Of all the heinous political acts, criminal politicians and destructive pieces of legislation I have witnessed or learned about since my relocation to Connecticut two years ago, the activities I partook in today have caused me the most frustration and uncertainty about the future of our state. Today, along with thousands of hard working law abiding citizens of Connecticut, I took time out of work to stand in a cold somber line and tell the government what firearms I possess.

For us who have been written off by the mainstream in this state as right-wing, gun and bible totin ne’er do wells, time has run out on hopes that a law requiring legal gun owners to declare any “assault weapons” or “high capacity magazines” with state authorities will be overturned. So for the past few days thousands of cops, teachers, farmers, veterans, businessmen and other innocent men and women have flooded mailboxes and the Middletown State Police Barracks with Assault Weapon Certificate Applications, per command of their state legislators.

Many of these legislators, unlike many of the men and women I stood in line with today, have never carried a weapon in defense of themselves or others; yet they somehow possess the intuition to know which weapons should be deemed dangerous. They couldn’t tell you the cycle of operations or maximum effective ranges of these weapons yet they have contrived an image of they feel should be considered an “assault rifle.” Twenty dollars goes to the first legislator who can tell me what AR actually stands for.

Yet there we were, waiting in the freezing cold to be deemed “in compliance” by the government. Standing in line I heard references to the gun grabbing tactics of Stalin and Hitler, and how next the State will be knocking on our doors asking us to surrender our firearms, yet I kept thinking of an analogy used by economist Thomas Sowell to weigh the exchange of security for liberty. After all that’s the essential purpose for this registration fiasco, we have done nothing wrong yet some are afraid of the possibility that an assault weapon we legally own may do harm to somebody somewhere. As if the gun possesses some cosmic potential energy that will cause it to fire at humans on its own whim.

Sowell asked us to consider next time we are asked to spread our feet and raise our hands by a TSA agent, whether or not this is the posture of a freeman.

I’ll put this thought pro forma onto our situation today: We were asked to come to the police station like witnesses or suspects of a crime, forced to remove our belts as done upon intake by a jailer. We rolled our right thumbs in dark ink and were fingerprinted as if being booked for a crime, and then were asked to swear to an affidavit as if under investigation. While there was not a single current law breaker in our lot, we were permanently logged into a system which uses these same techniques to mark and track criminals. Are these the activities of free men?

Many readers may think that this is a mere overreaction or that this is a small price to pay for security. But I feel that I and others with me have been defiled by the government, and a little bit of the hope I still possess for this state, has died.

Andrew is a political science major at CCSU, a project manager at Alternate Tax Solutions and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.