Bracken, Matthew. Enemies Foreign and Domestic. Orange Park, FL: Steelcutter Publishing, [2003] 2008. ISBN 978-0-9728310-1-7.
This is one of those books, like John Ross's Unintended Consequences and Vince Flynn's Term Limits in which a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism committed by the Federal Government of the United States finally pushes liberty-loving citizens to exercise “their right, … their duty, to throw off such Government” even if doing so requires the tree of liberty to be refreshed “with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.

In this novel a massacre at a football stadium which occurs under highly dubious circumstances serves as the pretext for a draconian ban on semiautomatic weapons, with immediate confiscation and harsh penalties for non-compliance. This is a step too far for a diverse collection of individuals who believe the Second Amendment to be the ultimate bastion against tyranny, and a government which abridges it to be illegitimate by that very act. Individually, they begin to take action, and what amounts to a low grade civil war begins to break out in the Tidewater region of Virgina, with government provocateurs from a rogue federal agency of jackbooted thugs (as opposed to the jackbooted thugs of other agencies which are “just following orders”) perpetrating their own atrocities, which are then used to justify even more restrictions on the individual right to bear arms, including a ban on telescopic sights (dubbed “sniper rifles”), transportation of weapons in automobiles, and random vehicle stop checkpoints searching for and confiscating firearms.

As the situation spirals increasingly out of control, entrepreneurial jackbooted thugs exploit it to gain power and funding for themselves, and the individuals resisting them come into contact with one another and begin to put the pieces together and understand who is responsible and why a federal law enforcement agency is committing domestic terrorism. Then it's payback time.

This novel is just superbly written. It contains a wealth of detail, all of it carefully researched and accurate. I only noted a couple of typos and factual goofs. The characters are complex, realistically flawed, and develop as the story unfolds. This is a thriller, not a political tract, and it will keep you turning the pages until the very end, while thinking about what you would do when liberty is on the line.

Excerpts from the book are available online at the author's Web site.

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