I got my start debating the subjects of gun rights and gun control at a blog with the eponymous title of Mikeb302000. Mikeb ceased writing in February of 2016, but for years, he daily posted articles advocating for ever increasing restrictions on the ability of law-abiding Americans to own or carry firearms.

One of my frequent antagonists on that site was Dog Gone, someone who smugly and gleefully expressed her disdain for anyone who is in possession of a gun — even though she herself at one point had a carry license when she was being stalked. She currently writes at the blog, Penigma, among other sites.

One particular point of contention was over the question of whether tyranny could ever come to the United States. In her view, I was paranoid for saying that the Obama administration was continuing the violation of our basic right to privacy in actions like supporting the National Defense Authorization Act, among many other things. And, of course, the president’s support for gun control fitted into an overall pattern of disrespect for personal liberty.

But the threats to a free society from our government during the Bush and Obama years were mostly theoretical for most Americans. Yes, our telephone calls, our e-mail, and so many other examples of our private activities have been made subject to review and meddling by various agencies, but most of us don’t raise the interest of bureaucrats. It’s a sad thing to say that our rights are dependent on the laziness of government employees, but there it is.

That was then. We now live in the era of Trump. And so if Dog Gone ever happens to read this article, I’d like to know if she has changed her mind, if she agrees with me that tyranny is indeed possible in this country.

My answer is that yes, just as tyranny is always only one submission to a demagogue away and is made easier when we hand over unlimited power to the government, we are presently dangling over a precipice with a wannabe autocrat hacking away at the rope.

What say you, Dog Gone?

For more of my writing, go here.

Gee, Camp, what were you thinking? Supports gay rights, #2a, #1a, science, and other seemingly incongruous things. Books available on Amazon.

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