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Chamblee: Offers for weaponry, threats, harassment, intimidation ... bring it on | COMMENTARY

Today, I received another email for tactical gear.

It started with an offer for a “red dot” sight from TacticalGunsOnline.com on Oct. 15.

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Then, just two days later, LoveGunsOnline, using the alias CloakCamOnline, offered me a “concealed camera.”

The next day, an email from GiveMeBullets guaranteed to teach me how to build an AR-308 “off the books.” “That means no paper work. No serial number. And 100% legally,” it promised.

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GunsAndStuff.com offered to ship me a free double-sided shoulder holster on Oct. 20.

Gunsandgear wanted to give me a military-grade Humvee. GetFirearmTraining had an offer for a double-shoulder holster that used the same photo as GunsandStuff. Countrywideconcealed wanted me to click for a free Raptor Claw Karambit Knife. That was Oct. 22

That same day, gearandguns.club promised me a downloadable concealed carry permit “without having to expose my personal information.” Countrywideconcealed was back with a “one-of-a-kind program showing you how to build your own 10/22 break-down style survival rifle, completely off the books. That means no paper work. No serial number. And 100% legally.”

It’s actually a mistake for me to say it started with these emails. My husband was murdered in the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom in 2018 and soon thereafter I began to garner publicity for speaking out against the many easy ways for dangerous, unqualified people to obtain guns. Soon a group of extremists rallying around an insurrectionist cry of “We Will Not Comply” found my home address. They sent me photographs of armed men pointing military-style weapons at me. They wanted me to know that they knew where I lived.

Police said the mailings weren’t considered a threat or harassment because the sender was experienced in terrorism enough to know not to include threatening text with the photos.

Three hours after We Will Not Comply posted my address in their Facebook group, burglars showed up at my front door. My security camera, purchased during my jury service for an MS-13 criminal trial, wasn’t needed for the infamous gangs. That night, it caught burglars complaining about my “junk” that wasn’t worth stealing. Facebook finally took down the group page, not for publishing the name, photo and address of me and other shooting survivors, but for impersonating a government agency.

Someone also had me added to the mailing list of the NRA. I managed to have my name removed, only to have it added back again. I wrote to the NRA and received a disingenuous letter from their lawyer stating that the NRA “would never” support intimidation tactics. Meanwhile, NRA-TV showed programs calling for private militias to violently take over public streets. The lawyer promised not to allow me to be added again.

Yet, again, it’s a mistake for me to say it started with these posts and mailings. One day when I arrived at the Maryland statehouse to explain a proposed law that would criminalize selling rifles and shotguns to disqualified people, I saw signs beside the sidewalk. Some were standing up. Others were in piles, and some were scattered over public property. No one was nearby, so I picked up a sign that was cluttering the sidewalk and carried it to a trash can. A man exited his illegally parked car and ran over.

“That’s my sign,” he said.

“No,” I said. “It’s litter You’re a ... litterbug!” I broke the sign in two and put it in the trash.

He began to follow me inside. I turned.

“What are you going to do to me?” I demanded. “Murder my family? You’re too late.”

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I turned on my heels and walked inside.

That’s when it started.

This summer, I sold the house I had lived in with my husband for 34 years. I auctioned off most of the contents. I donated the rest to charity. I have a new address now. They haven’t found where. But now they have found my email address. And I have 13 more offers for “free” guns, ammunition and accessories.

Bring it on.

Andrea Chamblee is the widow of Capital Gazette reporter John McNamara, who was murdered on June 28, 2018, when five staff members were killed in a shooting. She is co-author with him and David Elfin of “The Capital of Basketball.” She writes from the pastoral splendor that is near the Howard and Carroll county line, with no fire hydrant within range. She can be reached on Twitter @AndreaChamblee.

For any member of the community who would like to submit a guest community voices column for publication consideration, it should be approximately 700 words and sent to bob.blubaugh@carrollcountytimes.com.

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