An image of a shooting target — with two bullet holes to the head and five scattered around the chest — serves as a warning to visitors who climb the brick steps and pass the American flag to reach Eric Jensen’s front door.
“If you can read this you’re in range,” the sign says. Another warning, posted near the doorbell, states: “No Solicitation. … This property charges $50 per minute to listen to any vaccine/medical advice.” He ordered that one in 2021, after mobile units offering COVID-19 vaccines began riding through his community outside Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
For years, Jensen had been looking for a way to voice his many grievances, related not just to masks and vaccines but to “transgender bullshit” and library books “trying to convert kids to gay” and other perceived dangers he says his five younger children face in the public school system. (The 65-year-old retiree has four other children who are adults.) Then he found a place where he could finally be heard.
“You gotta start from the bottom and work yourself up,” Jensen said, not long after he reluctantly opened his front door last November. “I mean, you can’t just go to your governors and try to make a difference. So you start at the bottom, and the bottom is school boards.”
He had intended to wage a campaign against the school board to bring about change. Instead, his efforts got him arrested.
At first he was hesitant to talk about what happened in the lead-up to the February 2022 incident. In the weeks after the arrest, he didn’t comment in any of the news stories that covered it.
Then, as the months wore on and his charges were dropped, he realized that standing up to authorities wasn’t going to lead to any sort of punishment: “I thought, ‘Holy shit, I didn’t have to go through a whole lot of aggravation there.’” He said that, walking away from the ordeal, he felt emboldened. [Continue reading…]