December 6, 2009

Firearms, hysteria, and the Nanny State Mindset

Saw a link over at Instapundit that directed me to an article in the Toronto Sun, via here.

Digging a bit more, I came across this longer piece from CTV.

There's so much here, it's hard to decide where to start. So I'll start at the start:

A Toronto designer became a participant in a real-life Flashpoint-style event when police tactical officers showed up at his workplace over a firearms call that involved a Lego gun.

"I've had numerous people either say, 'Oh my God, I thought Flashpoint was just filming,' or, 'This is totally going to be a Flashpoint episode at some point'," Jeremy Bell told on Thursday. "Yeah, it's pretty surreal."

Flashpoint is a CTV drama, set in Toronto, about a police "strategic response unit."

OK, so a lot of reasonable people thought this was a television show. That's understandable.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Bell -- a partner with the digital design firm Teehan+Lax, located at 460 Richmond St. W. -- was assembling a replica handgun made out of Lego that had arrived.

"It arrived yesterday and at the end of the day, I decided to put it together. I literally assembled it, handed it to a co-worker (who promptly broke it) and then put it back in the box," Bell wrote in a posting on his personal blog.

"The SWAT arrived shortly thereafter."

I shudder to think what would have happened had he been putting together a model of an F-15.

Across the street, Michael Dent was working in his third-floor loft. He saw what he thought was someone assembling a firearm, so he took some photos and called the police.

"I don't really like guns right beside me -- and then it turned out to be Lego," Dent chuckled.

He doesn't like guns, so he decided it was OK to spy on the people across the street, take their pictures, call the police, and report one of those people for doing... well, nothing at all.

Oh, and he also either gave or sold his picture to the media. If I were Mr. Bell, I'd sue for that.

None of those are a problem, apparently, to Mr. Dent. It's justified because he doesn't like guns right beside him. Or across the street, even.

But he added, "My girlfriend is moving in with her daughter and stuff, and it looks right into our loft where we sleep, so no, not cool."

Not sure how to explain this to Mr. Dent, but just because you think something is "not cool" doesn't make it illegal. Nor does it give you the right to encroach your beliefs on others.

Dent said the door of the office was shut, and it never is, so for all he knew, someone might have been laid off "and about to go postal, so that's why I called."

And here we get to the root issue: Anyone who has a firearm is "about to postal" [note: 'go postal' are the CTV's words, not Mr. Dent's. I could understand if Dent used the term, but for a media entity? Seriously? Do you not employ journalists who can craft a better turn of phrase?]

Behind this is the irrational fear of firearms that drives the anti-gun crowd... "Guns are evil, the people who own them must therefore be evil and about to commit an evil act. There is no other explanation."

It is beyond the realm of possibility that someone would be capable of owning a firearm and NOT use it to "go postal." Why, they're one promotion denial away from slinging lead into anything that moves, letting the bodies pile up in the streets, and staining the concrete a crimson red with the blood of innocent people.


I own two firearms. One pistol, one shotgun. Neither has ever once been pointed at a human. Ever. The shotgun has been pointed at a few ducks now and then, and even a couple pheasant (though, I'm sorry to report that most of the aforementioned fowl showed no signs whatsoever of the event.... maybe I need AD to give me some lessons.)

But not once has either been pointed even close to another person. Not once. Ever.

Yet, obviously, I'm an evil person with evil intentions, for I own a gun. Two, actually, which probably means I'm twice as evil.

Bell was in his office and then heard a voice yelling his name and instructing him to come into the hallway.

"At first I thought, 'who did I piss off?' I wasn't worried about my safety ... but I certainly wasn't expecting to see an armed officer," he said, adding he couldn't remember what type of firearm was pointed at him.

Bell said he knew he hadn't done anything wrong.

Sorry, Mr. Bell, but while you might not have done anything wrong, per se, you did something that is "not cool." You put together a LEGO gun. Off to Gitmo for you!

"As soon as I realized they were actual cops and this was not a joke, I was, 'What else could it be? It's got to be the stupid Lego gun I put together'," he said.

Police had him put his hands on his head and walk backwards towards them. "They cuffed me, pulled me into the stairwell and threw me against the wall. They spread my legs and checked to make sure I didn't have a weapon on me," he said.

Doesn't matter. You did something that was "not cool." That, t'would seem, is reasonable cause to slam you against the wall and cuff you.

Bell said he told them where the Lego gun was, they went to check it out and then uncuffed him. He was handcuffed for about 90 seconds.

After seeing the photos, Bell said he can understand why Dent called the cops, although to him, it's still clearly Lego.

"There's like a million pieces on the table," he said, adding, it's not like he waved it around or took it out on the street.

It's clear to anyone that has, you know, actually seen a real firearm. I'm not a betting man, but 5 will get ya 10 that Mr. Dent has never even touched one of those evil Harbingers of Doom.

[Cue dark John Williams music here.]

Const. Tony Vella of the Toronto Police Service no charges resulted from the incident, the response for which involved uniformed and tactical officers.

"We have to take all the gun calls seriously because we don't know what we're getting involved in," Vella said. "There's the potential for public risk as well as the risk to the officers' safety."

I'm betting Constable Vella wouldn't have taken such a serious view if I called and said that I can see my neighbor standing in his kitchen with a butcher knife.

On his blog, Bell wrote: "The cops clearly don't take this shit lightly."

Correct. They take it with an excessive measure of hysteria and force. Sorry you live in such a Nanny State, Mr. Bell.

Dent wondered what his phone call cost the city in taxes.

Oh, I'm SURE that's weighing heavily on his mind.


TOTWTYTR said...

Dent needs his ass kicked. No gun need for that, just a set of balls. Dent's would do fine.

Patrick said...

You're an evil person with evil intentions just for owning 2 guns? Then I must be Satan incarnate......

RazorsEdge2112 said...

Let's see here... Lego gun:

Baby Glock (probably my next gun):

Ya, I don't see a difference.

Wait... His girlfriend is moving in with him? Premarital sex? Someone call the church. That ain't cool.

Rogue Medic said...

Why is the Peeping Tom the one calling the police?