by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
The first time I encountered talk of 'domestic terrorism' was in September, 2007. This was not what I expected at the monthly meeting of my local National Federation of Republican Women's Chapter in Porterville, California.
The luncheon was catered, featuring a tasty chicken salad. The ladies at my table chatted about local elections, the local women's club, and church activities as we caught up with personal stories and shared photos of our children and grandchildren.
I had not paid any attention to who was to speak for the program, which always took place after lunch. Having been a program chairman any number of times myself I knew it would not be anyone from the 'A' list.
Just as I was about to ask a shortish, uniformed fellow walked into the room. His gestures strongly suggested he was to be our speaker. His topic, I soon learned, was how law enforcement copes with gang activity. Settling back into my seat I sighed, prepared to listen politely but not with great interest.
Using his tipsy screen, which would not stay put, the lecture was illustrated with nasty looking tattoos, strange hair-dos and sad looking young people.
This changed about a third of the way through the Deputy Sheriff's remarks. Having dealt with the problems of graffiti, chronic absences from school, petty larceny and drug dealing the officer moved on to the heavier stuff.
The real problem, he told us, was domestic terrorists. He went on to enthusiastically describe how these groups and individuals could be identified.
I sat up, attention riveted. The ladies around me were looking at him quizzically, too. It seems domestic terrorists were likely to be found carrying around copies of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and even the Declaration of Independence. They had also been known to own and use guns.
I looked in my purse. There was my little booklet which included the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The chat at our table earlier had included pictures of grandchildren proudly displaying the deer they had shot. Were Elvira's grandkids domestic terrorists?
The ladies were polite, clapping when the Deputy finished talking. Few questions were asked. Of course, it seemed like no questions were really necessary.
Federated Women is a hotbed of Domestic Terrorism. Strange. I thought I was a Patriot. Oops, that is another word for terrorist, isn't it?