By Mark Walters
Editors Note: AmmoLand News welcomes Mark Walters to our growing list of the best and brightest gun rights commentators, who are watching out for your RKBA.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- With each passing day, I’m beginning to feel fresh again, like a rotten stench washed from my clothing and a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
The reality of the 2016 campaign having ended is just now beginning to sink into my soul.
My sentence is over. I feel as though I had been in some time warp prison, staring out the cellblock windows, waiting for my eight-year stint to end. Suddenly my cell door opens, and I glance down at the hand-carved, primitive calendar I have etched into the walls with my fingernails. It’s really over. “You’re going home,” I’m told. I’m being escorted to a room to pick up my belongings.
After filling out some forms, I am shown the doors to the outside world.
Finally able, I leave the dark, dingy surroundings I’ve become accustomed to and step into the brightness of a warm, sunny day.
That’s when it hits me. What do I do now?
While I hated every minute of my time served, I had slowly accepted my fate and had become comfortable in my surroundings. The reality of suddenly being set free when everyone told me it would never happen is almost overwhelming. I had begun to prepare myself for another parole hearing and another denial that would force me once again, to languish another four years in this hellhole I had become accustomed to, abandoned again as my life slipped away from me, forced by a jury made up of half of my countrymen who unlike me, had fallen prey to the narrative and soaring rhetoric of a false prophet and now possibly, his spawn.
Yes, to be suddenly set free is almost overwhelming, for the rules have changed since my incarceration began eight long years ago.
Gone is the centuries-old structure of the ruling elite. There is a new status quo starting to take shape in molds not yet recognizable, yet I am slowly finding my comfort zone in this new arena. For years I have languished in my prison with no one to talk to but like-minded cellmates, themselves sentenced to the same long, stretch. Boy did I talk, and talk, and talk To whomever would listen. I spoke to as many prisoners as possible to an ever widening audience. An audience made up of those like me who had also been forced by their captors to spend the remainder of their sentences waiting for their next parole hearing.
With the false prophet and his protege vanquished, I am finding my comfort zone, once again. The air is fresh and as the old saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20.” As the fog of the past eight years begins to slowly lift, that rear view mirror is manifesting itself in 4K, high-definition vision. Disastrous, catastrophic, and thankfully over. Now comes the hard part. What do I do?
Putting soliloquy aside, the column title does reflect a legitimate concern. What now? It’s not going to be as easy as you might think. Yes, the chains of the Obama years are over, yes America will begin to breathe again as evidenced by the freshness of the air [and the stock market] since the election but how exactly are some of us going to handle this new found freedom. How do those of us who have written and talked about guns, rights and self-defense pivot away from what had become a daily heaping dose of defensive pie?
How do we handle our new found freedom in the activist, writer, pro-rights, talk radio, self-defense community after all of these years?
I can’t tell anyone else what to do but I know where I’m going. Here comes the sports analogy again. Think of it as playing basketball, the same players on offense one moment, defense the next.
The winner played better on both sides of the ball. That’s what I’m doing. I’m taking control of my narrative. The election is over, dammit and I won.
Now they are going to react to what I want to talk about and should have been able to speak of for the last eight years. I’m going back to the basics, self-defense issues, fixing broken laws [removing bad laws, rules, red tape & ballot initiatives] , focusing on education, training, self-defense laws and making sure what happened over the last eight years never happens again. I will do so by staying on offense and controlling the narrative. We win because we are right.
Sadly, there will be those who simply can’t shake the defensive playbook of the last eight years and will martyr themselves upon the altar of our victory by publicly turning their criticism inward when something isn’t “pro-gun enough” for their liking. This victory will not be enough. Doing so will only feed the trolls and hand ammunition to those we are close to finishing off. I hope I am wrong, but I’m not. We will have disagreements amongst ourselves as we push forward with our hard fought freedom and I’m hopeful we can work together as a family to fix them when they arise. We do so by acting as a family, a husband, and wife who love each other but have the occasional battle; they do so in private not on the front lawn for all the neighbors to see.
Today is a great time, if not the greatest time in American history to be a gun owner, CCW permit holder and gun rights activist. If we lock arms now, tighter than we did to win back our freedom, we will never be defeated again.
About Mark Walters
Mark Walters is the host of two nationally syndicated radio broadcasts, Armed American Radio and Armed American Radio's Daily Defense with Mark Walters. He is the Second Amendment Foundations 2015 Gun Rights Defender of the Year award recipient and co-author of two books, Lessons from Armed America with Kathy Jackson (Whitefeather Press) and Lessons from UnArmed America with Rob Pincus (Whitefeather Press)