The 4th of July tends to bring out the flag-waving, "my country 'tis of thee," stars and stripes patriot in all of us. But in the days leading up to last week's holiday a whole different breed of "patriot" was taking over.
Thankfully, this group only gained control of my email inbox and not national security, but still, the messages it sent out were comical. And a little alarming considering whoever wrote them actually believed what he typed and also apparently doesn't know the difference between "martial law" and "marital law."
By way of background, I received dozens of emails last week from a group called "The Patriot Survival Group" who warned me of martial law and instructed me to purchase my survival guidebook, as well as a number of unregistered firearms, pronto. In fact, it might already be too late!
The emails arrived daily and read in part: "Martial law has gotten dangerously close. Right now, we're literally just seconds from having the feds knock down our doors They forced us to build this Nazi tyranny for them. Call today to purchase your survival guide. We'll even help you secure weapons to fight the feds."
I waited a few seconds, and no feds came to my door. So the author also doesn't use the word "literally" correctly, either.
Yes, I realize this is largely the spam of a psychopath, but I was still pretty curious about how I could get my hands on a grenade and also how on earth my email address ended up in their database. So I called the company for kicks.
I explained to the person who answered the phone that just because I still have an AOL address, doesn't mean I'm a "don't tread on me" disciple. He very emphatically told me I should be heavily armed, gave me a list of the bare minimum I should own in terms of assault rifles (one for each window and door in my house), quickly followed by a sales pitch that if I purchase them all today, he'd give me a 15 percent discount.
I figured this guy couldn't shoot me over the phone, so I casually mentioned the Second Amendment and that I favor regulating many of the things he sells. Which he told me was unconstitutional. That's the thing I love most about gun nuts. They're all constitutional experts on the side.
Maybe it was the mimosa I had for breakfast Saturday morning, or the irony of the whole thing, but I couldn't help myself -- I instigated.
"Did you know the Second Amendment actually mentions the words 'well regulated'" I asked. "It doesn't says anything about being well armed, just well regulated," I further informed him.
I got the feeling I was not his typical caller and I'm pretty sure he pooped a bullet when I said, "Here's the thing, sir. Personally, I prefer my well-regulated militia to go by names like: Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force. Not Jim Bob, Bubba and Skeeter. At some point, my right not to get shot trumps anyone else's right to own a gun. But feel free to buy, bear and sell all the muskets you want, since those were the guns our founding fathers had access to when writing the Constitution."
And then I asked him to kindly remove me from his email list. To which he replied "You need one of them liberal hippie emails. Like from the Google."
So apparently having a Gmail address is part of the liberal conspiracy now.
I don't know what prompted me to call the number instead of just deleting the email. Maybe all the fireworks left me feeling feisty. Or maybe I just think you can be patriotic without owning a military-style assault weapon.
Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley.