Emergency Responder: 9-1-1. What’s your emergency?
Caller: Hello? Hi… yes… I’d like to file one of those emergency risk thingies.... umm… one of those red flag thinga-ma-bobbers. I forget what they are called.
No, ERPO stands for Extreme Risk Protection Order.
An ERPO allows you to file an affidavit against somebody who you suspect to be a threat to themselves and others. Then, a judge will decide whether or not to send police to take away this individual’s guns—even before they have been charged with a crime.
Yes! That’s it. One of those. I know somebody who is heavily armed and threatening the safety of my family and neighbors.
Ok. Is this individual a family member or relative?
Heavens, no. With a friend like that, who would need enemies, right?
Then what is your relationship to the person in question?
They have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Definitely since the cradle; hopefully not until the grave, but, at this rate, they most likely will be the death of me.
Ok. Can you please spare me the dramatic suspense. Who is this person?
I’m afraid to tell you. Because I think you’re in cahoots with them.
Me? Cahoots? Is this a prank call? May I remind you that prank calling 9-1-1 is against the...
No. I’m dead serious. Well… I’m serious. We shall see about the other half.
If you’re not going to say a name, then I am going to have to…
The government! Ok. There—are you happy? The government, that’s who.
Oooooooooooookkkaaaaaay. *spins finger near head, silently mouths “coo-coo” to neighboring cubicle*
Hey! I saw that.
Sorry. I forgot you can read my words and actions. Anywho… sir, are you currently breaking the law?
This feels like a trap. Am I being detained?
No, sir. You’re not being… ugh… I am just trying to make the point that if you are not breaking the law, then you don’t have anything to worry about.
No way. Every law is backed by the real or implied use of violence.
Sir, I think you’re being a bit extreme. The government is not currently threatening you.
Not threatening me? Do you know how big the government’s arsenal is?
Well, sure. Our military and law enforcement officers keep us safe with those weapons.
Forget the military and law enforcement. I’m talking about government agencies that are supposedly not militarized. The IRS owns over over 4,600 guns and 5 million rounds. Health and Human Services has about 1,300 guns and 5 million rounds. Social Security has over 3,000 rounds per agent. The Department of Agriculture, Railroad Retirement Board, Tennessee Valley Authority, Office of Personnel Management, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—all have heavily armed SWAT teams backed by similarly sized stockpiles. I could go on and on. But hopefully I made my point. ***
Oh, really? So let me get this straight: Not only is the government so incredibly armed, but you also want us to take all of those arms away from it?
I mean… yeah… if that is doable. But if the government is like me, it’s probably hiding how many weapons it actually owns. I wouldn’t be surprised if they reported losing a bunch of them during a boating accident.
Sounds like somebody has been watching a little too much Infowars.
I’m willing to bet that your office has a bunch of hidden ammo stockpiles too.
That’s ridiculous. Why would emergency responders need that much ammo?
Open the top drawer of your desk and tell me what you see. I’ll wait.
Holy shit! Where did all of these .223 rounds come from? I’ve worked here for years, and never noticed this. I thought that I just had pushpins and sticky notes in here.
See?! I told you so. Now go open the fridge in your break room.
*sound of hurried footsteps fading in and out*
Double-holy-shit! There was nothing but shotgun shells. I even opened up my lunch bag, and a bunch of flashbang grenades fell out. I’m afraid to see what’s in the bathroom.
So now do you believe me?
Oh, yes—most definitely! Actually, I’m not certain that I feel safe at the moment.
Actually… this might seem a little forward of me… but… can I lay low at your place for a while?
Uh… no offense, but you work for the government. How do I know I can trust you?
Well, why did you call us in the first place?
Fair point. I’ll text you my address. Can I use this number?
This number? You mean 9-1-1?
Yeah. That’s your phone number, right?
Umm. Never mind. Maybe I am better off finding another place to stay.
Suit yourself. Maybe I’ll see you at the courthouse when I file my affidavit. Godspeed.
*hangs up phone*