It was no dark and stormy night. It could not have been, for Ebenezer would otherwise had been much more alert and on guard. The only things stirring outside were the familiar wind, the autumn leaves, and the malevolent designs of an uninvited guest.
As Sara closed down the house for the night, Ebenezer was making his rounds, tucking in his children one by one. He began with the eldest, Horatio, whose bravery and marksmanship earlier that week had single-handedly saved the herd and won the family three of the most prized pelts the county had seen in their generation. His father’s face still beamed with pride as he moved on to his second, Ephraim, who, was blessed with a vocal acuity that had already earned him renown for his ability to sing as dulcetly as he could carry a message from one hamlet to the other without taking a step—but everyone was also aware of his running prowess, as well. Third and last was little Abigail, who was already being tended to by her mother; the sight of the two loveliest of creatures was simply too wonderful for Ebenezer to put into words.
A second-generation immigrant, Ebenezer had grown weary of the depressing influences of the city and had ventured west with the simple goal of living free. The desire to dwell, as his ancestors, in the hills was strong in him, so he did not stop traveling until he had reached a modestly mountainous region, happily populated with a few like-minded native dwellers who welcomed him to their small community. His self-sufficient independence earned him much respect among the people and won him the heart of the blacksmith’s daughter, Sara. They were wed five years to the day of his arrival, and produced the three children mentioned above in the next seven. The independence by which Ebenezer lived would be put to the test on this night of his twentieth year in the mountains.
Suddenly, and in precise compliance with his training (and not a little instinct), the voice of Ephraim was heard, obviously on the very loud setting, “MOMMY!” He had seen through the slightly ajar doorway to his room, a shape moving away from a window that had been left open, curtains blowing as they never normally would at this time of the year. Ebenezer, in the same instant, scolded himself, pulled the shotgun from beneath Abigail’s crib, and handed it to Sara before jumping into the master bedroom to prepare himself for battle. The shadowy shape immediately knew the jig was up and that he had to act fast, just in case there were more than the loud voice and its mother to deal with. To his great misfortune, there were.
Making his way swiftly toward where he though was an eight-year-old boy’s room, he was brought to a sudden and complete stop by the unmistakable sound of a hand-held firearm being prepared to fire, and the sound did not come from a distance of any more than a span. The image of what modern observers might describe as a pre-pubescent Clint Eastwood—yet with the concentration and scowl of the middle-aged version of the same—materialized before him; and between he and the focused, young subject was the remarkably steady business end of a Colt 45 (or other handgun to be named later), open for business. But where was that accursed light originating? “Hold your fire, boy.” The intruder needn’t have wondered long about that as the soft but urgent whisper of a grown and angry man behind him informed him that he had indeed selected the wrong house to invade. Ebenezer, brandishing a lantern and a hatchet, mercifully turned backwards, loomed behind him and ended the intruder’s short-lived venture with one well-placed stroke.
What, if any, is the role of the state on the issue of illegal immigration? It is often bandied about that the state and local police should butt out of it because it’s a federal issue. To that I say, Nuts!
Consider, in the above story, that Ebenezer is a type of the federal government, and his children types of the states. Like the federal government, it is the responsibility of the father to guard and defend the whole of the property from intruders, whether they intend to steal, kill, destroy, or even get a job…the law of the house is clearly posted: “No Trespassing, period.” (or, as I’ve stated earlier somewhere, “…comma, ‘period,’ period”). It’s clearly within reason for the reader to infer that the rules of the house are that no one is allowed—whether a member of the family or otherwise—to steal, kill, or destroy anything either in the house or on the premises except in self-defense. From time to time, there will be crafty scoundrels who thwart the father’s effort to keep them out. When such scoundrels do make it into one of the boys’ rooms, he will then have to deal with at least one of the boys…in addition to the holy hell that is still overdue in coming down upon his head by the hand of the father.
But in a world where the father does nothing to stop the intrusion, the boys are free to handle the intruder as meanly as they see fit, which is not necessarily as humanely as the more attentive father might have been (instead of a mere debilitating shot to the knees, the boy might miss the knees and hit—or deliberately aim for—the crotch or the temple).
And then, go on to consider what abject injustice it would have been for the father to suddenly take the gun out of his own son’s hand just as the intruder is about to do untold evil either to him or his mother, scolding the boy for being racist.
As per usual, kind reader, your comments are more than welcome—they are requested.