Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...







Friday, May 8, 2015

Dragon Ballz and Senate Committees

It was an unusual phone call. I mean, who would think to call me to such an important event. I was in awe and somewhat flabbergasted. The Internet is a funny thing.

They said they wanted opinions from someone who had been in law enforcement, lived different places, and was a firearms enthusiast. Well, I don't jump up and down at the sight of guns. That would alarm Democrats. But I do a happy dance in my head. So, after a little contemplation, I obliged.

It was very frustrating blowing the dust off my suits and trying to look presentable. Couldn't I just look Midwestern? Maybe I could present them with a casserole. 

Finally the day came with many butterflies and anticipation. I think the Monarchs were having a party in there.  I popped a few tums and swigged some coffee before leaving for the big deal. The taxi pulled up and I got shuffled to my place via several official looking people. 

"Mr. Chairman. Good morning." I was pretty sure there were frogs in my throat.

"Good morning, ma'am. Let me preface this by saying you may be cut off at any time, so use your time wisely. You may be asked questions from the committee throughout the morning. If we feel we have heard enough, we will dismiss you for the day and thank you for your time. We appreciate you participating in this discussion."

I nodded and smiled because the frog had jumped from the back of my throat to the front. I thought I was going to puke. He continued.

"Today we are discussing points of opposition today on gun control matters. Miz, uh...Loving, is it? What a nice name." I'm pretty sure he was being coy. Wait until he heard me speak on gun control. He would be like...WTF...Loving...that woman should be called Dragon Ballz. I was talking to myself in my head and had to interrupt so I could get all the instructions down.

"Do you have any questions at this time before we begin, ma'am?"

"No, sir. Thank you."

"Well, then, we will allow you to give a short preamble to our topics today. Once you have completed your statement, we will follow up with some questions if any of the members feel they need to clarify points or argue facts of law, concepts, or proposed bills and clauses."

All I heard was "Santa Clauses." There was more than one? My mind was focusing on my papers.

"Miz, Loving, or should we call you Fargo? How did you get the name Fargo?"

I was not prepared for that question. I just rattled off my story of my pregnancy and the members were facing me with intense stares. At least that's what it looked like. Maybe they were going over their grocery lists in their minds. I had no idea. I just rattled on because they asked. Then I was done.

"That pretty much sums it up. Yeah."

I waited for them to wake up.

"Uh. Thank you, Miz Fargo."

I nodded with a weak smile. 

*crickets*

"You may start your introduction into our gun control topics now, ma'am."

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and ladies and gentlemen of the committee. Gun control is a hot topic. I understand the people of the nation want safety and less violence in our society. What I don't understand is the means to the end. 

You can't tie up the good guys to defeat the bad guys. It just doesn't work that way. With all due respect, these bills you are proposing do just that. I worked in the trenches. Believe me when I tell you the bad guys will find a way to get a weapon of some sort, to commit crime, to violate persons. They don't play by the rules. In fact, they like to skirt around them and often. Rules are for those of us who live by law and order. The criminals do not. So what have you done? You sent out the good guys with their hands tied behind their backs and limit them. They abide by your rules because that is how they live and they fear the alternative of fines, jail, or prison. What you fail to see is the worst punishment for law abiding citizens is to disarm them forever. If I lost my gun rights, it would be the biggest defeat of my civil liberties. But what did you do to put the squeeze on the bad? Nothing. Nothing changed. You have heard time and time again that guns don't kill people. People kill people. Whether they use a firearm, knife, bat, club, crow bar, or their bare hands...that is just the instrument. It's like you are trying to cover up a broken bone with a band aid. You have to go to the root of the problem. 

Our system is broken. Prison only works for those who are there for life because they are contained. It doesn't prevent re-offending. In fact, statistics are low on those who actually are rehabilitated criminals.

"Excuse me, Miz Fargo. Could you give me some statistical numbers on those prisoners. How do we incentivize them? What mental health processees are in place, etc?"

"The answer to your first question, Mr. Chairman, is no. I'm not going to rattle off useless numbers. I'm going to tell you what they tell me. It doesn't work. Sex offenders can't be rehabilitated. They are the exception to every rule. As far as the other criminals-convicts-some grew up in the life of crime or from the ghetto or are the product of broken families with abuse, etc. They have a difficult time adjusting to anything other than what they know. They go back home to the same circles. They can't get out. Their rehabilitation or "good time" while out is temporary at best. Some do succeed. Those are the ones you need to pool. What is broken? What is an incentive? You tell me. Here's the process when they get out: They have limited job opportunities. They can't vote. They have no income. They have no home. They have no food. Where do they go? Homeless shelters, wander around with no place to stay except on the street-drumming up desperate thoughts, home to their parents or other family which may or may not be a good place, shack up with a quick fix lover off the streets, get into the drug scene on the street corner and go to a flop house. Maybe they found a pen pal in prison. Who knows. They may check in with their probation officer for a short while or keep that on the up and up while behind the scenes, they check back in where they left off. What do we have in place for them? Not much. What if they kill their number? Then there are no services or assistance. So don't talk about my friends, Remington, Winchester, and Glock. I have done nothing wrong to restrict their friendship. They have done nothing wrong to restrict my access to them. Not everyone can be Chuck Norris and there is always someone bigger and stronger than him. Then what? And that's not even the basis of the 2nd amendment rights. Are you then going to limit hunting? Sports shooting? Let's talk about what is broken. It isn't the device. It's the system. It's the people. Fix the people. Fix the system. It's a simple answer to a complex problem."

"Thank you, Miz Fargo. Uh...we do have some questions. The first question I will propose to you is what about home safety laws? And state laws to protect citizens against unlawful uses of firearms?"

"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Those are good questions and I'm glad you asked me them specifically because I have experience in law enforcement with those very elements. As far as the home safety laws, I am assuming the proposed laws on penalties for those who do not lock up their guns or for some reason have some haphazard recklessness. Also, the concept is floating out their among lawmakers to have home inspections on gun owners and a national data base. First of all, those are ridiculous solutions. You are not going to freely come into my home because I own a gun or 40 nor are you going to make me sign in blood that since I bought this new firearm, the US of A can now come in and inspect me, my home, my firearms on a whim. Nope. Really. Because you own a Shih Zhu, and you signed the breeding papers, did you just open your home up for random searches and inspections?"

"Well, Miz Fargo. Shih Zhus are really not the same as a gun...uh..er...I don't understand your viewpoints here."

"No, sir. They are EXACTLY the same. They are both a piece of property. It's that simple. You can preach safety and best practices, but you can't make the horse drink the water."

"Uh...ma'am. I think we are getting off track."

"I could make a dog attack you just like you will argue the gun is dangerous. What's the difference."

"Uh, Miz Fargo, that is a bizarre analogy."

"Let me readdress these issues. First, gun storage laws and charging the gun owners. You can fine or charge a person with reckless disregard or reckless endangerment or whatever law you devise, but you must seek these penalties on a case by case basis. You can't blanket Americans. Every state law is so jacked up, that I don't know if I am coming or going. Especially with concealed carry laws. So...in some states, I can transport my firearms to and from the range to home, but if I stop for a burger or go to the grocery store and somehow get involved with the police, I could get arrested? Dumb. And unfair. In others, it's open carry. Some states have laws where you can't transport your firearm to your vehicle unless is it is a proper case, unloaded, and Guido brings the ammo in a separate locked container. This is where you need to clean up the place. Why not make a universal carry conceal permit? Why not look at the open carry states? Is that the way to go for all the land. My easy answer is yes. However, you have naysayers, so you have to come to a middle ground. And who are they? I will go out on a limb and say the naysayers are those afraid of guns. Period. Most of the time it is because they are unfamiliar. Why are they so afraid? I am not familiar with a Ferrari, but am I afraid of it? If I get behind the wheel, will I desire to go so fast I might kill myself or others? We should outlaw all Ferrari's and in fact...we somewhat do here. Do you see this makes as much sense as gun control? Most can't wrap their head around it."

"Ok. Ok. Miz Fargo. Most of us see your point there. Enough with the theatrics. Do you think we should arm the schools? Arm the nation? Free reign nation here we come."

"No. I bet you are surprised by that answer. Not every person is equipped with emotional intelligence and not every person wants to carry nor are they able to do so. And some idiots want to carry but should not. How do we fix this problem? Take their choice away? Not wise. Do I think we should keep guns out of school and the courthouse? No. As a law enforcement officer if a weapon got into court, I could not protect the judge or jury or watchful citizens because my firearm was stripped. But I had to stand in front of the masses in uniform with an empty holster. Chew on that. Again. The good guys play by the rules, the criminals do not. And the schools? They are defenseless. We put temporary cops in there, unarmed security guards, and school resource officers. Has it helped? Perhaps in some cases. Do we arm the teachers? I don't know. How about some ALICE training? How about giving them some education? How about visiting other solutions rather than taking away?"

"Your points are noted. Now Madam California has a question for you. I redirect the next question to Madam California."



"Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Miz Fargo, for your time here today. My first question is what do you think about mental health restrictions on permits and ownership of firearms?"

I knew this lady was a hard ass and I am not a fan. Names have been excluded to protect the non-innocent.

"Thank you, Madam California. I'm glad to see you are still alive. (fake kindness) I guess, let me answer that with a question. Are you prepared to exclude your entire state?"

*crickets*

Maybe I went a little too far with that one.



"In all fairness, Madam California, who is going to determine fairness, just, and right standards of mental illness? How far is too much and how little is your low baseline? You are labeling people, probably forever and restricting their freedoms. Will it affect job opportunities? Will it disqualify them for something else? You can't come up with a band aid fix because you have to appease the masses. You must see the forest for the trees. I agree a severely disturbed mentally ill person should not have access to firearms, but to treatment, to care, to services. Perhaps a different hobby. Are you also going to limit that person to other weapons. Should he join the circus as the knife throwing act? See...where do you stop? Where do you start? These things need to be thought through. Plus you also have the conspiracy theorists who will never believe this is done as a precaution, but is a premeditated plan to something bigger. Will you stake your legacy on that? Madam California, why are you scared of guns? Have you ridden along with a police officer? Have you attended a firearms class? Have you ever gone hunting or sports shooting? Do you practice proper firearms safety? How many guns do you own? Where are they? If I go steal one out of your house, which crime do I charge you with? And just so you know, for stealing that gun, I'll be out in 6 months and I'll do it again. You might lose your gun rights for life and mark your reputation, among other consequences. I digress. What if you have depression and have to get professional treatment and medication? What if it is a temporary problem. You might want to give up your vehicle because you could be impaired. You might want to tell the people of the US because you can't make sound decisions for 6 months until you get better. After that, are they going to want you anymore to represent their state? "

"Hmm. Thank you, Miz Fargo. I am going to direct the next question to Mr. Connecticut. Sir."

"Thank you Madam California. Miz Fargo, I have one question. What about Sandy Hook? What am I supposed to take back to the great people of Connecticut? They want answers, solutions, and what do you say to that? Guns are evil and they want them removed."

"Well, Mr. Connecticut. They belong to the same United States I belong to and so they also have the same Constitution which governs me. Is anything going to make those parents feel better? I think not. Why do we have to do anything? Because you feel obligated? It was a tragedy for sure. But do we have to appease them with laws which do not work? Which are unfair? Are we doing a disservice if we in fact hand them a band aid instead of a cure? And the cure is not to eliminate guns from America. The cure it is to fix the cancer. Fix the mental health services, care facilities, prison systems. Put laws which make sense on the books. What you can do on the prevention side: more cops per capita, tougher penalties on violent crime,  proper penalties for the crime, social services, healthy outlets for kids, community projects and partnerships, and repair the judicial system, correctional systems, increase law enforcement pay scales, benefits and training-just to name a few.

On the outside of the walls- halfway homes, rehabilitation services, release programs, occupational training, probation and parole, etc. Oh, you will poo-poo me and say these are already in place or they cost money. Really. You will put a price on a life? Just one life. What's the price? Fix the damn problem at the source. Because one mentally ill teenager slipped through the cracks due to his parents being aloof, fed up, maxed out or oblivious is where you might need to start. Or was it- he didn't get the right care or was treated poorly? These are not reasons to shut guns out of your state. It is a reason to look at why. Why did this happen? Could the schools have done more? Did we have the right care? Was it money? Who failed to reach out? Do we have our heads in the sand? Was it bad parenting? Drill down. Look deeper."



"Thank you, Miz Fargo. Um...we are going to take a recess and resume again tomorrow morning. All parties are expected to return again at 0800. Thank you to all committee members. Good day, Miz Fargo. We will see you again tomorrow."

"Uh, excuse me, Mr. Chairman. My hotel room was for one night. Who do I speak to for an extension? And I would really like to include some meals. Would it be too much trouble for happy hour?"








5 comments:

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Hoot!

Coffeypot said...

Well said, Sugar Britches.

Old NFO said...

Very well done!!!

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Momma Fargo;

Awesome! and I am honored to make your acquaintance :) You did well and you represented the average gun owner well.

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
Doesn;t matter if this committee is fiction or fact - what YOU stated is GOSPEL...plain and simple.
Well done.

Stay safe out there, dear.