Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The times, they are a changin'

News Item: The IRS is acquiring shotguns with 14” barrels for its people.


The change was slow but sure, in the early 90s. First it was the forest service personnel. You know, those guys and gals that ride around in those green trucks up in the mountains making the national forests nice for the people. All of a sudden, they were sporting side arms and rifles in the cab of their trucks. They were afraid of being killed—not by bears and mountain lions, but by people, one told me about 15 years ago. And now, they have to attend a kind of police academy of sorts to be a ranger.


Then, a few years after that, I noticed that dog-catchers and animal control personnel were sporting side-arms and mace. And eventually, TASERS.


Then, as the 90s became the 21st century, I noticed that the old friendly forest rangers that knew everything a person could know about the forest under their watch were being replaced by very big, skin-headed guys that looked like they could press 6000 pounds. I spoke with one in 2004, while up in the Angeles National Forest. It was clear he didn’t know a thingy about forestry or animal husbandry. Instead of the old happy parley that I used to get when talking with forest guys, I received cold, one syllable answers with a smirk on his face. The answers to my questions were incorrect. How do you get a job in the forest service and know nothing about forestry?


As the years went by, I kept reading one news report after another about this or that public agency arming, including the Internal Revenue Service, basically a paperwork outfit that does most of its work from behind a computer terminal. In 2001, I heard that ALL IRS service people were getting side arms.

And now, shotguns, with illegal (for you and me) 14” barrels. Ever see what a sawd-off shotgun does to a box of Wheaties? It isn’t pretty.

The municipal, state, and federal branches are arming themselves to the teeth. In a time when the idea being put out is to disarm for a safer world.


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