Opinion Columns & Blogs

Sheriff, don’t try to take my high-capacity magazine

Associated Press file

The Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputies would most likely raid my home. I live in a county island inside Oakdale, but the deputies would probably have jurisdiction over the local police department, so I’m guessing they’d be the ones to kick in my door, toss in the flashbang, then blitz inside screaming “On the ground!” and all that other cool stuff.

I haven’t worked out how I will respond, but I’m leaning toward waiting calmly in my recliner, wearing a plaid velour smoking jacket and a smile while they tear my house apart, all my contraband safely hiding in plain sight.

See, I’m going to possess several 30-round magazines for my AR-15 rifle past next July’s deadline to turn them in.

And I won’t “1) Remove the large-capacity magazine from the state” nor will I “2) Sell the large-capacity magazine to a licensed firearms dealer.” And I ain’t about to “3) Destroy the large-capacity magazine.” And the pope will have a hickey before I “4) Surrender the large-capacity magazine to a law enforcement agency for destruction.”

That quoted text is from Senate Bill 1446, summarized as the “Firearm, Magazine Capacity” bill, one of five new gun restrictions Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on July 1. The new laws classify more guns as assault weapons, require background checks to purchase ammo, and they insist I register my AR in a couple of years.

But SB 1446 crosses the firing line because it bans possession. I read the whole bill and while the fine is only a few hundred bucks for being caught with any detachable magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, I’m pretty sure the law enforcement agent who cites me for having a high-capacity magazine will try to take it from me. That must not occur.

Revolting against gun laws by fighting or simply ignoring them is a California tradition.

“Nine days before the deadline, thousands of Californians are defying a ground-breaking state requirement that they register their military-style semiautomatic guns,” was the lead in a New York Times piece back on Dec. 24, 1990, appearing under the headline, “California Gun Control Law Runs Into Rebellion.”

The day after the new gun bills became law last week, around 50 gun activists got together at Sacramento’s Cesar Chavez Plaza holding a big banner that read: “We will not comply.”

“Right now there is a feeling of noncompliance,” said John Horton, vice president of the Modesto chapter of the Madison Society, a group committed to defending the Second Amendment. “Everyone is excited and worried about the new laws. We are currently discussing our strategy for fighting them.”

Excited? That’s a weird choice of words, but I think I understand these gun nuts now. They have been warning about this day for decades while the rest of us hunters and shooters rolled our eyes. Now Gov. Brown just made them prophets. They really are coming for our guns. Well, a piece of our guns.

So I’m warning you right now, Sheriff Adam Christianson, if you or your deputies come onto my property under arms to confiscate my property, I will not hesitate to defend my constitutional rights to the fullest – and unfriend you on Facebook.

Though I’ve come to enjoy your often inspirational posts over the last months, if you try to steal my mags I will make certain you can no longer see pictures of my food or the inappropriate memes I share.

I’m being silly because you and my wife are right: I don’t really need an AR-15 with a bunch of bullets. It’s no good for hunting and built for exactly one thing; so I’m struggling to understand why keeping this weapon means so much.

Try this: With a fully loaded AR-15 in your hands, a feeling of power and even peace washes over a guy like me. Not everyone can feel it, but these rifles even talk and whisper, “I defend. With me, you can protect everything that matters.”

Your Greek lesson for the day is only two words, and they come from Spartan King Leonidas when the Persians demanded he and his men surrender their weapons before the Battle of Thermopylae. He allegedly bellowed, “Molon labe” – “Come and take them.”

But I sure hope they don’t try.

Steve Taylor is an Oakdale resident and behavior analyst. Questions or comments to columns@modbee.com.