I read with great amusement your article about the number of Americans who cannot conceive of their government acting nefariously against them ["Will America revolt over gun confiscation?"].
I lived in Los Angeles during the Watts riots, and although residing in Los Angeles in a quiet 100 percent residential area at least two miles from the nearest unrest and NOT in Watts, we were, for the initial three days, within the government-outlined radius of the riots.
I will never forget! Our home was across the street from a junior high school the national guard used to house soldiers and that also was used as a fortress. The military came in on a Saturday night just about dusk. There were tanks rolling up and down our street with bull horns shouting out “You are under martial law. You have no rights. You must remain in your houses. Anyone found on the street will be shot! Repeat, you will be shot if you are found on the street.”
Our next-door neighbor was in our house at the time and had to get back to his house. There was no way to ask for permission to do that. He finally decided to hide in the bushes between the two homes and to make a run for it when the tanks left. I was terrorized, but he made it.
The next morning, Sunday, we got dressed to attend Mass. (We were allowed to leave our homes in daylight.). There were machine guns mounted on every third window sill in the school across the street and armed guards around the campus. There were police cars driving all around and could stop and detain anyone for any reason. My 7-year-old brother went to the market to purchase milk and was stopped by the police demanding to know what was in the paper bag. He showed them that it was a purchased carton of milk and they let him go.
Joseph, this is what the government can do. It happened fast and they had enough fire power to kill us all. They could have easily come house to house and taken whatever they wanted to take and done whatever they wanted to do – all of our rights were suspended. Had they shot and killed anyone for fun there would be no legal recourse.