Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

February 19, 2013
Hard to think straight with a gun at your neck

The year is 2016. In the middle of the American Idol semi-finals, your TV screen goes blank, then segues to President Barack Obama striding to the White House podium. You hear a barrage of clicks from cameras as he stands behind the podium and nods at reporters.

A beaming president says, “Today, I’m pleased to announce a momentous occasion.” He goes on to explain that there’s been a breakthrough in the stalled gun talks.

Finally, Congress is supporting the president on an executive order that everyone calls the “Newtown Safe Kids” law. The details will be revealed to the public shortly, but meanwhile, he points to a screen behind him. “I’d like to remind us all of why we’re doing this.”

A slideshow shows pictures of all those kids and teachers killed in the Newtown school mass shooting from four years ago. There’s a picture of that little girl from Ogden that makes your throat constrict because you had gone to the vigil where sky lanterns were released into the air in her memory.

After the president’s announcement, you’re curious about this new law. Will it involve more bans on guns than what we already have?

You’re not registered as a Republican or Democrat, but you kind of lean a bit on the Republican side. You don’t think guns should be out and out banned, because for one thing, you own two guns of your own. All in the name of sports, of course, because target shooting is fun.

And well, you like the idea that someday, if you need it, you can use a gun to protect yourself and your family. You’ve got two kids of your own, and you just want them to grow up in a safer America.

You decide to check on details of the law online. While the computer is booting up, you walk over to the basement den and look in on your two children who are playing Wii on the widescreen. They don’t look up, but just seeing them safe and sound is enough for you. Yes, everyone in Washington is on the right track. This is all for the kids.

The doorbell rings. You glance at the clock a little in surprise. It seems kind of late for Girl Scout cookies, but you go on up to see who’s at the door.

As the door swings open, you see a flash of a badge. Military Police.

“What…?” you manage to say, before about a half dozen soldiers swarm around you. They’re asking about two guns registered under your name. They’re taking everyone’s guns, for a safer America.

Second Amendment, your brain screams, but it’s hard to think straight with a machine gun pointed at your neck, shoving you as you stumble towards the master’s bedroom closet where you keep the guns under the shoeboxes. You hand over your guns to the soldiers, then watch them file out of your bedroom into the dark night.

With trembling hand, you pick up your cell phone to warn your brother, but it appears you have no cell service. You rush to the computer, which shows no Internet connection either.

In the living room, on American Idol, the contestant is singing, “Fool on the Hill…”

Jewel Punzalan Allen is a memoir writing coach and a long-time journalist who lives in Grantsville. She blogs at

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