It only took 13 seconds to kill four Americans and wound nine more.
13 seconds. That's it.
But make no mistake about it; those 13 seconds of tyranny and bloodshed would ultimately go down as one of the worst domestic terror events in United States history.
I'm not talking about the World Trade Center tragedy, or the recent Boston bombing... and I'm not talking about any attack on U.S. interests by Islamic radicals, or mentally unstable teenagers with chips on their shoulders, either...
I'm talking about a massacre that actually started with one undercover FBI agent and a snub-nosed revolver... and ended with 29 members of the U.S. National Guard indiscriminately firing M1 rifles into a crowd of students — some of which were protesting U.S. involvement in a very unpopular war, and some of which were simply walking to class.
My friends, last Saturday was the 43rd anniversary of the Kent State shootings.
A very dark day in our nation's history, the Kent State massacre has been well-documented over the years.
And it has served as an uncomfortable yet necessary reminder that it doesn't take much for liberty to be stolen by the hands of evil.
Will it happen again?
I first learned about the Kent State shootings while thumbing through our encyclopedias on a rainy afternoon in the early 1980s. I was about 12 years old at the time, and I often found a cure for boredom and restlessness in the glossy pages of my father's encyclopedia set.
At the time, I didn't fully understand the magnitude of that event... but as I got older — and particularly after I was exposed to it again during my senior year of high school — I started to comprehend the horrors of that day.
Quite frankly, it's because of the Kent State massacre that I find myself so critical of any government agendas today that even hint at the possibility of repeating something so horrible. Because certainly, we can never let such a tragedy unfold again.
The question, however, is what are we doing today to ensure the government doesn't open fire on us again — simply for exercising our Constitutional rights?
If you love liberty, you may be a terrorist
Last week, as many of us briefly took a moment to remember the victims of the Kent State shootings, the government was hard at work on a plan that would allow a tragedy like Kent State to not only happen again, but on a much larger scale — and without any accountability.
As I mentioned a few months ago, according to an uncovered memo, a Justice Department white paper argued that the government now has the right to kill any American citizen the government believes is affiliated with a terrorist organization.
My friends, those who criticized the war in Vietnam were labeled as "terrorists" by the FBI.
And today, according to a law enforcement report from the Missouri Information Analysis Center, those who choose the label libertarian, support Ron Paul, or share movies about the Federal Reserve are terrorists.
As well, both the Justice Department and the FBI have identified those having more than a seven-day supply of stored food as being potential terrorist threats.
Even Vice President Joe Biden has equated Tea Parter supporters with terrorists.
So it's quite easy for the government to either view me as a terrorist, or see me as aligned with a terrorist organization. I don't know about you, but that scares the sh** out of me. And any person who remembers Kent State should be very nervous, too.
Attorney Hina Shamsi, who works to ensure that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights, hit the nail on the head when she recently wrote:
This is a profoundly disturbing document, and it's hard to believe that it was produced in a democracy built on a system of checks and balances. It summarizes in cold legal terms a stunning overreach of executive authority — the claimed power to declare Americans a threat and kill them far from a recognized battlefield and without any judicial involvement before or after the fact.
But wait, there's more!
Last month we found out that the Department of Homeland Security has been undergoing testing drills on a new fleet of drones that can determine whether or not an individual is armed...
Essentially this means if you have a firearm in your home, these drones could sniff it out.
Not only would the use of these drones on American citizens violate the Fourth Amendment, as these would certainly be considered unlawful searches, but it's yet another way for the Washington machine to harass law-abiding gun owners.
This isn't a science fiction movie, folks. This is the real deal, and it's going down right now.
I tell ya, we certainly have come far from the days of Kent State...
Not only have our personal liberties become more threatened over the past 40 years, but the ability of the government to randomly murder American citizens has increased dramatically.
Folks, you know the drill: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
43 years ago, those unarmed college students at Kent State were murdered. Plain and simple. We know what happened.
So are we really just going to sit by while the government gears up again for another massacre?
If we do, then we really don't deserve the gift of liberty.
Live honorably, live free...
Jeff Siegel for Freedom Watch