May 19, 2013

Shotgun Blues


Some folks are saying that Denver ain't that bad; that the new gun owner control laws won't be enforced that vigorously and that it won't be used against hunters not one nary bit, because Denver welcomes sportsmen (and sportswomen).

If the following tale of Eloi-centric behavior doesn't dissuade you of that notion and demonstrate that Denver hates you because gunowner, then nothing will.

(Updated 05-22-13 10:12 a.m. MST) - An update to this story may be found here.

Now, y'all have heard of Perazzi right? For 55 years they've been making high end shotguns, and only over & unders and side by sides. Some of their shotguns have been used by American gold medalists in Olympic events (Kim Rhode, most notably). Perazzi shotguns start at much more than I make a month, and at the high end one of their shotguns can fetch more dollars than most of y'alls houses will. Hell, a factory fresh top model Perazzi costs more than the u.S. president makes in a year. (btw, for drooling purposes, here's Perazzi's website.) So we ain't talking about the weapon of choice for gangbangers right?

Enter one Denverite driving a cab. Feeling all governmentally empowered after having been clued in to Denver's TOPS program (Taxi's On Patrol, wherein the local cabbies get to play real time mobile informant for Denver cops should they see anything "suspicious") the erstwhile hero-to-not-be of the story notice something he considers highly unusual - a man with a foreign accent carrying 7 shotguns (presumably cased). So after dropping him off at the local gun show, and that bit of information not muting any snitch-like reflexes our cabbie de jour had, Columbo-lite drops a dime.

Lemme break this down for you - a dumb-ass hack called the cops because the grandson of the founder of Perazzi shotguns carried 7 cased shotguns into a gun show (which is obviously a sign of terrorist activity).

(I assume they were cased, as you'd have to be as dumb as an ATFEIEIO agent to just toss finely crafted firearms into an unpadded golf bag.)

The Merchandise Mart is actually located just outside of Denver proper, so the Adams county sheriff's office mishandled things. They took him in for questioning.

Lemme break this part down for ya - a man carrying 7 double barrel shotguns each likely worth more than all the modular homes of the arresting officers combined was taken into police custody because he had guns at a gun show. Maybe since the name on the passport was the same damn name engraved on the shotguns that should've been a clue that this guy wasn't here to send the infidels back to Allah.

Great jumping Gilgamesh on a stick - I hope these boys in blue don't plan on making detective anytime soon.

(I wonder if the same deputy who mistakenly released a parolee last month was involved this time around too? Maybe it's some kind of musical inmates, where when you release an actual criminal you have to arrest an innocent person?)

And a dispatcher thought that since someone was carrying 7 cased shotguns into a gun show then it positively had to be worth checking into as a terrorist incident and sending cops out to look into that was the thing to do. (apropos of nothing, I'm sure, Denver's 911 system has been having some troubles, including getting some folks murdered by giving very bad advice.

Anyway, from the story about Perazzi:

"Perazzi’s U.S. attorney told Fox 31 Denver that her client was scared during the incident because he’s not familiar with U.S. gun laws and thought he’d done something wrong. She said legal action is a possibility in the future."

I can understand that - being arrested for doing nothing wrong is a scary ass event in anyone's life, especially when you're in a foreign country. Ah, if only this had happened in America.

(As an aside, that he was scared he'd done something wrong because he knew he didn't understand u.S. gun laws makes him more qualified for public office here than most of our senators, representatives and judges.)

The cabbie. The cops. The dispatcher. The sheriff his damn self. The sheriff's office's mascot if it has one. If I had the money to lawyer up like a certain wrongfully arrested grandson of a high end shotgun maker does, all of those folks would be reading a judicial summons any day now.

Not to mention they'd all be (including the dog) getting calls asking when they can be available for the State Department's questioning, since this does definitely qualify as an international incident. Hell, this is more of a Casus belli than a soccer match; if Italy declared war on Denver and Adams county I wouldn't blame them. (I wouldn't want that to happen though - there'd be too great a chance an Italy-Denver war could spill over into America.)

Likely the cabbie will be patted on the back, told that mistakes happen but that he did the right thing anyway and to keep on being a good little snitch. Probably the same with the cops and dispatcher. Well, until the lawsuits start to fly that is. After that I'm thinking a lot of folks will be feeling mighty lonely.

But this is the mentality, the culture that exists - a man with a foreign accent and 7 cased shotguns at a gun show is suspected of being a terrorist because guns. A cabbie drops him off at a gun show and tells a real operator that this guy must be a terrorist because guns. Cops take him in for questioning because guns.

No one, not even the cops on the scene, thought it reasonable that the grandson of a famous Italian gunmaker had 7 shotguns at a gun show and so they hauled him in for questioning. At least 3 allegedly sapient filters were involved here - the cabbie, the dispatcher and the cops on the scene. None of them thought a constitutionally protected activity was normal or non-threatening. 3 layers of folks in this chain thought that having the po-po roll up and take this guy away was a good idea because he had guns.

But hunters don't have a thing to worry about when the magazine ban and universal background check bill go into effect. Nope, nosirreebomarley. /saracsm

This is yet another damn reason to avoid Colorado after July 1rst, 2013, and Denver especially anytime.

(Oh & anyone from Merkel, Purdy, Holland and Holland, Krieghoff and Fabbri - no matter what the folks at the Denver Chamber of Commerce tell ya, Wyoming or Montana would be a much friendlier place if ya'll decide to do any conventioning or open up any shops. Just sayin'.)

Here's an embed of the story:

And here's Junior Wells doing Shotgun Blues, cause - just cause.

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