Our government is comprised of the people, a neighbor elected by our neighborhood, not to be shielded and insulated from a public they supposedly serve.
Three years ago, as I was getting ready to celebrate freedom and liberty on Independence Day, picture this: my next door neighbor came over and told me they weren’t going to allow me to possess my magazines that held over 10 rounds anymore, and that they were going to make me surrender or destroy them.
This neighbor then told me they weren’t going to allow me to lend my firearms to my friends or family members if they wanted or needed them for whatever lawful purpose.
They said they heard my mini mill in my garage and assumed I was building homemade firearms as a hobby, so they said I couldn’t do that anymore either unless I got their permission first. They’d give me a serial number for every firearm I wanted to build and make me register them, and even if I did that, they wouldn’t allow me to sell or transfer them, even to my kids.
And because my neighbor believes every person who owns a firearm is already irresponsible and careless (who in their right mind would ever own an instrument of death, they told me once), if I ever lost or got my firearms stolen, I’d be required to tell my neighbors within 5 days.
As I picked up the box of bulk ammo left on my porch by UPS, they said they weren’t going to let me do that anymore either. If I wanted to get ammo, I’d have to buy it in person at a store that has a special ammo license, and they’d require me to pay for and go through a background check each and every time I bought ammo.
Plus, my neighbor said they would keep a record of every one of my ammo transaction in their own personal database that included what day I bought the ammo, the quantity, the type (so they’d know what kind of guns I have), my drivers license, my full name and signature, my date of birth, and my home address and phone number.
Then the kicker... my neighbor didn’t know if I owned any “evil black rifles” that were in compliance with another demand this neighbor made back in 1999, but they suspected I did. They said if I had any and wanted to keep them, I’d have to register them as “assault weapons” and put my name on a registered owner list. But if my firearms and I were on that list, my neighbor said I could never sell these firearms to anyone within the state, nor could I give or bequeath them to my children if they still lived here. In fact, if I died, my neighbor said they’d confiscate them or require my children to sell them out of state. And if I didn’t own any now, my neighbor would never allow me to own any in the future.
And if I owned any but didn’t put my name on that list, or didn’t allow myself to be put on the ammo list, or didn’t listen to anything else my neighbor ordered me to do, they would pay my other neighbors (who they exempted from these demands) to steal my money, my firearms, and my magazines, and/or kidnap me and put me in a cage for however long they decide. And if I tried to defend myself from being kidnapped or having my money or property stolen, they would murder me.
Naturally, I took these demands and threats from my neighbor seriously and personally, Assembly Member Marc Levine. This neighbor was a California state legislator after all, dozens of them in fact, and while they believe they’re irreproachable, they are not some distant royalty tucked away from their subjects while they issue decrees.
Our government is comprised of the people, a neighbor elected by our neighborhood, not to be shielded and insulated from a public they supposedly serve. I wanted to get their attention and remind them that they still have to live amongst those they threaten while in Sacramento, and they are equal to us.
I thought if they were going to put me and others like me on a list, I was going to put them on a list. So, I created my own personal database, the Tyrant Registry, with the names, home addresses, and phone numbers of every neighbor who threatened their neighbors with lawful theft, kidnapping, imprisonment, or murder. It was a public safety notice to let our neighbors know there were those among us who would threaten us and enforce their threats against us under the cover of law. And I posted it online and shared it with my fellow neighbors who would be threatened by these tyrants as a protest against their tyranny.
“But that’s doxxing!” you say. It’s no more doxxing than looking in the phone book; all their information was easily found in other online publications. And besides, these are our neighbors representing us; we should already know who they are and where they live. If you didn’t, no wonder they believe they rule you from afar.
And they should know what their laws are doing to their otherwise innocent, non-violent neighbors when they criminalize our possessions and victimless liberties.
Things took an ironic turn when they said that simply the existence of my list constituted a threat against them while they actually threatened me and others with state sanctioned violence, and proceeded to threaten the online publisher to remove my protest, citing a California law banning the posting of government officials’ information online. The publisher complied.
These neighbors also threatened an out of state online forum operator to remove a post about the Tyrant Registry, a post made by someone else who was also out of state. They too complied.
It was then that I contacted my friends in a civil rights organization of which I’m a member, Firearms Policy Coalition, for advice on what I should do about this violation of my free speech right to protest. Seeing that I only posted truthful information without any “true threat” against my tyrant neighbors, they took my case to federal court and won.
While the law banning the online posting of truthful information (names, addresses, phone numbers) was blocked from being enforced by the courts, the laws that inspired the Tyrant Registry are still very much enforceable against peaceful non-violent current and future gun owners. Therefore, the Tyrant Registry will continue to exist.
I’m not merely an antagonist though; I propose an alternative. Decriminalize our possessions and victimless liberties, and enact harsher penalties for victimizers and especially for serial victimizers. The longer they’re locked up, the longer they’re not free to victimize innocent people. If they’re too dangerous to have access to a firearm, then they shouldn’t have access to society.
Instead, our elected neighbors have chosen time and again to do the exact opposite, leading to more victims of both crime and injustice.
Whether these neighbors are still elected or not, they will be on this registry unless they remove us from theirs and decriminalize our possessions and liberty. And every subsequent elected neighbor who seeks to deprive us of our liberty and property without due process will be registered as a tyrant.
On July 1, 2019, their database of every ammunition purchase including your name, home address, and phone number went live, and so again did our database of tyrants.