Fiction Imitates Life

Written by Kathryn A. Graham

When I wrote my recently released science fiction novel, Flight From Eden, I truly believed that I was writing a work of mere science fiction. I thought it was trashy, purely commercial adventure, bearing no relation whatever to reality.

Now I'm not so sure. The subconscious mind works in mysterious ways. Even 'way back in 1994, when I finishedrepparttar original first draft of Flight From Eden, I'd already seen our federal government's appalling abuse of military and police power near Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and in Waco, Texas -repparttar 126052 latter being fairly close to home for me.

I was not a political activist back in those days. I was just a mousy writer and computer nerd who sat very still, very quietly and hoped thatrepparttar 126053 nasty three-letter Feds would stay far, far away from me. But I am sure those television scenes were working on me at some subliminal level while I was writing Flight From Eden - because even in those days, had someone burst into my second floor bedroom at night, already shooting,repparttar 126054 way we all saw ATF do that awful night at Mt. Carmel, this very law-abiding lady would have done her absolute damnedest to send them straight to Hell in a pine box. Would that have been a crime? Not in my opinion, although I do suspect that several three-letter federal organizations would have a very different opinion.

In any event, I probably wouldn't have survived such an event long enough for my opinion to have mattered. You see,repparttar 126055 only tool I had to defend myself in those days was a little five-shot Chief, with one little five-shot re-loader. A simple mathematical matter of insufficient ammunition. I've considerably more (and considerably bigger) ammo these days - although I doubt that any individual is going to be able to matchrepparttar 126056 firepower of SWAT orrepparttar 126057 Feds - butrepparttar 126058 carnage would certainly be memorable.

If my government wants a word with me, let me gently point out that it really is much simpler and pleasanter to knock. I am much milder of manner than poor, dead David Koresh, and I am quite sure even he would have offered coffee and conversation while your three-letter thugs tossed Mt. Carmel. Hell, I might pass out some pretty decent cookies while you toss my house. Be a real shame to pass those up.

But don't - I repeat here for absolute clarity, do NOT - come through my door or window shooting. The result will be much too ghastly to contemplate for every single party concerned, no doubt including me.

Are we in a police state right now? That's an interesting question. I believe we are, although I'd be hard pressed to prove it as yet. But that isrepparttar 126059 problem with police states. They never happen all at once. They happen very gradually, over lots and lots of time, and most folks never even notice until it is far, far too late. My stepfather is a Holocaust survivor - a damned lucky one - who was a fifteen year old kid actually living in Vienna onrepparttar 126060 night of Hitler's invasion. Did his family see it coming? Of course not! They were uneasy, but if they had really known what was coming, they would have hauled ass long before they did.

Well, I'm uneasy now, right here in these United States. Very, very uneasy. And getting more so.

Flight From Eden is about a religious dictatorship, andrepparttar 126061 real life United States has separation of Church and State - or does it? Can anyone name for me one single public address made by President Bush that does not mention God more than once? What? Not even one?

How aboutrepparttar 126062 man who is to enforce all these wonderful new laws, Attorney General John Ashcroft? C'mon, guys, just one speech. That's all I ask.

Hell, Ashcroft is such a complete religious nutcase, he's offended by a giant brass teat!

So am I going to "haul ass" out ofrepparttar 126063 United States? No! My stepfather's family was already disarmed and helpless when they became uneasy aboutrepparttar 126064 Nazis. I am sure as Hell not disarmed, and "helpless" is a state of mind I refuse to acknowledge. This is my country, and I love it, and I'm going to get it back, come Hell or high water. But I am just a little pressed for time. You see, if we are to get our country back using non-violent means - "non-violent" meaning words andrepparttar 126065 political process - we are definitely running out of time. History has shown that these police state things always reach a kind of critical mass sooner or later. Once that happens, only blood will end it.

We can't afford to let that happen!

I can't speak for my readers, but I am definitely not anxious to take up a new career as a member of some rebel militia. Even if I did not have a moral and ethical reluctance to kill save inrepparttar 126066 last extremity of self-defense,repparttar 126067 retirement benefits really, really suck.

On top of which, if only one person, or two or three, or ten, startsrepparttar 126068 shooting,repparttar 126069 three-letter Feds will use it as an excuse to try to disarm us. The operative word here being "try."

If that happens, blood will run ankle deep inrepparttar 126070 streets of every city and town inrepparttar 126071 United States! I guarantee it!

To be honest, I am afraid that is exactly what is going to happen. I'm no crazier thanrepparttar 126072 next gal. I certainly don't want it to happen! I don't want to spendrepparttar 126073 last miserable days of my life killing young cops and/or soldiers, running and hiding from government troops, and burying my friends. But if we are going to prevent that nightmare, we do need to act now, and we need to act together.

What's With These Apologies?

Written by Kathryn A. Graham

It’s alwaysrepparttar same refrain, over and over again.

The Latin expression “ad nauseam” means “torepparttar 126051 point of nausea.” My nausea threshold is pretty low early inrepparttar 126052 morning, I must admit. To add insult to injury, I always have to askrepparttar 126053 same question – and endurerepparttar 126054 endless, whining answers – every time I teach a new concealed handgun class.

“Why do you want to carry a firearm?” I ask a new crop of students.

“Well, I wouldn’t, except . . .”

“I won’t actually carry it, but sometimes I have to drive through really bad neighborhoods . . .”

“I don’t want a gun, but my husband thinks I should have one . . .”

And so on. Ad nauseam . . .

Each student acts somehow furtive, somehow ashamed, as though they are doing something they wouldn’t want to tell their mothers about.

Their mother’s mothers would be turning in their collective graves over this ridiculous attitude!

A firearm is a tool, and our grandparents and great grandparents knew it very well. Yes, a firearm can certainly kill. So can a power saw, and I know what I’m talking about. I almost watched my adopted brother bleed to death from such a horrific accident. Screwdrivers and ice picks are amongrepparttar 126055 most popular murder weapons. And an automobile isrepparttar 126056 deadliest machine of all! Automobiles kill many, many more people than those killed by firearms each year.

So which of these devices do you think we should ban?

Tools, including firearms, do not get up and do evil deeds by themselves. I tell my concealed handgun students, again and again, there is no such thing as an “accidental” discharge. There is only a negligent discharge. If you learnrepparttar 126057 safety rules, and make them a part of your every instinct, firearms are no more dangerous than any other tool. And they are far more useful!

Oh, I can hear your collective gasp of horror allrepparttar 126058 way down here in Texas. Yes, dammit, firearms are useful!

You constantly hear claims that firearms are killing kids left and right. The simple truth is that more kids are killed playing high school football each year than die from firearms related incidents, including suicide! Another fact that might interest you is that zero percent – that’s zero percent – of kids who are given firearms and proper training in their responsible use ever commit crimes with those firearms. The firearms used in juvenile/young adult crime are all illegally obtained anyway.

Yet firearms are used by law-abiding citizens to prevent a staggering 2,500,000 crimes each and every single year! And on almost every single occasion, no shot is ever fired.

Now tell merepparttar 126059 truth. If someone told you about a tool that could prevent 2,500,000 crimes per year, and didn’t tell you it was a firearm, you would definitely call that a useful tool, wouldn’t you? Of course you would!

So why does everyone choke onrepparttar 126060 idea that firearms are useful?

My students have come to me because they each have made a decision to take responsibility for their lives andrepparttar 126061 lives of their loved ones. It is a difficult and courageous decision,repparttar 126062 mark of a true adult. They have faced and acceptedrepparttar 126063 reality that police nearly always come anywhere from minutes to hours afterrepparttar 126064 crime is committed, and therefore are incapable of protectingrepparttar 126065 victim.

The men and women who come to me for concealed handgun instruction have recognized this, and they have decided not to be victims. They have decided, likerepparttar 126066 courageous five aboard Flight 93, not to go quietly torepparttar 126067 rear ofrepparttar 126068 airplane and call home.

They have decided, likerepparttar 126069 founding fathers of this country, to bear arms for lawful and moral purposes. This is not an act of cowardice. It is an act of great courage. Our forefathers who took up arms pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Those were not mere words then, and they are not just words now. Everyone who chooses to bear arms today is makingrepparttar 126070 same pledge.

You don’t believe me? Well, look at it this way. If I observe an unarmed citizen in life and death trouble, and I am armed, I have a moral obligation to step in and at least try to save his or her life. In doing so, I am almost certainly risking my own life on his or her behalf. If I am so unfortunate as to be forced to shoot someone inrepparttar 126071 course of offering said citizen my aid, I will be paying lawyers and fending off civil suits forrepparttar 126072 rest of my days – which should effectively wipe out any fortune I am ever able to accumulate. Finally,repparttar 126073 very subject of firearms is so emotional that it is entirely possible that a jury may convict me of an actual crime even though I was acting in clear self-defense or defense of a third party. This may not touch my “sacred” honor, but it certainly affects my public honor if I am so unlucky as to be convicted of murder!

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