Julia was dealing with a character who wouldn't behave---she decided to leave him alone---take a break from the novel...
She pushed away from her computer desk, left her office, went down the stairs and out the door of her home for a breath of fresh air... She looked up and down the street of high-end houses and wondered why most of them suddenly had American flags flying...
Her neighbor came out of his front door and waved to her.
She said, "Hey, Sam, what are all the flags about?"
"You haven't heard? I know you work hard up there in that office all day long; but, I can't believe you don't know about the school shooting. It happened yesterday..."
"Down in Parkland, Florida---17 people dead---some crazed kid shot 'em all."
"Oh... So, the flags show support for the kids then..."
"Hell no, Julia. It's to show support for the right to bear arms!"
Julia took a deep breath and said, "Oh...", turned around, and went back up to her office.
She took the pot off the heater and filled her coffee cup...
She wondered how Sam could talk about the crazed kid killing people and then talk about supporting the right to bear arms...
She opened up Google and searched for the 2nd Amendment:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
It seemed obvious to her that the right to bear arms was completely dependent on the establishment of a well-regulated militia; and, that it wasn't an unregulated right to have guns...
She did a bit more research and found:
"District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), is a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held, in a 5–4 decision, that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia..."
She knew clearly that corruption reigned supreme in the U.S. political system; and, now, she knew that the Supreme Court could also be bought...
She couldn't help but notice a movement---#NeverAgain---begun by teenage survivors of the mass-shooting.
She took a few notes:
A survivor: "We've been told, if we see something wrong, we need to speak up; but now that we are speaking up, we're getting disrespect from the people who told us to speak up."
A member of Congress: "...he's concerned stricter gun control will happen in America because: 'Those involved are well funded and they're playing on the sympathy factor of kids getting killed.'"
She began assembling a file of certain slogans being used in defense of unregulated gun ownership; and, added her own notes:
"Guns don't kill people, people kill people."
[Note: So... When a shooter kills folks, the gun isn't being used to do it...?]
"Knives are dangerous too."
[Note: hard to kill 17 people in four minutes with a knife]
"It's my Second Amendment right."
[Note: only if the amendment is corruptly interpreted]
"It's a mental health issue, not a gun issue."
[Note: 5% of gun homicides are by those diagnosed as mentally ill.]
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
[Note: Why not make it incredibly difficult for bad guys to get guns?]
"Gun laws don't work. Criminals can get guns anyway."
[Note: Other countries that control gun access have way fewer gun homicides.]
"Background checks won't stop gun deaths."
[Note: doing nothing will change nothing...]
"If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."
[Note: less guns equal less gun crime in every other industrialized nation with sensible gun laws.]
"We need more security in the schools: arm the teachers, metal detectors, armed security guards."
[Note: This describes a prison; and, more guns lead to more chances of being shot---"background check the teachers"---what if they go rogue after the check...?]
"We need well-trained armed guards in the schools."
[Note: U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, was shot surrounded by armed Secret Service Agents]
She heard her front door chime, went down, looked through the peephole and saw Sam standing there.
When she opened the door, Sam said: "So, Julia, here's a flag and a porch-pole---let me install it for ya."
She stared at him for a long beat then said, "Hang on. I have something upstairs for you..."
She went up, printed out her notes and brought them back down to Sam with: "Here, I'm busy right now and I think you should read this before trying again to make a decision for me about a flag."---the door was closed and she went back to her office...
It only took a week...
Her neighbors were actually holding evening candlelight vigils on her front yard for unrestricted ownership of guns...
The cops would do nothing except saying things like: "They seem peaceful enough." and "Free speech trumps land rights"...
She decided raising a legal ruckus with her neighbors would be a waste of energy...
She contacted her lawyer and had him contact her real estate agent to sell the house; and, to oversee having a moving company put her belongings in storage...
She packed like she was going camping...
She drove to Washington, D.C.; and, after joining the hundreds of thousands in the March for Our Lives, she did camp out, on the lawn of the National Mall, with the student survivors of the mass-shooting and all the other kids from around the country.
Julia was there, communing with brave people half her age...
She'd never been happier...
It was her birthday.........
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New Tale Next Saturday