1. the "ranch and home" store sits just south of the washington--oregon border, with walla walla about 6 miles north in washington, and milton freewater about 6 miles or so south of the border. pendleton, oregon is about 30 miles more or less south of milton.
walla walla has about 25,000 residents, milton freewater may be 5,000 strong, and pendleton about 15,000 hardy souls living there. you can go a fair distance from these little towns and not find too many other inhabitants, ... , there's a lot of "here," out here. (the tri-cities are 40 miles west on the confluences of the columbia w/ the snake, yakima and walla walla rivers, but not much in any direction after them, either.)
i walked into the "ranch and home" about 3.00 p.m. the day after nancy pelosi made her infamous remark about "assault magazines." the clerk behind the counter in the gun department told me that they had sold 40 rifles that day, with about 35 of them being ar-15's of one brand or another. they had five or six left on the display shelves, and no more in stock.
they had also completely sold out of "assault magazines." not a one was left on display, not a one left "out back."
if you think this is an isolated instance in an isolated backwater of the country, you would be wrong. try to order anything over the internet having to do with an ar-15 rifle, or accessory.
these things are not to be had right now.
2.) now, the significance of this may be lost upon you at first glance.
when people refer to federal employees, of any stripe, it is not by saying "... my sister's boy joe is an f.b.i. agent." rather, they are referred to as "them," or "they" or "'em."
they are no longer part of "us." they are "them."
they are not respected adversaries, they are simply adversary.
the psychological distancing which makes them enemies is complete, in other words.
3.) the two matters related above are not unrelated. they are part and parcel of the same thing.
you may think that i am a little impolitic.
you simply don't know my friends, if you think i am a little radical. they are tough people, they've lived hard lives, and they haven't feasted on the plenty of their city cousins, but have chosen their hard lot because they like it here, and they like the life. (hint: we don't have a lot of people here who buy $1500 suits and $600 shoes. if you don't like pressed levi's and stetson's, ... , well, who cares?)
these people have never run. the soldiers in the u.s. military come from here, if you understand what i mean. the kids who go off to war to test their mettle.
john jay @ 12.22.2012