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American COP Jan/Feb 2010 - Page 70
sUZI HUNTINGTON INsIDER RuMINAtIONs Legislators are still looking for that “Pie in the Sky” fix for everything . when simply enforcing existing laws would work fine. WAsTiNg resOurCes ctober 12, 2009 – Caulifonya Governator Ahnuld Schwarzenegger signs AB 962, a bill created to “keep deadly ammunition out of the hands of criminals, gang members and violent felons.” The bill’s author, Assemblyman Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) said during the press conference touting this sweeping new, gang-focused legislation, “Bullets are the lifeblood of guns. Guns don’t kill people, bullets do.” Huh? What? If you’re gonna rip off a catchy tag-line, the least you should do is think about what you’re saying. Yes, the bullet will be part of the method of death, but it’s still the human shooting said bullet who is doing the killing. And the last time I looked, there were already a myriad of laws on the books to deal with killers — especially gangsters and repeat offenders. In signing the bill, Gov. Schwarzenegger was surrounded by the usual suspects of political hangers-on; LAPD Chief Bratton and LASO Sheriff Baca and a group of uniformed officers from various police agencies. Several from this crowd gave “thank you speeches” not unlike speeches you’d expect at the Academy Awards (yawn). The substance of this bill will require vendors of handgun ammo transfers and sales to keep a log of information, store the ammo in a safe and secure manner (away from thievin’ hands) and requires the sale or transfer to be made face-to-face (online sales will be illegal). What they conspicuously didn’t mention was purchasers would be required to give a thumbprint, just as required for buying a gun. Now rewind to October 13, 2007 (Friday the 13th, no less), the governator signs AB 1471, the Crime Gun Identification Act of 2007. This stupid, feel-good law mandates as of January 1, 2010 (right now) gun manufacturers must microstamp (laser engrave) characters to identify the make, model and serial number of all new models of semiautomatic handguns on two or more locations of the gun, one of which is the tip of the firing pin. The other likely spot would be the breech face. In theory this information would be transferred to the cartridge casing when the gun has been fired. There are several problems with this technology and how the law was written. The bill’s language makes it almost impossible to implement because the technology/process is patented under NanoMark Technologies and the attorney general has to be able to certify it (the technology) was available to more than one manufacturer unencumbered by any patent restrictions. Oops. Houston, we’ve got a problem here. The other hurdle is the microstamping must work 100-percent of the time and we all know there are no guarantees anything will work 100-percent of the time. These are just two shining examples of the stupidity that has Déjà vu All Over AgAin o INSIDERRUmiNAtioNs taken over California. But California has not cornered the market on this craziness either, many other states have and will continue to follow suit. It’s like watching a herd of lemmings jumping off a cliff. Lawmakers, in their zest to make the air-sucking masses of sheeple feel better, clamor to pass new, ridiculous-to-implement laws. Sometimes they even acknowledge the difficulty faced with trying to make the new laws work, but with the stroke of a pen it becomes our problem — the taxpayer, that is. With every new feel-good law what lies in its wake is an astronomical amount of money that could’ve been put to much better use. I’d suggest if legislators (and courts) truly want to make our streets safer from violent felons and gang-bangers, they fix the damn prison and parole systems. Enough already with trying to rehabilitate these miscreants who refuse to behave. And while they’re at it, get back to actually enforcing the death penalty — stop dickin’ around with appeal after appeal. I think the process should be limited to one chance, Lord knows the victims didn’t have even one chance to appeal their death sentence. Instead of pumping a pile of money into studying one more law that’ll go ignored by the very people it’s aimed at, take that same pile of money and increase the number of parole agents. This would give them more manageable caseloads and perhaps allow them to actually work their caseloads more effectively. I’d embrace this use of my hard-earned tax dollars. To make prisons more effective, let inmates serve their sentences without TV, the Internet or access to exercise equipment. Give them only the basics; food, shelter and water. None of that other stuff is a right, I haven’t found any of the creature comforts we give inmates anywhere in the Bill of Rights. They gave up their rights when they chose to offend. It’s really simple folks, quit trying to make me feel better and quit protecting me from me. Are they going to start requiring thumbprints every time I buy a cup of coffee, bottle or can of alcohol or pack of cigarettes? Why don’t they require thumbprints for every prescription you fill? We’d be able to identify substance abusers and people who are getting the same meds from more than one doctor more readily. And by the way, even the feds gave up on similar ammo tracking requirements over 20 years ago because it was found to be ineffective for solving crime. Georg Hegel is credited with this: “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.” And here we go again. INsIDERRUMINATIONS Continued on page 69 WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010 70