Saturday, April 16, 2005

Probably Going to Buy This on DVD

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, that is...

The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat around the bush. "Make it evil," he'd been told. "Make it totally clear that this gun has a right end and a wrong end. Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the wrong end that things are going badly for them. If that means sticking all sort of spikes and prongs and blackened bits all over it then so be it. This is not a gun for hanging over the fireplace or sticking in the umbrella stand, it is a gun for going out and making people miserable with."
- - The Restaurant At the End of the Universe pg 262-263

Written in February, 2002

A View Toward Freedom

Since joining MCRGO, I have had many opportunities to work with, and learn from, other members. It was not long after sending in my check to MCRGO that I took on the position of Chapter Chair for Lapeer County. I was already becoming active on the web site, but wanted to do more. I had time available to me and decided that when Ross asked for volunteers to assist with a political campaign in Oakland County, I would volunteer.

His response to me, I believe, began, “I could use you someplace else…”

That day, in a dizzying induction to the ways of Those on High, I was given an email address, limited access to the web site administration, instructions on how to organize a meeting, a chapter membership list, advice on how to run for Precinct Delegate and last but not least, the exhortation to get involved everywhere that I had time to. Boy, did I. And it has been a great honor to do the work I do for an organization I believe in so strongly.

I work Gun Shows, write, post on our Boards, and do a lot of things that expose me to the public. February 8th of this year my newly expanded Chapter, now named the Thumb Area Chapter and encompassing the four counties of Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac and Tuscola had its first meeting at the Lapeer County Sportsmen’s Club. I enjoy each and every aspect of what I do but what always strikes me with the most force is the opportunity to become acquainted with other members of MCRGO and the public who are interested in what we do.

And after the meeting I went to dinner with some other Chapter Chairs and our Executive Director, Ross Dykman. One of the things we did was look at pictures that Jessica Lutz, Eastern Oakland County Chapter Co-Chair, and I took during and after the meeting. A young couple smiling for the camera, a family with two young boys learning about the powerful idea of Second Amendment Rights and Responsibilities, an older couple, active in their community. She is 83 years young and the pair has logged over 1.5 million miles of travel everywhere you could think of – on motorcycles!

Many people at the meetings, and at the various functions I attend, stop and shake my hand and often tell me that they admire what I do or thank me for my time. That always humbles me. I think of what I do, and the time I put in, or the miles I travel, as little more than paying my dues.

So many people did so much work for so long before I finally woke up and realized how vital this issue is to our freedom. Freedom is a large word, encompassing so much for me. I suspect that it means something different for each of us.

For me, freedom means a lessening of fear. Realistically, given my decades of abuse, I may never know what it means to live without fear. There will probably always be some frisson of terror when a shadow passes in the night that is too familiar. Fear used to keep me trapped, though, but no more. MCRGO, its members, the work I do, the training I have taken advantage of, and my own determination have brought me out of hiding and given me my freedom.

For the young family, I suspect some element of freedom must include the time they share at functions like our Chapter meeting. Mom, Dad, two sons in attendance and a daughter off “doing her own thing.” The eldest son nearly as tall as Mom; the younger with a sweet, shy smile. Dad the more vocal at first, expressing his gratitude for MCRGO efforts to educate and continue the fight for full restoration of Second Amendment Rights. The talk gravitated, as it always seems to, to shooting and our enjoyment of it. In Mom, though, I can see something that needs to be said and finally, she confesses that she is not comfortable with her firearm.

I tell her my story; that, at first, it is only grim determination that puts a firearm in my hands. That I have determined to carry a concealed weapon for my own safety and that my feeling at that time is, “I’m going to do it, but I’m not going to like it.” Then finding MCRGO, getting to know other members, shooting a variety of firearms, listening to, and learning from, so many caring members and coming to enjoy it on a level I never imagined possible. I give her my card then and tell her to email me or call and she and I will go shooting- range time on me. Heaven knows I owe this to the people who have shared so much with me. She lights up and her pleasure is obvious. We agree she will call and I do look forward to it.

What I didn’t foresee is her husband’s heartfelt “thank you” and suddenly, I realize how much he wants her to be comfortable with firearms and I look at her and their children and I think again of how much there is to protect when we talk about freedom.

What I do as an individual is important and I recognize that. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to contribute in any way I can. For me, the only real option is with time because my finances don’t allow much else. For another, it may be financial because their time is so limited. Whatever it is, wherever it is, remember always that everything we do together protects all that has been done so far and takes us one step closer to a time when we can say, “Our freedoms are restored.”

Winston Churchill told the world, “If you will not fight when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

Without knowing the quote, that is what I did when I decided that my twenty-four year marriage was going to end no matter what the cost. I fought with no hope of victory. Today, I have hope. Today, perhaps I have found victory. Today, I know I have freedom. All that remains to keep it is to follow the words of Benjamin Franklin more than 225 years in the past: “What kind of Government are we giving you, madam? A Republic… if you can keep it.”