The Gun Grabbers
A short story by ‘Aducknamedjoe’
The alert came over the mesh net handhelds. Encrypted, of course.
“Grab and bag at Hardcastle’s. RP Elm and 9th. ASAP motherfuckers.”
It was 2:43am. He sent an acknowledgement and flipped on the light switch.
His kit was already stacked by the door, and he’d slept in his pants. They knew something like this was coming. The truck outside was freezing. As he jammed it in gear he felt his heart pounding in his chest. He forced himself to breathe.
Avi had already driven past the Wal-Mart, speeding on nearly empty roads, when he remembered his bandana. He reached into the seat behind him and fished around with one hand until he felt the familiar thin cloth. It was already knotted in the back. He used his knees to hold the steering wheel straight while he slipped the whole thing over his head and adjusted the fit around his mouth and nose.
A grinning skull pattern now obscured his face below his eyes. Underneath the mask he made himself smile, too.
The rally point was Elm and 9th, two blocks away from Tony Hardcastle’s place. Avi parked his truck in somebody’s driveway two blocks farther down from that and jogged over with his gear to meet the others.
Hseih and Mike were already there, along with six guys from the across town outfit who happened to be in the area. All sported face coverings.
Mike explained, “Morrow already went with Hardy and Delgado and his son and blocked off both sides of the street with their suburbans. That buys us maybe five minutes to wait for more and then we go in, no matter who’s here or not.”
Avi nodded, “How many?”
The burly man in the balaclava shrugged, “Twelve, maybe fifteen. According to Morrow they’re still loading up Hardcastle’s stuff. Fuckers don’t realize we’re here yet.”
Avi nodded again, looking at the ground, and stomped his feet.
In the next four minutes eleven other members showed up, a few still in pajamas and already starting to shiver in the winter cold. All had their faces covered. Another sixty seconds and the radio each team member carried with him squawked. Morrow’s deep bass voice came over the line, “Alright boys, let’s do this. Half of you on 7th with the Delgados, the other half with me and Hardy on 6th.” There was a pause while the men split up and jogged to their respective destinations, then Morrow added, “No fucking shooting. Let’s clear this up so everybody can go home. This isn’t fucking Concord Bridge.”
Avi found himself standing next to Morrow, peering over the open door of one of the two suburbans parked in parallel at the end of the street. Morrow waited until everyone was there, then spoke into his radio. Both sets of suburbans, at opposite ends of the block, angled at the clusterfuck that was now Tony Hardcastle’s yard, flipped on their brights. Harsh xenon light illuminated two unlit squad cars parked in the street, and an armored S.W.A.T. van parked right on top of Mrs. Hardcastle’s garden. A black, government SUV sat next to the van. The yard was a mess of furniture, debris, and moving, helmeted shapes which scurried for cover in the white glare. A window shattered somewhere. The sound of tinkling glass carried through the crisp, nighttime air.
Morrow stepped out in front of the suburbans. He was carrying a bullhorn and the scarf he had wrapped around his face bore a coiled snake on a yellow background.
Somebody behind Avi pulled out a handheld and started recording.
“Alright folks, this little raid is over. Please lay down your weapons, and you will be escorted off of this private property safely and courteously.” Morrow had left his rifle leaning up against the suburban behind him, but every other team member had theirs trained on the dark mass of the S.W.A.T. vehicle and the police and federal officers they could see seeking cover in front of Tony Hardcastle’s house.
Avi flexed his fingers around the rifle’s pistol grip, and shifted the stock of the gun where it met his shoulder. The polymer against his cheek was ice.
Morrow tried again, “We don’t want any trouble, but we can’t let you leave here with your firearms or with the property or person of Mr. or Mrs. Anthony Hardcastle. Please come forward, one by one, with your hands over your head.”
Finally someone on the other side got a hold of a bullhorn of their own, he spoke as the headlights of the S.W.A.T. van came on to light up Morrow from the front, “Disperse immediately! You are interfering with a law enforcement operation and you will be arrested!”
The man with the Gadsden scarf over his mouth was unperturbed. “Look, fella, I don’t wanna to get in a back and forth, knock down argument on the nuances of Constitutional law and natural rights theory with you, so I’ll lay it out straight. You’re outnumbered two-to-one right now, and none of my compatriots believe you even have a right to be here, based on their scholarly readings of the Second and Fourth Amendments, respectively. Every minute more of us are coming. We want to resolve this peacefully, so let’s not do anything stupid.”
“You and your friends are breaking the law in a big way, asshole. You are interfering with a police repossession of illegal firearms. You have exactly two minutes to disperse voluntarily or we will use force to make you.”
Avi imagined he could see Morrow’s grim smile even though the other had a scarf over his mouth and his back towards him.
“Yeah. That ain’t gonna happen.”
As if on cue, team members on both sides of the blocked off street stepped forward into the light of the suburbans and the S.W.A.T. van’s brights. By now there were at least forty.
All wore face coverings. All carried rifles. None said a word.
At a gesture from Morrow they melted back into the darkness behind the vehicles.
There was a delay, A new voice came over the bullhorn, “What do you want?”
“I already told you: put down your guns and leave this man’s private property in peace. And leave Mr. and Mrs. Hardcastle, and their daughters, unharmed.”
“What guarantee do we have you won’t just kill us when we come out?”
“That’s not good enough.”
“I don’t care. You people are the ones breaking the law, harassing innocents, and violating private property. And I know that right now you’re just playing for time. The typical police response in this town is seven minutes. It’s already been two, so we got about five before your buddies show up and this gets real ugly.” The team had planned for this, of course. Latecomers had already been given orders to man approaches to the house and block off nearby roads with their vehicles. Morrow went on, “So that means you boys have exactly one minute, because we’re not waiting around for your friends to show up. Send out the Hardcastles first, then come forward, one at a time, with your hands above your head. The sixty seconds starts now.”
There was a silence, then, “We want a hostage.”
“Nope.” His watch hand came up. “You fellas now have ’bout forty seconds to release the Hardcastles.” Morrow was Harvard educated, with a masters in philosophy. Which was to say, he talked like a hick on purpose.
There was no response. Avi shifted his feet and sighted down the barrel, looking for any signs of movement near or inside the house.
Morrow stood in the light, his breath coming in puffs of steam. Avi saw him check his watch again.
Avi was acutely aware of his right index finger. He could feel every millimeter of skin along its length, feel the chill stiffness in the two joints where the digit bent inward, and feel the cold anodized aluminum where the fingertip feathered his rifle’s receiver, right above the trigger.
“Ten seconds!” Avi could tell Morrow was nervous. Outwardly the man looked cool as a cucumber, except his left hand kept fidgeting with one of his belt loops. Someone nearby coughed.
Morrow looked at his watch one last time, bringing his wrist up in a slow, exaggerated motion. Avi eased his index finger down onto the trigger, ever so slightly making contact with the skin of the tip.
The bullhorn was raised, “Your time’s–” but he stopped short. There was movement ahead near the house. A figure came timidly into the light. It was a girl. Avi raised his cheek off the stock and straightened his finger away from the trigger.
She was about ten, one of Hardcastle’s daughters. She paused in the harsh glow of the headlights then, at the urging from someone behind her, broke into a run towards Morrow.
The big man crouched down to her height and met her with a bear hug. Avi lowered his rifle and, setting it aside, joined Morrow in the light and took the little girl’s hand, guiding her back to safety behind the muzzles of his fellow team members.
The older daughter, he thought her name was Katerina, followed right after. Then in quick succession came Mrs. Hardcastle and then her husband, limping a little, blood running from a split lip, a defiant grin on his face.
Over the next three minutes a total of thirteen men followed the family into the light, hands on their heads, weapons set slowly down on the pavement. Their black uniforms matched equally black expressions. Rage burned under kevlar helmets.
All were ordered to march, single file, down Elm. Ten blocks. “Anyone who stops or turns around before then gets a motherfucking bullet to the motherfucking skull.” Team members were already disabling the government vehicles, packing up their weapons in the nearby suburbans, and helping the Hardcastles gather up essentials for their new, temporary exile from lawful society.
One of the government men, looking much less menacing after having his helmet removed, shot Morrow and the rest a withering look. “We’ll find you. None of you will get away with this. You’ll all be arrested and sent to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison for the rest of your fucking lives.”
Avi replied before any other team member could speak, “I don’t think so. When these,” he yanked a thumb back to indicate the half dozen handhelds still recording the whole encounter, “hit the ‘net you’re gonna have a lot more to worry about than just us. After tonight people all over the country will realize they don’t have to be afraid. They don’t have to cower behind their doors waiting for your knock. You think our group’s a problem? Wait ’till there’s a hundred of them in every city. We outnumber you, we’re as well armed as you, and now everybody will know what you plan to do to enforce the President’s laws. Are you willing to turn this country into a war zone just to deprive us of the right to defend ourselves?”
The other man spluttered, looking for words, “You nuts are fucking insane! These laws were passed by our government!” Laughter. Not the reaction he was looking for. His face turned bright red, “Who the hell do you think you are?”
Avi stepped back and spread his arms to take in the sixty other team members nearby, the neighborhood, the city, the whole country, “We’re the new American revolution, motherfucker, and we are legion.”
The author originally emailed me and asked for feedback. I had the following to say:
“It’s interesting: my thoughts are that the scenario that you describe could work. It’s all a question of degree – to what extent and scale are these raids going on? If its like Boston then there will hundreds of these goons on the streets. It would work against small LE raids without immediate QRF support – you do mention the placement of cut-off/intercept groups to protect your teams against the imminent QRF.
Of course, it all a question of scale If we go into a full scale civil war then remaining at home and mutually supporting each other like this will not work – that is the time to move out into the woods as a full resistance group, with your auxiliary team/support network working back among society to providing info/intelligence. Much as I write it in ‘Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises’ I guess.
I think a response such as this would work once or twice. You would then find LE either thinking twice about doing any of these raids, but more likely they will not quit and will come back full force. I would predict that they would ask for more resources, probably federal, and allocate more assets. Next time they would have flank protection and air assets. They would not be purely focused on the target house, but looking outwards to protect their perimeter. This would make doing the same thing again difficult. If I was the security forces I would move in, establish a perimeter, and then conduct my raids. I would have air assets up to track any Patriot forces responding.
That is where the rub comes – if they have air assets up, such as drones, they will track you back to you home base after you have completed the operation, and come after you at home.
That goes back to my points on my blog about not conducting resistance operations to tyrannical government out of your own home, with your family present. You have to remove yourself and your family out to some safe location, and then conduct your operations.
Its a good piece, well written. These are my initial tactical thoughts.”
To which the author responded:
“I agree, not a tactic that is easily repeatable, and something for early-stage resistance, rather than later (to give the tyrants pause, perhaps). I envision the government initially trying to do these raids in a very hush hush, under the rug sort of way, which would limit air assets and setting up perimeters, though with the example of Boston that might not be how it goes down.”