My grandfather told us the story of World War II and the cruel winds of Hitler blowing across the world. He told us the air was rich with the smell of death and the odor of a burnt earth blotted out the smell of fresh flowers and springtime.
He warned his little boys to be careful because men would do anything for absolute power and would suffocate millions of people with taxes and burdens of the state. He told us about the bags packed with sand to block the bullets and the unfortunate friends that were buried over there on foreign soil and the new fighter planes with a strange face to scare people in the air and on the ground.
They tried to read every newspaper during the World War even when damp with water or spots of human blood.
Snipers would keep them low to the ground but brave men mocked Hitlers best and killed them that made them all braver as Americans.
He told us many stories as we played together, the old man and the boys of America. He would let me take my radio to my room if I promised to listen to the news so my room was that tiny lounge where I heard things I did not understand which brought about many questions.
It was like Washington D.C. didn't remember World War II or Korea or Vietnam or the Gulf wars and they lived inside some different reality from me and my family. The people on the radio talked with deep tones that made them sound smart but my grandfather warned me that little people told the truth.
There was an uproar coming that they called the Islamic Caliphate and Muslims wanted to kill Christians and the world was descending into something terrible. My grandfather was always uplifting but something was wrong last night.
He was in a bleak mood and he was quiet and sad and spoke in undertones about San Bernardino California and Islamic Radical Jihadists killing Americans. I noticed my grandfather was a different person watching the news on T.V. not appearing strong and sovereign.
He would sit at the kitchen table the next morning and talk to my father, about the divided states and Barack Obama as our President. There was no sign of fear in his eyes but there was grief and sadness as he remembered the American men of war in the middle east being tossed back into that pot of boiling water called Islam.
We ate breakfast that morning quickly and in almost silence. Grandfather was watching the T.V. news and it was like he was receiving a sign from the past. The Muslim's were animals and were primitive and he had heard the stories about beheading and rape by ISIS ISIL fighters as we all heard the bus at the school bus stop making me run for the street.
My older brother was not around anymore as he had been killed in Iraq while serving in the United States Army skirting death many times before. I was only six years old when he got killed and grandfather started talking about men and war more often. He was in a hurry to teach us about evil and the dozing Communists and Socialists coming to life inside America like lions stretching out in the sun.
He had little doubt that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were evil and would swing back and forth on our Constitutional rights until they came crashing down.
I remember very clearly when my grandfather gave me my first rifle as he quietly moaned when I missed my shot and laughed hardest when I missed again.
He and I were completely transformed when we leaned against a tree and took a shot as I watched him place a finger against his lips for me to be quiet now and not pull the trigger.
He pulled his bad leg up from behind him as he turned without any noise and watched the other men across the field setting up some kind of campsite. He whispered in my ear and said he had seen a Muslim mouse tail. I suspected we were in danger as he pointed for me to turn around without making a sound.
Everything in the woods made a sound when you wanted to be still even the small puddle of mud made too much noise for my grandfather. My grandfathers curved belly and bad leg could still move faster than most men as the stamp on his arm showed 1st Cavalry Division in tainted yellow and black. The tattoo was from 1943 and the ink still made his skin tingle but Dad said it was the stories about the girls that made them all laugh.
This wasn't a game to grandfather and it wasn't until we were safely home that he told my what he meant by Muslim mouse tail. He was sure that was a Muslim training camp deep in the woods because he could only see the tail of a much larger rat.
The Muslim Radicals like Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik got training somewhere and it takes money and lots of wide open spaces. I leaned my head against the wall as grandfather told my father that caused him to breath deeply and signal me to sit down and stay away from windows.
Grandfather wouldn't allow another massacre like in San Bernardino California so he picked up the phone and dialed 9-1-1 as my father took his savage shotgun off the wall and filled his shirt pocket with shells.
The kingdom of Allah was on the farm.
We… The Boys of America believe in these OUR RIGHTS: the right to LIBERTY, hard-won by our forefathers ~ the right to HAPPINESS that comes with the growth of a healthy body and mind ~ the right to TRAINING, thoughtfully planned by parents, school and church ~ the right to OPPORTUNITY, to live, learn, play and grow up in the time-honored traditions of a free people ~ and the right to learn to SHOOT SAFELY. We recognize and accept the responsibility imposed by these Rights. But ~ until we are old enough to vote we expect YOU ~ our fathers, mothers and other citizens who elect America’s city, county, state and federal officers ~ to be eternally vigilant that our RIGHTS be not abridged!
(Quotation from the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution)