit applicants must “specify in detail the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun.”
Like little Rhody, New Jersey doesn’t recognize any other state’s concealed carry permit. So I’m traveling without any of my firearms. The antis may laugh and call me paranoid for even mentioning it but people who value their lives above everything (I can’t look after my children if I’m dead) will understand my anxiety. Should trouble find me, I have a plan A: avoid, evade, escape. And a plan B: fight for my life with whatever tools fall to hand. Am I wrong to miss the best tool for the job, even if I pray that I’ll never need it?
The girl sitting next to me on the plane is a bright, beautiful, 20-year-old home-schooled Texas Christian studying politics in New York City (of all places). She can’t understand why anyone would want to disarm Americans. “Look at Chicago,” she said. “Look at all the shootings there. Why can’t people defend themselves?” It’s the lunchroom thing all over again. How do I tell her that— “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” she says.
Well I’ll be damned.