Saturday, January 28, 2006

GUN COLLECTORS LOSE OUT

Here we are on the mesa outside of Albuquerque. We are going to blow up some guns. Yes, we have a compressor in town and this week we have squeezed hundreds of guns into scrap metal. But with all of the gun confiscations of late, we are behind, and need to blow up a lot of guns. These are guns which we are legally obligated to return to the ones from whom we took them [inmost instances], but those people are too ignorant or frightened to make a claim. We could bring an action to permit the police to sell the guns at auction, one at a time or en masse, as we do wallets, briefcases, tools, etc., that we have seized. Then why are we blowing up these guns or squeezing them into metal paperweights?

Chief Schultz said blow them up. The Chief is answerable to Mayor Martin Chavez, you say. Well, Mayor Chavez is in charge, but it appears that he approves of the blow up.

This action does not make sense. Hundreds of thousands of handguns are imported, and domestic manufacturers make more. If the gun is workable, it is the product of someone's labor. If it is not contrababnd, such as heroin, why crush the firearm into a paperweight? Why blow it up?

This is like that deal where the police used a chain saw to cut down the trees near an apartment complex, because dope pushers might stand behind a tree to make a sale.

Bottom line. Let us say that someone unlawfully carries (say into a bar) in Albuquerque. The offender is arrested, the firearm is taken for evidence, or even if it is forfeited, what then? Do we punish that firearm by crushing it or blowing it up? Does that make sense? What explains this, in a State where any adult, trained or not, experienced or not, has the absolute right to strap a six-gun on exposed, and walk down the street [yes, certain places excepted]?

Bottom line. New police officer, get ready for the real world. You may be ordered to cut down a bunch of trees next to an apartment complex [to keep drug pushers from hiding behind the trees]. You may be ordered to close that bar, because the police have received too many calls about illegal activity. What, do you suggest that the Chief put more resources out there where the crooks are? That is not how we operate.

So you would like to get some overtime? You have heard that some officers, just as you, same badge, same uniform, same car, earn (?) $30,000 to $40,000 overtime each year? Your turn will come. It is called “Chief’s Overtime.” When the public, such as “BigTime Subdivision” gets fed up with all of the crime in the neighborhood, they talk to the powers in the police department and decide to hire off-duty officers, at time and a half, with the same uniform, same badge, same gun, same car, to do what the police are obligated already to do.

Welcome to the Albuquerque Police Department, the thin blue line. This is said sincerely. You can make a difference. It does not have to be the way it has been. The people will be with you when you ask why? The people want to have a “thin blue line,” and the people admire and respect your service. Do not be disheartened. Leadership is needed. Maybe the Mayor should appoint a Police Commissioner, and see if she can bring the police administration (brass) in line.

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