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December 08, 2006

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A Modest Proposal (With apologies to Jonathan Swift)

2006_06_mayorbgunAccording to The New York Times of December 8th, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has coerced (via lawsuit) six out-of-state gun dealers into allowing court-monitored supervision of their operations. These dealers are allegedly among 27 dealers who are alleged major sources of handguns used in crimes in New York.

But if the mayor is really interested in the safety of his citizens, he must also deal with an armed, dangerous group that periodically runs amok in his city. Am I talking of drug dealers? Biker gangs? No, I’m referring to New York’s Finest, who sometimes seem unable to remember their training when the lead is flying.

Bashing cops is not my intent. I simply think that they could use assistance in their dangerous work, and I’d like to suggest two steps that might provide it.

First, every undercover police operation should be accompanied by an officer from Internal Affairs and an attorney, preferably from the American Civil Liberties Union. These two-person units would be called Fusillade Management Teams, and their job would be to monitor each armed engagement, making sure that that the people being shot at are actually shooting back, and that no one officer fires more than good taste dictates.

Second, I think that every police sidearm should have a three-shot limiting device installed in it. The Army did this with the M-16 A1 rifle, preventing trigger-happy troops from burning through a whole 30-round magazine with one pull of the trigger. Thus, an NYPD officer would fire three shots and his automatic would lock open, giving him time to reflect on the department’s stated policy that its cops are supposed to fire only three rounds and re-evaluate the situation before re-commencing fire.

Anyway, that’s my proposal. No need to thank me. I’m just a concerned citizen trying to do his civic duty.


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I say we just take away their firearms and give them atlatls.


Three shots? Sure would have helped in the big LA shootout.

JA Demko

I have a counter-proposal. Suppose, instead, that each officer was required to run 5 miles in under 45 minutes for each round expended in an engagement. Said running to be monitored by an outside agency. Two things would be accomplished, the laudable goal of officers being physically fit would be furthered AND it would discourage prodigal expenditures of ammo, particularly by badge-wearing lardasses. Frankly, I don't see a downside to it.

A. S. Moeggs

Or, NYPD could contract with "cop expert" Dave Petzal and his friend JA "type outta yer ass" Demko to solve NYPD's problems. With reasoning like you two have the worlds problems would be solved overnight. Speaking about a lack of common sense, can you say "Hillary/Petzal 2008"


Hopefully, the recent trend of nonsense in this article and articles like it ends the trend which has recently plagued f&s. Describing NYPD as an "armed dangerous group" within the same context as drug dealers and biker gangs is amusing. If "bashing" cops was not your intent, you might have thought twice about actually writing that paragraph.
Inviting internal affairs investigator and the aclu would do a few things. First, the criminal element would run rampant because working under the "watchful" eye of internal affairs investigators (some (not all)individuals who have taken the path of least resistance, and taken on the least amount of police work (or in most cases least dangerous) in order to put themselves in position to be promoted) would hamper the officers and detectives on the street so profoundly as they would be under the scrutiny of people who often (not always)had never been in the position they are "observing". The aclu? Really... That is if you can find two individuals, presumably from the aclu and ia to accompany the people who police the city of New York in its most dark, dirty and dangerous corners.
Fusillade management teams? Obviously, you thought that no one reading what you wrote would be intelligent enough to actually understand that you are using a literary device called SARCASM, however its a sickenly sweet use of the english language, and only remotely clever. In addition, you don't necessarily need to be shot at to discharge your sidearm as a police officer (at least in the City of Hartford, Connecticut where I work).
Good taste? You are absolutely precious.
The three shot limiting device? I've got an idea, I'll shoot at you with a fifteen round magazine or drive a car at you and let you shoot at me with a handgun equiped with a three round limiting device. Guaranteed I am the only one breathing following that encounter.
Your civic duty? You could do your civic duty by not perpetrating your nonsense in this magazine. P.S. Tell Matt his computer is PROBABLY equipped with a spell check.

JA Demko

Gee, A.S. Moeggs (Can I call you Moeggsy?) I seem to have upset you with my proposal. You also seem rather wroth with Petzal. Why are you angered by the idea of police being trained and held to higher standards of marksmanship and fire-discipline? Because, you must understand, that is what Petzal and I were both suggesting in a satirical fashion.

John Broussard

Y'know, I can't figure why Petzal's so peeved at the NYPD. Perhaps he could fill the rest of us in on his personal reasons for downing them all the time.

How many people live in that city these days? My last info says somewhere around eight or nine million. How many homeless? How many criminals? How much crack gets smoked in NYC every day?

That's one heck of a beat to patrol!

Is anyone surprised that they have a lot more crime than, oh say, Lincoln, Nebraska?

Are NYPD crazy? Of course! ANYONE who would try to police that place must be! They don't need your criticism, they need R&R rotations out of that DMZ to live around humans for a while.

As for Bloomberg. I don't like his politics or his tactics, but I respect his problem. Anyone choosing to live in a city like NYC doesn't need a gun. He's desperate to get them out of there.

Recently San Francisco, CA, voted to ban handguns. I've been to SF and seen the people living there, and I agree. I wouldn't want them armed either. That's like throwing a gun into the monkey cage at the zoo. It just aint right.

craig curtis

to the men in blue in new york i think dave got a speeding ticket in your great city ??? he knows how to get the blog buzzing its his job . the thing that bothers me are those gun shop owners what the he double hockey sticks were they thinking !!! today its a little vid cam tommorrow its an A.T.F. agent in the back room checking id.s .thank you lord for letting me be born here in mich. you can have the bloombergs and clintons new york !!!!!!!!!


To John Broussard,
I appreciate your sentiments, but when we start limiting firearm ownership to people based solely on where they live, we disregard the Bill of Rights and the freedoms they guard. That is a path down which we cannot go.

A. S. Moeggs

JA, I thought I was the Elvis of sarcasm to this blog. I don't mean to cause hard feelings, but your sense of humor could use some work. (Some of your stuff is funny, but outdated). I think most of the content in your posts is the truth as you see it. Almost all of yur post seem anti-authority in nature. It does not seem to matter if it is about the president or cops, they are all incompotentin your mind. Why is that? Is Petzal the only authority figure you agree with? Did something happen in your childhood to make you this way? For once would you just write about agreeing with someone other than Petzal?


You guys gotta calm down! Don’t you know how to laugh at yourselves and at irony?

Whadda bunch of tight as---s!

JA Demko

Agree with Petzal? Surely you are reading a blog from some parallel universe where GW Bush, not Petzal, has the goatee. You are on to something about the anti-authoritarian thing though. The deal is that it has nothing to do with my childhood and everything to do with having worked as one of those authority figures in various contexts throughout my adult life. Moeggsy, me ol'china, too many folks have been entrusted with the Power And Authority Of The State® in this republic who can't be trusted to wipe their own behinds. If I don't trust them, it's because I know how they "work."


amen to JA


amen to DP

A. S. Moeggs

JA what did-do you do? And yes, you can call me moeggsy, just please don't call me late for dinner.

Jack Bohm

Anyone who thinks banning guns anywhere will do anything positive vis-a-vis crime is an idiot. Gun bans have a proven track record of FAILURE anywhere they are enacted.

John Broussard

Okay, I'll say it again for the slow guys.

I said,"I don't like [Bloomberg's] politics or his tactics {gun bans), but I respect his problems.

There are likely more drug addicts, criminals, and mentally impaired persons in NYC than there are people in the whole state of Nebraska. Ergo my comparison.

If the Second Amendment meant arming crazies, druggies, and criminals, I think they'd have put that in there somewhere.

Finally, Plato wrote that the average citizen was not well enough informed to govern himself and, therefore, democracy was idiots ruling idiots. Plato's words, not mine.

Democracy, however, has worked in this country for quite some time with good results, so we keep it. The citizens of San Francisco voted in an open election by majority vote to ban handguns. That is their right under a democracy. It is being challenged, and I believe it will be overturned as unconstitutional, but that belies the point that the MAJORITY of voters in San Francisco, California, do not want handguns in their city.

We get the government that we elect.


John Broussard,
While you're slowing down you might take a moment to read what you write:

"Anyone choosing to live in a city like NYC doesn't need a gun."

Says who? You? Bloomberg? Sarah Brady? Sure - if the people want to vote in their own firearm ban, let have it and the problems that go with it. But unilateral statements like yours do sound rather, shall we say, Platonic?

John Broussard


Peter C.

Bloomberg, unfortunately, is not satisfied with a firearms ban just in NYC; he seeks to extend it to the whole country. This guy is a megalomaniac billionaire who is eager to spend whatever it takes to become President. And if he does become President, and has the backing of a Democrat congress, we gun owners will be in deep s#%t.

Ed J

John Broussard

Just because the majority of the voters in San Francisco want to ban handguns does not mean that the majority of the citizens want handguns banned. Yeah I know if you don't vote you lose your say.

But we must be careful not to trample individual rights. For example lets take a vote. All those in favor of John Buying the pizza say AYE.

Bob H.

I think we have a Bill of Rights to protect the COUNTRY against VOTERS. If enough people voted to bring back slavery in a city, would that be right? How about voting to take away women's right to vote in a city? What if a city voted to have cruel and unusual punishment? You can't say, "The citizens of San Francisco voted in an open election by majority vote to ban handguns. That is their right under a democracy." It isn't their right in a democracy to overthrow the Bill of Rights!


Ed J -
If John buys the pizza will you spring for the beer?

Mike Diehl

How this blog isn't like Jonathan Swift:

Swift was witty.

Swift had a though-provoking critique of the society in which he lived.

The Allagash Guy

How quick some of us are to show anger and contempt in today's world.

Having served two tours in a difficult and far from obscure locale known as Vietnam, to be followed by an active career in the fire service, there is much I have seen that surely broadens one's perspective towards all that is near and dear. My point: I would not be a police officer today for any amount of monetary reimbursement nor reward. The verbal and physical abuse these dedicated men and woman receive from a self-serving and largely ungrateful society is shameful. At least when I jumped on a fire engine and listened to the radio reports of "smoke showing" as we sped down the street, I still had a reasonable assurance that I would be heading home at the end of my shift. I didn't have knots in my stomach contemplating what could be waiting down the street.

The families of our police officers probably shorten their life span markedly by virtue of fear and anxiety, the anguish the officers themselves realize all to often is beyond comprehension. When an officer receives a terse radio message to respond to a difficult situation, and I use that term loosely, he or she is not going to a 4H meeting or a gathering of Boy Scouts. There will not be a well-meaning jock in a suit standing there, holding the door open. Nope. They are stepping into the fast lane, and that highway of life is not user friendly. If you believe otherwise, you are living in a box.

Every segment of our society has its share of individuals who are not worthy of a role in society. Child abuse, domestic violence, homicide, robbery, gang violence…. what a job description for they who must deal with those mindless misfits on a daily basis.

Got a gripe with your police? What are you doing about it? Shouting out to the world with your computer keyboard and this tool called e-mail? Great. The problem will still be there when you sign off. Probably ninety percent or more of our active police forces are composed of well-meaning, dedicated and honest cops who deserve every accolade they receive. The remainder can and, hopefully, will be weeded out in due time if the system that too many of us condemn is only made to be subject to the wants and needs of an honest society. Be a part of the cure, not the cause.

In closing, let me say quite emphatically that if I had some scumbag beating on my head, or, pointing a knife at me and demanding that I turn over my wallet, I would probably regret my actions. Rest assured that he would. It would all center around a decision that would be made in a heartbeat. No different than those who wear blue with a badge pinned to it. Thank God someone has the guts and the gumption to keep those misfits away from my door.

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