Camp San Luis Obispo
The fire crackled spritely as MAJ Taormina sipped his Jameson gingerly. Cigar smoke still lingered about the high-backed chair and shadowed his furrowed brow.
LTC Eeke paced back and forth between the fire and some dispatches that lay sprawled across an end table, a vape device clutched in his delicate hand.
Speaking to no one in particular, LTC Eeke exclaimed, “What are we going to do about these independent thinkers not falling in line?”
The Major glanced at me.
“Captain… do you have any suggestions for the colonel?”
“What seems to be the problem with independent thought, LTC Eeke?”
LTC Eeke stopped and glared at us.
“Our Governor has laid out directives and not all of the citizens of California are getting in line.”
“You mean people are disagreeing with their elected representatives?”
“Yes! We need to come up with a plan!”
MAJ Taromina smiled slyly.
“How about we put an agent of the State in every home,” he said sarcastically.
“Hmmm… what do you mean?”
“Wait!” I exclaimed in mock horror. “Major… are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?”
“Yes, Captain, a full abrogation of the glorious Third!”
“Oh Major, do tell!”
LTC Eeke stared at us confused.
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“Look,” MAJ Taromina continued, directing his missive at LTC Eeke, “you would agree that the Second Amendment is outdated, archaic, and superfluous, correct?”
LTC Eeke, drawing on his background as a government lawyer and devotee liberal, nodded to MAJ Taromina affirmatively.
“And, I think you would agree that the Fourth Amendment really serves no purpose, other than to thwart legitimate state functions right?”
“Of course!”, LTC Eeke exclaimed sucking on his vape, the scent of mango peach fury emanating from his mouth.
“Well then… why not ignore the Third?”
“Oh, God,” I muttered to myself, knowing that LTC Eeke was being roped into one of Major Taromina’s traps. “This is not going to end well.”
“Look, when citizens realize that a law enforcement officer is driving behind them, do they alter their behavior? Of course they do! They become more aware of their speed, they ensure complete compliance with state law, do they not?”
LTC Eeke nodded approvingly.
“Well, then, if we quartered soldiers in their homes, then one could reasonably surmise a change in behavior. Since privacy is no longer an issue, they would realize the websites they visited could be accessed by the quartered solider, mail could be reviewed, and conversations monitored. Since it would be reasonable to assume that the soldier would be reporting to his superiors on the activities of the host’s home, it would also be reasonable to assume that anti-state behavior would be seriously curtailed.”
“Major, are you suggesting we place police officers in people’s homes?”, I asked with feigned indignation.
“Police officers? Absolutely not! They are just exempted civilians! If we are going to do this correctly, we need to have actual military personnel present in each home. Law enforcement officers could exercise too much discretion. We have a much easier time controlling soldiers.”
“Do you mean that soldiers would end up living in the homes of my neighbors?”, LTC Eeke said looking towards the fire, contemplating.
“Of course, Colonel. We could make sure that soldiers were living in all of your neighbors’ homes. If you know someone that, perhaps, lives close to you that you visit regularly… someone you want to make sure remains private, where those visits would essentially be unmonitored… I am sure we could develop protocols for that.”
“You know, Colonel, maybe we don’t need to actually put soldiers in people’s homes. Maybe we just need to work out a memorandum of understanding with Amazon and Google. We could make them de facto agents of the State, and listen in on people’s devices. Rather than quartering an actual soldier, the family would be quartering “SGT Alexa or Corporal Echo,” I offered.
“Yes… yes that could work!”, he stated with excitement.
“Of course, Colonel, we would have to repeal the Third Amendment.”
“The Third… it makes the quartering of soldiers in people’s homes unconstitutional,” I said leaning back in my chair, the Major smiling at me as he raised his glass of whiskey in a mock toast.
“That’s okay, Captain. I have a direct line to the governor. The Constitution has never stopped us before!”
He immediately pulled out his cell phone and began dialing as he walked out of the Officers’ Club.
“Crap, Major! What have we done?!”
Steven Lieberman and Sandy Lieberman are the owners of the Artemis Defense Institute. A tactical training facility headquartered occupied California. (www.artemishq.com). Mr. Lieberman is also one of the founding partners in the Law Offices of Lieberman and Taormina LLP. Their law firm specializes in use of force, and Second Amendment defense and litigation.