Jeff Ackerman: When ‘Big Brother’ calls the shots |

Jeff Ackerman: When ‘Big Brother’ calls the shots

For starters, I don’t think guns are evil. Most guns I’ve known don’t have a soul, or mind of their own.

I also think guns come in handy during those “special times” when someone or something wants to do you, or those you love, some serious harm. The kind of harm you read about in the papers. The kind of harm that is often done to people who don’t have a gun.

And not everyone should have a gun. In the hands of an inexperienced person, guns can be just as dangerous as a dangerous person with a gun.

That’s why there are laws in place to make sure people who sell guns legitimately only sell them to people who have demonstrated an ability to use one without blowing their own feet off.

Take Mark Meckler, for example. The face of the national Tea Party movement, who hails from Nevada County, has a permit to carry a registered gun. Note the terms “permit” and “registered.” Unlike the bad guys who don’t have permits for their often un-registered guns, Meckler followed the rules. I suspect in order to secure his concealed carry weapons permit, Meckler had to take a day-long gun safety class, pass a test (written and firing range) and then convince the sheriff that he needed a permit to carry and conceal a weapon.

As you have probably heard, a lot of people don’t like the Tea Party and Meckler would make a pretty good target for some nut case, or bad guy who would like to do him harm. He doesn’t get the protection of the Secret Service, so his fate is pretty much in his own hands. Cops aren’t usually summoned until after you are shot, or attacked by a bad guy.

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Guns aren’t for everyone. For home protection I’d recommend a 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun. Most bad guys know what a shotgun sounds like when a round is being chambered. It makes a very distinctive noise. Most bad guys also know that the person holding the shotgun doesn’t have to be a very good shot in order to be effective. Point the shotgun in the general direction of the door and most things in the immediate area – including a bad guy – will be blown away.

An 18-year-old mother of a young baby demonstrated that last month in Oklahoma. Her husband had recently died from cancer, so these two dirtbags (or, a misunderstood victim of circumstances, for those who don’t know what a dirtbag is) thought they would pay her a visit, armed with a big knife. The young woman popped a bottle in her baby’s mouth, grabbed a pistol and her shotgun and called 911.

“I’ve got two guns in my hand,” she told the dispatcher. “Is it OK to shoot him if he comes in the door?”

Once the dispatcher confirmed that the woman had locked her doors, she told her that if the bad guys broke the door down before officers arrived she ought to “do what she needs to do” to protect herself and her baby.

When the two bad guys crashed into her home, the woman shot one to death and chased the other off (he later turned himself in). I know … why didn’t she meditate? How come she didn’t offer to hug it out with the intruders, or at least give them the name of a good counselor who could help them revisit a troubled childhood?

Last month, Meckler was traveling through New York with his registered, unloaded gun stored safely inside his locked TSA-approved travel case that was stored inside his checked luggage. In an e-mail to me last week, Meckler said he had checked his firearm at airports “dozens of times before, all across the country.” He said when he got to the ticket counter at LaGuardia Airport he passed TSA signs suggesting that he had a right to check his unloaded firearm in his luggage, but that he would need to fill out a form declaring that fact and present it to the ticketing agent, which he did. A terrorist, or other kind of bad guy, would probably have taken a pass on the forms and simply checked the bag. Most bad guys hate explaining things to nosey ticketing agents or federal transportation officials.

The trouble is, most states – including neighboring Nevada and Oregon – don’t recognize California’s concealed carry permits.

So, while I can understand why Meckler would carry a gun for his own protection, his permit to conceal one during his travels across the country was not valid anywhere but a few states, and New York wasn’t one of them. In fact, New York is the worst possible state for law-abiding people to carry a gun. Last I checked, New York residents ranked dead last in personal freedoms, a result of a “Big Brother” government on steroids. New York makes California look like Texas, which might explain why California seems to be trying its best to catch up.

Our government does not seem to want a society of free thinkers able to support and defend themselves. Our current crop of leaders would rather we all suckled from the government “teat.” Make us dependent on them for everything – including protection – and they have the society of “sheeple” they desire.

Rather than inform Meckler that he would not be allowed to check his locked luggage that contained his registered, unloaded and locked handgun, New York’s finest showed up and took him away in handcuffs.

“Until you have handcuffs on your wrists, and until you’ve heard that cell door close behind you, it is impossible to understand what it means to actually lose your liberty,” he wrote in an e-mail. Meckler was also probably wondering why – in a city where there were 536 murders, 1,373 rapes and 19,486 robberies last year alone – New York was spending the energy on him.

Fortunately, the judge must have wondered the same thing. Meckler was in court last week where a judge dismissed a felony complaint that could have sent him to prison for 15 years. In exchange for that, Meckler pleaded guilty to what amounts to a traffic ticket and fined $250. Authorities refused to return Meckler’s gun, which makes you wonder just a little bit about “due process” and those silly Constitutional rights we are supposed to be enjoying.

This is not about the Tea Party. In fact, The Union was accused of being a “liberal anti-gun rag” and “mouthpiece for the Tea Party” both in the same day, which means we must be doing something right.

It’s more about right and wrong and where our country is headed if we don’t wake up soon.

Jeff Ackerman is the editor/publisher of The Union. Contact him at (530) 477-4299,, or 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley 95945.

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