Citizen Soldier! (by Act of Congress)

Grandmother's Story


My grandmother is now 79 years old and lives by herself. She was widowed in 1956 and finished raising her two daughters alone. Both daughters married and there are many grandchildren.

In my Grandmother's country, a person may own a firearm. One may own a firearm in many countries in the world. Gun ownership is not at all unique to the United States, although some would have you think otherwise. Grandmother's country also allows people to own dogs. She had a guard-trained Doberman Pincher, very well-trained. Unfortunately, her neighbors liked to bother the dog through the fence when she was out. Unfortunately, one day, the dog got out of the yard. No, no one got hurt or bitten, but the local constabulary took the dog away to put it to sleep, because it was, as they termed it, "vicious." A constable came to her asking for the dog's registration papers, which she thought was peculiar. After all, it would be put to sleep, right? To this day, she thinks the constabulary's plan was to keep the dog for themselves. A friend of hers later saw a Doberman in a police dog exhibition, which he thought was surely her dog. In her country, it would be no surprise.

After about six months, she obtained another dog.

One day, in early 1987, her neighbors were caught harassing her dog in the yard. She got her revolver to show some additional means of self-defense, taking it with her into the yard to convince the neighbors to leave her dog alone. The local constabulary was called. When they arrived, they attempted to draw Grandma, with her gun, out into the street, where she would be breaking the law. She wouldn't leave her yard, however, so the officers left empty-handed.

She wrote an angry letter to the constables' superior, who was an elected official. In a few days, in March of 1987, the constables were back, and persuaded her to go with them in their patrol car to "a meeting." She became suspicious when the driver refused to tell her where they were going. His only response was "I don't know. I'm just a taxi driver."

Grandmother, who was then 71, was held against her will in a hospital and was interrogated and evaluated for five days. For five days, no one, not her family, her friends, nor even her attorney, knew where she was. While she was gone, the local constabulary searched her home without a warrant. They found and confiscated her gun. They took her dog. In her country, apparently, this was considered acceptable police behavior.

Where in earth did this happen? Are you counting your blessings that you live in the United States?

Grandma's country is the United States.

This all happened in Larimer County, Colorado, the "Wild West." I was born there, in Fort Collins. Ironically, while her rights under the United States Constitution were being trampled by the local sheriff's deputies, I was in the U. S. Navy, defending them (or so I thought). While I was away defending "truth, justice and the American way," she was being forced, by law enforcement officers, to give up rights which are supposed to be "inalienable," right here in the "heartland."

Look up that word in the dictionary. Inalienable. Please read the definition. Think about it. That word is supposed to apply to the whole Bill of Rights. Albert Gallitin wrote of the Bill of Rights, "It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of." NO majority. Think about what that means. I wish our elected representatives would. I think that virtually none of them understand what the Bill of Rights is all about. Few, apparently, in law enforcement understand. Where does that put us, "the people?" Behind the eight-ball? You'd better believe it. Just ask my Grandma.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, "My God! How little my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!" Is that not more true today? Do you need to suffer a major personal loss of your freedom to wake up to understanding your rights? Like Nazi Germany, should we all not worry until our door is the one being knocked in by the police?

My grandmother got her dog returned and had to hire a lawyer to get her gun back. She wrote damning letters to the Fort Collins newspaper, with supporting documentation. The letters were published. The Sheriff subsequently came up for reelection and lost. Grandma became a notorious citizen and was well liked in Fort Collins. She eventually moved out of Larimer County and lives in Denver today. We are both Life Members in the NRA (she has been since the 1930s), and, believe me, neither one of us takes the Bill of Rights for granted. Nor should you.

Last Update: 04/24/96
Web Author: ec roberts
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