Posted by: notdeaddinosaur | December 29, 2012

Gun Laws (flash fiction)

(This is a work of fiction. Under 1000 words, it qualifies as a form known as flash fiction.)

GUN LAWS

I’d finally given up finding a radio station with decent music, so I plugged my iPod into the dash and cranked up the latest podcast I’d been wanting to hear. I had the windows closed against the dry dusty Texas summer as I tooled along, enjoying the open road. Suddenly I saw a flash of blue and red in my rear view mirror.

Shit.

I pulled over to the side of the road as I turned off the podcast. My heart hammered in my chest as I waited. What could the problem be? I found myself gripping the steering wheel at 10-and-2, but still couldn’t keep my hands from trembling. I was certain I hadn’t been going too fast. All my lights were in perfect working order. What was going on?

The cop took his own sweet time. After what seemed like an eternity, his door finally opened. He took another minute to assure that his hat was firmly in place, then slowly sauntered up to my window.

“Howdy, ma’am,” he began.

“Yes, officer?” I answered, the trembling in my voice barely audible over the pounding of my heart in my ears.

“Ma’am, do you have a gun in the vehicle?” His voice was low and gravelly, with a no-nonsense tone to it.

“No sir. I don’t own a gun.”

I didn’t. Never had. Never saw any reason to. I knew lots of other folks who thought they needed a gun in case the government ever got out of control. Too late for that. And the guns don’t help anyway.

“No gun in the vehicle?” he repeated.

“No sir.”

“Do you have a firearm in your handbag or anywhere on your person?” he continued.

“No, sir. I said that I do not own a gun.”

“I see. Ma’am, would you please step out of the car?”

He opened my door. I got out.

“Please go stand over there, and keep your hands where I can see them,” he said, indicating a spot about ten feet away.

I was puzzled, but did as I was told. As I stood in the blazing sun, the officer quickly but efficiently searched my car. I wasn’t worried. There were no guns to be found. The glove box held nothing but old maps, a packet of tissues, a tire gauge, and an ancient first-aid kit.

After finishing his search, the officer came over to where I was standing.

“Do you have a gun on your person, ma’am?” he asked again, politely but firmly.

“No, sir. I told you I don’t own a gun.”

“I need to pat you down, Ma’am.”

“What?”

“It’s the law.”

What the hell?

I put my hands on the hood of my car as he frisked me with professional detachment.

“See?” I retorted.

“Yes ma’am.”

“Well?”

“Ma’am, are you aware that the State of Texas requires that all able-bodied citizens over the age of eighteen are required to own, maintain, and carry at least one firearm with them at all times?”

“What? I didn’t think that silly law was actually being enforced.”

“Oh yes, ma’am. We here in Orwell, Texas make it a point to fully enforce all of the laws regulating firearms at all times.”

“You can’t MAKE me buy something I don’t want to own.”

“Actually, ma’am, the courts have determined that if the Federal government can require you to purchase health insurance, the States are permitted to mandate other purchases that are conducive to the common good. The Texas Legislature has decided that because the more people have guns, the safer everyone is, mandatory universal gun ownership was the best way to ensure tranquility.”

“That’s crazy.”

“That may be your opinion, ma’am, but the legislature felt it was unfair for people like yourself, who refuse to arm yourselves, to rely on the rest of the populace for protection. Unless you have a Certificate of Exemption from a registered psychiatrist asserting that you have a disqualifying defective mental condition, you are required to carry a firearm with you at all times when outside your home.”

This was nuts! My whole body was trembling; whether with fear or outrage, I couldn’t tell.

“Wait, wait. I did see a psychiatrist once. Doesn’t that disqualify me?”

“No, ma’am. I checked. You are not registered in the official state database of the mentally ill.”

“It’s not my fault if my psychiatrist never got around to filing the paperwork!”

“Are you acutely suicidal at this time? We’re working to close that loophole, but at the moment, I am permitted to let you go if owning a firearm would present a clear and present danger to yourself or others.”

“Yes! Yes.”

Hell, if I had a firearm, I’d be tempted to pop this bastard one right in the ass.

“Is that a threat, ma’am?”

“Um, no.”

Better dial it down some. What kind of a Kafka-esque pickle was I in here anyway?

“Tell you what, ma’am, I’m going to let you off with a warning today. Here is the official citation, along with resources for where you can purchase a gun and obtain the required training. You may even be eligible for a subsidy to help defray the cost if you meet certain income limits.”

“Um, thank you?”

“You’re welcome, ma’am. Make sure you don’t let me catch you without a gun next time. You have a very nice day.”


Responses

  1. Funny, but the sad part is this may not be so far away, especially in Texas or Oklahoma, where I live, because it exemplifies the thinking of many people hereabouts. I wonder if the power felt by owning a gun would dissolve if everyone had one.

  2. It would be a great law because the first thirteen words of the Second Amendment are “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” and this would indicate that everyone who carries arms is subject to being drafted into the militia. So if everyone in Texas who is over 18 carries a gun, the pool of draftees would be huge, even allowing for those having a Certificate of Exemption from a registered psychiatrist.

  3. He violated your rights against illegal search and seizure by searching your car without your consent. The Police do that. The state will do much more if there is no threat to them. We have the 2nd amendment to protect us from tyranny.

  4. You can’t be drafted into the militia since it consists of the populace anyway. An irrational fear of guns would probably exempt you as mentally ill though.

  5. God Bless Texas

  6. I really don’t understand your point, unless it is some sort of strawman argument “crazy gun nuts think everyone should have to carry”. Lots of people shouldn’t carry guns, many or most of those people recognize that fact and don’t carry. Sometimes it is situational–I’m about to put the gun that’s currently in my pocket back in the safe before I go to the bar for New Year’s.

  7. Reason #157 to not move to Texas. Or Oklahoma, or…

  8. A nifty humorous parable. The anti-gun comments are predictable. If you don’t want to take responsibility for defending yourself, don’t bother. However, don’t denigrate those of us who do chose to provide for our own defense. We might just be able to protect you at some point.

  9. I have to tell you when I read this and being dim whitted and gulible I thought ” is this true?” then I got to the part where you wanted to shoot him LAUGHED right out loud at work in my gerbil cube! From then on I stopped trying to figure out if the law was true, could that really happen etc and just had pure enjoyment!

  10. You called it:
    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/03/06/1682631/georgia-mandatory-guns/?mobile=nc

  11. Not the best fiction I’ve read, but not the worst (though that doesn’t say much…I’ve read some BAD fiction!

    The funny thing is that even the NRA would suggest that such an idea is wrong. Arming people who don’t want to be armed is not in the public interest. However, disarming law-abiding citizens because some people don’t want to be armed isn’t right either.

    I’m a newbie here…this is the first post I’ve read, but it seems that perhaps the middle is the right place. Don’t take away firearms from law-abiding citizens; and don’t make people carry weapons if they don’t want to. Pretty simple concept.


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