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Political fiction based on some real current events.
M L Rahal
New to writing this is my first attempt at writing a short story all critiques welcomed.
M L Rahal
While watching the late night news, Eric tired and his eyes' half closed fell asleep on the couch as he has done many times before, leaving the TV on. He had a restless night tossing and turning, his sixty five year old mind and body falling in and out of sleep, when he heard the morning news anchor say:
Channel 7 WNYC, Breaking News… The Governors office in Albany has just announced that legislation making it legal for anyone in the state to purchase and carry a firearm was passed late last evening by an overwhelming margin. The governor has said he will sign the bill into law as soon as it reaches his desk. She continued New York now becomes the 30th and final blue state to pass such legislation in reaction to the threat being posed by the majority of red states who have removed all restrictions on gun ownership, gun possession and fully automatic weapons. She reported that in the U.S. there have been nearly ten billion rounds of ammunition sold to date this year. In Texas one man alone admitted to being in the process of purchasing one thousand rounds of ammunition for each of the twenty five guns and rifles he owns. Where is this heading she asked? Is there a conflict looming in the future?
Eric a long time supporter of gun control and part of the sixties peace protests, felt the situation was escalating and for the first time found himself feeling fear for the safety of his family, he decided to look into this matter on the internet. As he searched the web, he found reports of a run on gun shops and mail order dealers for weapons. The reports also said gun shows have been mobbed with buyers and have been selling all the weapons, they had on hand. If this was, in fact, true he thought, were we on the brink of a threat unlike any the country has seen since the civil war. He began to feel uneasy and wondered could this really be happening?
Eric never owned a gun except for a BB gun he had bought himself in junior high school. He didn’t buy it because he needed it or even because he wanted it. He bought it because he didn’t get one when he did want it, (Christmas) when he was ten years old. He had wanted it badly then because his best friend had one, but his parents would not get it for him instead they bought him a new Schwinn bicycle which they could not afford and hoped that would make Eric happy. It didn’t but he never let them know. Owning a real gun had never been an option for him before, even when he was growing up in Florida. He did go out with friends on several occasions to shoot targets and bottles; he could not see himself hunting and killing deer or birds or anything else, let alone another human. In fact, he really favored strict gun control and was at odds with the position taken by the NRA..
Now Eric is starting to feel differently, his anti gun stance is starting to buckle. Is it time for him to get a gun? His wife never liked guns and did not want one in the house, especially when the children were young, and she won’t want one now. She felt Eric may be overreacting and becoming paranoid.
He realized he was facing a real moral dilemma, one which tests his convictions and principles, does he get a gun or not? He agonized over the thought of it and decided to at least explore the possibility that he should play it safe and get one, after all everyone could now carry a firearm. If he did, he hoped he would never have to use it.
He thought to himself what kind of gun should he buy? How much ammunition would he need? He had so many questions and so few answers.
He called his brother in law Dave a retired Florida Sheriffs Detective and asked him whether he thought the situation warranted him getting a firearm. He had a pretty good idea what the answer would be. For years Dave had encouraged Eric to get a gun, but he always resisted the idea, with the discussions usually turning into arguments at family get togethers. This time exploiting the weakness Eric was experiencing due to the fear for his family’s safety, Dave made a strong argument in favor of getting a gun and even offered to purchase it for him. Eric had always stood his ground in the past, but now he was not so quick to dismiss the idea.
If he decides to do it what kind of gun should he buy? Dave told Eric all his guns were pistols, and he recommended a powerful semi-automatic like a Glock 40 caliber with additional clips and ammunition. This was the gun that the city police and county sheriff’s officers carried, and it would serve his needs. Before hanging up, Dave reminded Eric that the lives of his family could depend on it.
Still Eric was unsure of what he should do and feeling guilt over the possibility of getting a gun, he decided to call Mike, his best friend when they were growing up back in Florida; as a matter of fact, he was the one who had the BB gun and with whom Eric had gone target shooting. He had moved to Georgia many years ago and would have a finger on the pulse of what was going on in a red state. He would surely share his feelings on the situation as well as advise him as to what type of gun he should buy if he chooses that option; after all he has been a gun owner for a long time.
He called Mike and after catching up some, asked him what he thought about what was happening and Mike said he was concerned because some of the good old boys in his area were a bit strange in their thinking and beliefs. He felt like the civil war never ended for some of them. He was somewhat worried if all the crazy talk continued things could get bad.
Eric told him he was thinking about buying a gun; Mike asked “what happened to the BB gun?” Eric laughed and said seriously with all that is happening, he was becoming more fearful. Mike said I know what you mean; I worry about the situation as well. However, hopefully all of this will change and things will get better before they have a chance to get really bad.
Eric replied hope you are right, but asked Mike if he could give him advice as to what type of gun he should buy just in case he decided to do it. Mike told him for now you could get a 9mm semi automatic pistol or a 12 gauge shotgun which you could use to protect your family and home. They continued their conversation for a few more minutes and then ended the call.
Eric sat down in his leather recliner mentally and emotionally exhausted and looking for some rest before he had to start preparing himself for the trip to the gun store. Suddenly, his thoughts turned from buying guns to why is this happening? Was it because of political differences, which were no longer being discussed and debated in a civilized manner? Maybe it was the inflammatory information which was being put out over talk radio and cable TV by hosts whose job is to incite their followers into a frenzy and boost their own ratings.
He realized that in an economic downturn like we are in now, people begin to worry more and more, they become more untrusting of government and of each other. They become more protective of what they have and less concerned about their neighbors. They become afraid that they may lose what they have worked for and no longer are concerned with what is best for the country. It is becoming them against us and that is an unhealthy scenario, one which encourages people to go out and purchase guns out of fear.
He thought to himself this is crazy, He has to go out and buy guns to protect his family because people can no longer talk civilly, and now they have to worry about the possibility of another civil war, Americans against Americans, are you kidding.
Really, this has got to be a freaking nightmare… and then he woke up.
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© 2009 M L Rahal
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