Sunday, August 19, 2007

On the unbearable lightness of weaponry

Every once in a while somebody comes along with a good idea. You know... like the Fig Newton. Zip Lock bags. Air conditioning. That slit in the front of boxer shorts.

Orlando Florida police officials put on their thinking caps and came up with a pretty good plan themselves. They decided that there were too many unregistered, unregulated firearms out on the streets, and rather than going and chasing them all down and confiscating them, it would be easier if the owners simply brought them in and surrendered the weapons themselves. But a plan like that calls for incentives. You can't expect every Tom, Dick and Harriett to simply bring in their unregistered firearms and turn them over. So the police offered designer sneakers and gift certificates to the local mall to anyone turning in a gun. Brilliant! And they had lots of takers. What they probably didn't expect was for someone to bring in a shoulder fired SAM rocket launcher.

Orlando emptied its bureau drawers and closets on Friday of more than 250 unwanted guns -- and one surface-to-air missile launcher.

The shoulder-fired weapon showed about 6 p.m. when an Ocoee man drove to the Citrus Bowl to trade the 4-foot-long launcher for size-3 Reebok sneakers for his daughter.

"I didn't know what to do with it, so I brought it here," explained the man, who said he found the missile in a shed he tore down last week. "I took it to three dumps to try to get rid of it and they told me to get lost."

Nobody stopped to ask this guy why he had one of these? He found it in a shed he was tearing down? Who owned the shed? It really sounds like the police are having a grand old time chuckling about this one, but if I was one of this guy's neighbors, I'd have a few more questions than that.

I had a heck of a time getting a permit for my 3" bore cannon, I can tell you. And getting a permit for a SAM is surely just as hard.

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