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Shooting Industry May 2012 Digital Edition - Page 28

Back Blast Back Blast & other hot gases n any given day, you’ll find the FBI Academy range on the Quantico Marine base is crawling with federal agents firing thousands of rounds of ammunition. You’ll also find it crawling with deer, often wandering and browsing very close to the targets — while shooting is going on! The reason they are there is because the academy grounds are, of course, restricted to official users, so there is no hunting allowed. And, as any avid deer hunter can tell you, deer learn where the no-hunting zones are, and many deer migrate to them every deerhunting season. But what explains their nonchalant wandering around targets while volleys of gunfire fill the air? Simple, say animal behaviorists: They have learned that despite all those gun blasts, none of them are ever hit. They don’t behave that way in areas where gunfire is rare, but when it’s heard, their fellow critters tend to fall down dead. To them, “Lotsa shots, no dead buddies” and “Not so many shots, lotsa dead buddies” is a pretty simple equation. It may even have some application to smarter humans — but then again, maybe not. They’d have to be smarter than deer, anyway. Commander Gilmore The Deer Here Ain’t So Dumb, Dear O Illustration by Nick Petrosino In every state they’re offered, personalized “vanity plates” cost extra money, but nowhere near $20,000. That’s how much Danny White, a resident of Washington, DC, has racked up in parking tickets because of his vanity plates, which read “NO-TAGS.” For years, every time a parking controller wrote up a violation for a vehicle with no plates or registration tags, Danny got the summons. Every three or four months he would gather up his sheaf of tickets and head for traffic court, where they would be routinely dismissed. It took a lot of time for him to do this, but he laughed it off. Things improved when DC jiggered the computers so only “NO TAGS” citations written to Chevrolets like Danny’s Avalanche wound up in his mailbox. But still, the numbers mounted, and after 20plus years of trips to traffic court, Danny’s just about had it, and now says his record is so long, even though it consists of voided tickets, that he can’t even renew his license or registration. Asked why he didn’t just turn in those NO-TAGS tags, he said, because he paid 28 MAY 2012 When Vanity Becomes Stupidity for them! We won’t ask at what point vanity becomes stupidity. That’s the tune Korin Vanhouten, 47, and her shoplifting sidekick Eldon Alexander, 36, were singin’ to the same Ogden cop who wrote them misdemeanor citations a few minutes before. This honor-among-thieves caper began when an Ogden officer was called to a store to cite the pair, who had been stopped after shoplifting an armload of small, cheap items including makeup, energy bars and batteries. After the officer issued them citations, all three left the store. The cop had unknowingly parked close to the duo’s car, and before he could leave the lot, they buttonholed him to report that some sneaky thief had stolen their stuff while they were inside stealing other stuff. Surveillance video had been used in catching Vanhouten and Alexander inside the store, and parking lot video showed a man in a red sweater scoping out the truck — and then scooping up contents. The loss included a stereo and amplifier and cigarettes. It was estimated that the pair While We Were Stealing, We Got Ripped Off! lost about $25 worth of shoplifted goods, and another $60 to $100 worth of loot from their truck. Sometimes crime really doesn’t pay, though the hours aren’t bad. After reviewing several successful sting operations carried out in the U.S. to trap crooks wanted on felony warrants, British constables decided to try a little “justice, American style.” Using the name of a phony marketing firm, the Derbyshire Constabulary sent letters to 19 wanted dudes inviting them to enjoy and offer their opinions on free cases of expensive premium beer. All they had to do was call the marketing agent — really, a constable at Chesterfield Police Station — and name the time and place where their beer could be delivered into their waiting hands. They must have been thirsty, because apparently, every last one of them took the bait. They got to see a case of beer, briefly, before the cuffs came out and the curtain came down. The press release didn’t say what constables did with the leftover evidentiary beer, but we’re betting it wasn’t wasted. 9 Taking A Tip From The Yanks Subscribe to SI DIGITAL

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