Q: What brought you here?
A: The rally. (Try a less dumb question, Don.)
Q: Did you travel a long way?
A: From Easton, a little far out. It’s country out there, the backwoods, not all that many people where I live.
Q: Did you come with anyone?
A: No, just myself.
Q: How’d you hear about the rally?
A: I saw a story in the newspaper.
Q: Are you affiliated with one of the groups?
Q: I know Easton. Pretty out there. (He nods, taking my measure. I lived for a bit in Redding. Went to school in Danbury, lived in Bethel. Maybe I wasn’t a snoop after all. He began to relax.) You own a gun?
A: A rifle. Have to. I bought it after those murders in Cheshire. We live so deep in the woods it would take forever for the police to respond, if anything happened. That woke me up (the Cheshire murders.) You have to depend on yourself.
Q: Yeah, it was pretty awful. You probably had a gun as a kid.
A: They came in, beat him over the head with a bat, raped his wife, his daughter, set their house on fire, murdered everyone but the doctor… I forgot his name.
Q: Petit. (He nodded. There was a rustling at the microphones. The event was beginning.)
A: When I was a kid, I had a bolt action 22. Nothing after that until Cheshire.
Q: What do you have now?
A: (Uneasily) Semi-automatic.
Q: That’ll do it.
Before the first speaker mounted the rostrum, Mr. Easton said hurriedly he was not against rational gun controls. But unless the state was prepared to put a policeman at the end of his driveway, he needed his rifle.