For reader David, who has just discovered Kamelot, this week’s Metal Tuesday is perhaps my favorite of their repertoire.
Lyrics in the YouTube video.
Among the points cited are prior attacks in the United States that the federal government refuses to classify as terrorism, including the Fort Hood attack, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the last week’s Oklahoma City beheading. Morgan has also received death threats in the past for her writing about Islam. Another incident that weighed heavily in Morgan’s decision was an incident at her firing range several weeks ago, which she relayed to Bearing Arms this morning. Morgan claims that two Muslim men who spoke only broken English came to her range and requested to rent semi-automatic firearms and ammunition. One of them could not produce any identification showing that he was in the country legally, and the other had a California driver’s license. Neither had any apparent firearms training. She allowed them to rent one firearm, and stood behind them the entire time they were on the range, her hand on or near her holstered Glock 19. All other patrons voluntarily vacated the firing line while they were shooting.
Let’s look at the problems:
How is she going to know who are Muslims? Muslims aren’t all olive-skinned with dark hair. Some are black, some could pass for Captain America. Hell, the largest Muslim nation is freaking Indonesia.
Who’s next? Blacks because of the rioting in Ferguson? Hispanics because of the border crisis? Atheists? Asians? Where does it stop?
As a business owner, you can deny service to anyone, but doing this does two things. First, it will put you out of business as the younger and newer shooters avoid your store like the plague it is. Secondly – and most importantly- you’re hurting the gun rights movement. We are trying to bring more people in, not alienate them.
“Are you sure he doesn’t want to come inside for some pie?” Anne’s mom said, looking out the window at the man standing under the ancient oak in the front yard. Anne followed her mom’s look. Erik could be so damned stubborn. He couldn’t come in and converse with her parents like any of the other Avalonians. No, he had to do his guard duty outside. At least he looked like he was just lounging under the tree and not standing at attention or something. The neighbors would really talk if he did that.
“He’s fine out there,” Anne said, “He’s just glad it’s warmed up to what he considers a bearable temperature.” Her mom shrugged. She was used to Erik’s odd ways, even though she had no idea why her daughter hung out with a man like that.
“The winter did break early this year,” Mrs. Hearst said. “It looks to be one of the warmest St. Patrick’s days in the last fifty years. The weatherman on Channel 10 said it was because of global warming.” Anne’s mom sniffed her disapproval of that opinion. Barbara Hearst couldn’t understand how humans could do anything to God’s Earth, so all of this global warming talk was just nonsense. Plus, the radio talk shows said it was all a plot by the communists anyway. Anne just took another bite of the cherry pie to hide her own look at her mom’s opinion.
“Are you taking Kurt to the St. Patrick’s Day parade?” Mrs. Hearst asked, trying unsuccessfully to hide the tone of hopefulness in her voice. Anne smiled as she sipped her coffee.
“If we both have the day off, then yes, I will bring him with me to the park for the cook-out, and you can finally show us off to your side of the family,” Anne said, with feigned exasperation.
“I just thought it would be nice for him to see the city’s parade,” Mrs. Hearst said, dismissing her daughter’s accusation. “Why couldn’t you just request the day off, like any other job?” Anne blew out her breath.
“I did, but I’m still on call. That’s what happens when you’re the force’s premier detective,” Anne said, avoiding the real reason why she would still be on call.
“So we can hope no one gets killed in some particularly gruesome way that only you can figure out,” her mom said with a familiar biting tone. Anne restrained the temptation to bang her head on the tabletop. At least her mom only thought Anne had to deal with normal, human murderers. If she knew about some of the things Anne actually chased through the city streets, the woman would probably have a nervous breakdown.
“So, what else has been happening since Kurt and I came for dinner last week?” Anne asked, changing the subject.
“Your uncle Howard got a promotion to vice-president,” her mom said, proud of her baby brother.
“Send him my congratulations,” Anne said.
“I will,” Mrs. Hearst said, “You know what this means, don’t you?” Anne looked up suspiciously at her mother.
“What?” Anne asked.
“He’s going to be able to afford to send Mindy to Delain,” Mrs. Hearst said, dropping the bomb. “We offered to let her take your old room, but Howard says she wants to experience real college life.” Anne groaned. She had no idea how her airhead of a cousin managed to get accepted into an elite school like Delain. The idea of Mindy in her city as a college freshman filled Anne with dread. It was bad enough that Anne wasn’t sure if she could finish her last bite of pie. Determined not to let one girl spoil her mom’s pie, Anne shoved the last bit into her mouth.
“Then she suggested that Kurt and me show her around the city when she gets here in August!” Anne said as Erik navigated the car through the city streets. Anne had been ranting non-stop since they’d left her parents house. Erik couldn’t understand her frustration, but he knew it was better just to let the storm blow itself out before saying anything.
“You disagree?” Anne said, and Erik felt her emotions shift. Damn, that wasn’t going to work this time.
“She’s your cousin,” Erik said, “Why wouldn’t you help her?”
“I didn’t say I wouldn’t, but it’s like Mom’s already planned out half-a-dozen family things when Mindy gets here and figured out what I would be doing,” Anne answered, “Without even asking!”
“So?” Erik asked, before he could stop himself. Anne’s anger spiked.
“So?” she nearly screamed. “Don’t you think she should at least have the decency of asking me before she volunteers me to show Mindy around the city? Especially with Kurt?” Erik gave Anne a sidelong glance before pulling into a parking lot. Americans had some very odd concepts when it came to family dynamics.
“Come on,” he said, trying to avert the upcoming argument by changing the subject. He stepped out of the car. Anne’s anger jumped up even further before it was drowned out by her curiosity. She stepped out of the car and stared up at the three-story building.
“What is this place?” Anne asked.
“Our new clubhouse,” Erik answered, and smiled at Anne’s exasperation. She hated when someone gave her cryptic answers. They hung up their coats in the small foyer before they entered what looked like one of those war rooms shown in movies or television. Plasma screens hung from the walls showing news feeds and cameras from around the city. The rest of the team, including Lady Maritza, was lounging on some of the plush chairs scattered about. The only person missing was Jason. Erik felt her astonishment as she looked around.
“When did you guys do all this?” Anne asked.
“Mostly while you and Jason were at work,” Lady Maritza answered. “The point was made that some of your extra-circular activities could point the wrong kind of attention back to the apartments. Plus, it seemed like a good idea to give you some training and logistical space that didn’t interfere with my own people’s.”
“You actually got a company to do construction in the middle of winter?” Anne asked.
“It was more of a renovation, actually, dear,” Lady Maritza answered, “It also helps when the owner’s wife is the one contracting for service.” The two women beamed at each other. Erik hid his own smile. As bad as his relationship was with his nominal superior, at least those two got on like a house on fire. Before Lady Maritza continued, Anne’s phone rang with that annoying song she used for Jason.
“What’s up Jason?” Anne asked. Her emotions became subdued as she spoke with her partner. From the look on Samantha’s face, this was going to be one of those special cases. Erik signaled for Kurt to load up one of the vans and get ready to leave. The Avalonians were moving to the garage.
“I’m sorry Lady Maritza,” Anne said as she hung up her phone, “It looks we caught a really bizarre case.” The older lady embraced Anne.
“And I didn’t even get to show you the secret passages,” Lady Maritza replied with mock severity. “Take care of yourself.” Erik’s superior gave him a curt nod as he followed the rest of the team out to the waiting van. As they pulled out and started following Anne, Erik wondered what kind of insanity this world was going to throw at them this time.
The problem with the world today is that everyone believes they have the right to express an opinion AND have others listen to it.
The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to express an opinion, but crucially, that opinion may be roundly ignored, even be made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably NONSENSE.
Good news? He’s leaving.
Bad news? He’ll probably never be brought to account for the scandals that occurred on his watch and that he was probably responsible for (Fast and Furious comes to mind).
First up, courtesy of John Richardson, a citizen who was naturalized as a child is suing Boston PD Commissioner for the PD’s refusal to accept a passport as proof of identity for a License to Carry. This is the same BPD Commissioner who has stated his opposition to anyone owning guns in the city.
The second, from Andrew Branca, is that Shaneen Allen is being allowed into pre-trial intervention. This is one of those cases we need to remember when we push for national reciprocity.
Erik looked out at the lights of the city. The Colosseum wasn’t the highest point in the city, but it was high enough for him to feel the cold wind whipping off of the river. In so many ways, they had succeeded. The vampire clan was destroyed. The Americans had used what happened to warn off the other clans. They’d found a mole in the city’s police force. Anne was safe, and there were some tantalizing clues as to what the Dark Towers wanted with her. Kurt and Anne had finally gotten together. Erik was surprised at how pleased he was about that, especially considering how hard he was going to have to work to hide that from the Saint. He was pretty sure that Lady Maritza knew, even if she hadn’t told her official self. On top of it all, Mia Gold was safe and out of the vampires’ clutches. All in all, he should have been celebrating with the others. Instead, he was up here brooding. All because the one vampire he wanted dead had managed to slip out.
The access door opened and Erik felt the familiar psi-scent walk up behind him. He’d wondered if this was going to happen, or if Lady Maritza would interfere. To be fair, he would have understood if his nominal superior warned the woman off. Of course, she may have, but Erik doubted even Lady Maritza could have dissuaded this one if she wanted to speak with Erik.
“Samantha knew you’d be up here,” Mia Gold said. She walked up to the railing that Erik perched upon. He looked down on her and gave her an indulgent smile. “When I invited your little team to one of my rehearsals, it was because I wanted you to see. It’s not often I get to show off for my big brother.”
“Sorry Mirya,” Erik said, “I didn’t think about that. I should have. It just seemed like a good time to get away from everyone’s emotions and just think.”
“It’s nice to hear you say my name,” Mirya said. Then her face became serious, and Erik could tell his sister was wary about treading into dangerous ground.
“Go ahead and ask,” Erik said.
“Would you quit doing that?” Mirya said, exasperated. “You and Sam both!” She took a deep breath and collected herself. “Sam told me about what happened. Much to the dismay of Lady Maritza. Why are you doing this to yourself?”
“Could you be a little more specific?” Erik asked in reply.
“Why are you doing this work? It’s not like you needed the money. Is it because of Sam?”
“I’ll admit that was one consideration,” Erik said, “More because I needed to get out of Avalon. I was hurting the family and the firm. Then, I was offered this mission.”
“Are you sure you didn’t leave because of that bitch?” Mirya asked. Erik gave her a cold look. “Erik, any woman who destroys you like Anya did will be a bitch in my book. She was lucky that I was stuck over on this side of the gate. There might have been bloodshed.” Erik couldn’t help but smile. He leapt down off the perch and swept up his sister in a hug.
“Here,” Mirya said, pushing a cell phone into Erik’s hands. “I know we aren’t supposed to be contacting each other, but I can’t know my big brother is on this side of the gate and not talk to him. This is the most secure phone I could buy. I’ve got one and so does Sam.” Mirya lifted herself up and kissed Erik on the cheek. “I know there are somethings you can’t even talk about with Sam. You can send me a text on this thing and we can talk.”
“Love you too,” Erik said, kissing the top of his sister’s head. “I can’t tell you how thankful I was that you were on this side of the gate when all of that hell went down.”
“Are you at least coming to the concert tomorrow?” Mirya asked.
“Yeah, but only because one of my team needs to be on guard while the rest of them watch you do that thing you call music,” Erik answered, with a light tone. He grunted as Mirya punched him in the gut. “I am proud of everything you’ve done over here, Mirya. You’ve done good, little sis.” They hugged again and Mirya walked back to the door.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you later then,” Mirya said. She waved and then descended back into the Colosseum. Erik hopped back up onto the railing.
“That was so touching to watch,” a familiar soprano voice said. Erik whirled and drew his pistol. Nao was standing on one of the antennae some thirty feet above Erik. Then she blurred as she moved faster than Erik could track. He didn’t even have time to throw up a shield before Nao plucked the pistol out of his hand and threw him to the concrete of the roof. Stars exploded in front of his eyes. As they cleared, he felt Nao sit down on his chest. She peered deeply into him, but there was none of the psychic pushes that she’d used earlier. Instead, she just lowered her head and kissed him. Erik knew he was supposed to fight, supposed to do something, but it was all hazy the moment her lips touched his.
“I know why you want to kill me,” Nao said, “I honestly didn’t realize what that woman had done to you when I plucked her from your memory. You’re not ready to forgive me yet. I can see that in your eyes. I hope you’ll be able to do so soon.”
“Why?” Erik managed. Nao smiled.
“Because, I can help you heal from what that woman did to you,” she whispered in his ear. Then she was gone.
Maritza Holland closed her laptop as her next appointment walked into her office. Overall, she was pleased with the outcome of the recent days’ events. Anne was safe and learning even more magic. How that young woman reminded Maritza of her younger sister. Yanna would have loved Anne Hearst. She looked up as the man in front of her desk cleared his throat. She fixed him with a cold gaze.
“You wanted to see me, Mrs. Holland?” Detective Harvey Welks asked, unfazed by the woman’s glare.
“Yes, Detective,” Lady Maritza said after a moment. No, this one couldn’t be intimidated. “I’ve come to understand that you’ve been acting as a fixer for the non-human elements, shall we say?”
“I’m not sure what you mean, Mrs. Holland,” Welks said, with a neutral face.
“Let’s not play these foolish games,” Lady Maritza said, letting her annoyance show, “If I wanted you dead, I would have let Detective Hearst have her way with you and then helped hide your body. Believe me, I can bury the disappearance of a police detective. So, have you been acting as a fixer?” Welks considered Lady Maritza for a long moment.
“I have been known to help factions from outside the city with their unique needs,” Welks admitted. Maritza tossed an envelope at Welks. The burly detective snatched it out of the air with an almost practiced ease. He opened the envelope and stared at the contents before giving Lady Maritza a quizzical look.
“What is this?” Welks asked.
“The paper identifies you as the legal owner of a safety deposit box at the bank listed in Chicago. The key will allow you to access it. You’ve annoyed me a great deal with your actions Detective, but you could also be useful.”
“How?” he asked suspiciously.
“You become my agent,” Lady Maritza said, “Every month, I will put $10,000 worth of bearer bonds from various companies into that safety deposit box. You will keep me informed of any ‘outside factions’ coming into the city, and if they have an interest in Detective Hearst. If you do that, then the money will be yours when you decide to collect.”
“What’s the catch?” Welks asked.
“You do not lie to me. You do not take any action against Detective Hearst. You do not continue to work for ‘outside factions’ after you collect the money,” Lady Maritza said. They traded a long look. There was no need for threats of retribution. Welks put the envelope into the inside pocket of his jacket.
“Thank you very much, Mrs. Holland,” Detective Welks said, and then walked out of the office.
When you allow unlawful acts to go unpunished, you’re moving toward a government of men rather than a government of law.
Or more to the point, selective enforcement of the law.
DC officials were given 90 days to come up with a concealed carry permitting system. Somewhat predictably, they decided to go with a “may-issue” system.
Of course, the applicant has to have a good reason, like being stalked, under a specific threat, or be politically connected (because if you don’t think those people will get their permits befit the people’s, you’re deluding yourself).
It looks like time for another court case.