The push-back came from an unexpected person: Vince.
“You aren’t going to do ANYTHING to protect the neighborhood?” he asked in disbelief.
“I am not stopping anybody in the neighborhood from protecting their own house just like you protected yours” I said.
“Yeah, but they are helpless” Vince objected.
“No they aren’t. I have had hundreds of conversations with them or people just like them. They are sure the police will protect them” I said.
Vince looked at me with scorn. “Yeah. Right. The cops don’t come out at night.”
“No argument from me” I said with no guile in my face. “That means that the perps need to be pinned down until the sun rises. Then the cops will come out and book them.”
“If things go the way things have always gone then the perps were back home by 8:00 in the morning with $500 in their pockets and a big McGreasy breakfast in their tummy” I said.
“The way to cave in the Marxists is to make them feel like they have been betrayed by their leaders. Break their social contract. Keep them in the neighborhood until daybreak. Anybody gets out...don’t let them get back in, especially with food. Get somebody with a bullhorn and tell them they can WALK out” I said.
Vince mulled the picture over in his head. “No McGreasy breakfasts? That is going to go over like a turd in the punch-bowl.”
“Nope. These people don’t think ahead. If some brought a little bit of food so much the better. They can fight over it. Give the damned Marxist a preview of their future utopia” I said. “Going every where on shanks-mare and going hungry and going thirsty. We will see how good their leaders are at shitting food out of thin air.”
“You are still leaving the neighborhood unguarded” Vince accused me. Clearly, he bought the idea of stranding the ‘demonstrators’ in the High School parking lot and along Verlinden Avenue.
Well, that was some progress.
“I am not abandoning them. They can protect themselves” I said.
Vince snorted. “They don’t have any guns.”
“I disagree. I bet half of those houses have a gun somewhere in them. Maybe on the back-shelf up in the attic. Maybe stashed up in the rafters in the basement. Hell, even a paint-ball gun is better than nothing.”
“No ammo” Vince said, smugly.
“Half of them are 12 gauge shotguns. Most of the rest are .22 rimfire” I speculated.
I knew for a fact that Vince had just purchased a case of 12 gauge shells. They were #8 shot because he planned to shoot clay birds with them. Never-the-less, nobody wants to get hit in the face with any size shot.
“Tell you what. I have a brick of .22 Long Rifle ammo in the truck and a box of 20 gauge shells. I will donate them as seed-stock.”
“Seed-stock for what?” Vince asked.
“Trading” I said. “Put out on social media that you found a few bullets in your garage and want to give them away. Tell them to PM you. Ask them what they have to trade and then tell them these are the last ten you have.”
Vince shook his head. “Zark Muckerberg will shut me down in a heartbeat.”
I looked at the sun. “We only have about six hours before sunset. Do you think he will shut you down before then?”
Speaking of which “So, Vince...do you and Sharon know where you are spending tonight?” I asked.
“Maybe your place?” he asked, looking at me with a sidelong glance.
“Done” I said.
“Were you able to convince Ruth to bail out” I asked.
“Nope. She is going to ride it out. The girls think it is some kind of party. I think they are planning on joining the demonstrators.” Vince said.
“Did you talk to them?” I asked. I simply could not believe…
Then my phone rang. It was my daughter, Grace.
Oh, crap. She only called me ‘Daddy’ when she wanted something or was about to tell me something she knew I would not like.
“Whaaattt?” I drawled back, cautiously.
“I am coming into Lansing and was wondering if there was anything you need from home?” my beautiful, brilliant, clueless daughter asked me.
“Why are you coming to Lansing?” I asked, heart filled with fear and trepidation.
“Dryad and Psylla invited me to join them in the BLM demonstrations tonight” my daughter proudly informed me.
Good God in heaven. Whatever possessed Jamie to saddle his daughters with those names.
“I cannot forbid you to join the demonstrations but I suggest you find another place to live afterward” I informed her.
I heard the gasp of indrawn breath. “You wouldn’t dare!”
“Put your mom on the phone” I said.
Clearly, based on how she started the conversation out with “...Daddy...” she did not expect the information to go well.
A few seconds later, my wife, my rock and sanctuary answered the phone. “What is the problem?” she asked.
“People died here last night. More are going to die tonight. Maybe a lot more” I said. “I just told our daughter that if she insists on participating in this demonstration that she needs to find a new place to live.”
“You didn’t” my wife said.
“This isn’t Selma. This isn’t about voting rights or equality. This is about dominance and subjugation” I said.
“Is it really that bad?” she asked. She knew I was a pessimist.
“It is worse. Ten, maybe twenty times worse.” I said.
“We moved Mom to Marie’s house. I invited Vince and Sharon to spend the next few nights at our house” I belatedly informed her.
I heard “Shit!” uttered beneath her breath. I knew the guest bedroom was a mess but did not think Vince or Sharon would care, considering the circumstances.
Cutting to the chase, “So what are our options?” my darling Lizzy asked.
Thinking furiously, I said...”Ask her if she intends to go to the demonstration even if we say ‘No’. If she decides to get stubborn, ask for the keys to OUR car back. She can either walk or get a one-way ride.”
“That is playing hard-ball” Lizzy observed.
“Did you see in the news about the woman who was killed a block from Mom’s house?” I asked. I did not wait for Lizzy’s reply. “The bullet blew up her head. Basically, her neck was a bloody stump. I do not want to get called to the morgue and asked to identify my daughter’s body based on a tattoo and some jewelry. Do you?”
“Point taken” Lizzy responded.
Lizzy was a marvel. On the phone, talking to her women friends, Lizzy could talk for three hours. To me, she could compress a universe of emotion into two words.
I considered the matter handled.