So Traffic Bureau deals with school zone traffic (duh). Since kids don't walk to school anymore, traffic congestion near schools is terrible in mornings and afternoons. In the afternoon, as many parents know, it is a competition to get to the school early and find a decent parking place nearest the entrance.
So at this one school, the parents would stack up in the loading zone in the parking lot and spill out on to the street. About 10 cars could fit in the lot and 20-30 more backed up around the corner, waiting for it to be 2 or 3 PM. Teachers and staff were parked on the street. Others parked on corners, in red zones, and in the bus zone.
I got asked to deal with the traffic jams and illegal parking that ticked off the residents. The biggest problem was that the buses couldn't get through traffic to pickup the kids! It wasn't like we were going to be running speed there (the usual school zone complaint). Tickets can only do so much so a creative solution had to be found.
What did I do? I suggested to the principal that she talk to the city and have the bus zone swapped with the loading zone. The buses could park in the lot along the curb where the parents formally queued. We would enforce the bus zone in the parking lot (21113 VC if you're wondering) and the on-street loading zone to keep cars moving. She listened and the city traffic engineer agreed.
In about two weeks, by government standards faster than I could notice, the swap occurred like it had always been that way. Instead of waiting for half-an-hour, parents could just wait until 3:03 or something, pull into the loading zone, let their kid get in, and drive off. It took a few days to get the parents trained, but they learned not to park in the bus zone and to treat the loading zone like a drive-thru.
The traffic jam cleared up and parents were happier. No parking tickets, no traffic court, no angry principal.
Posting this one here because it's personal.
Christmas Eve, 1944. The SS Leopoldville was torpedoed a few miles from France. It was carrying the 66th Division to war from England. The cowardly crew deserted the GIs, failing to spread the word that the ship was sinking. There weren't enough lifeboats or life vests. The crew members took their luggage and even birdcages with them. The Royal Navy had to abandon the initial rescue out of U-boat fears. This is not a happy Christmas story.
763 American soldiers died that night in freezing water. Help was long in coming as the US Navy patrol boat crews were drinking & partying, the engines cold. But they did come and saved who they could. The Royal Navy also returned when the U-boat threat abated.
The rescue was horrific. Men splattered on decks after jumping from the stricken troopship. Others were crushed between the hulls. Drowning and hypothermia was a blessing.
My grandfather was being pushed underwater by a panicking soldier without a life vest who couldn't swim. Nearly drowned himself, he was forced to beat the man and hold him under the water until he stopped trying to climb on my grandfather. So he killed a man in self-defense in the water. All on Christmas Eve.
No crewmen faced repercussions for their failures. The captain did go down with his ship. The incident was classified during the war and then forgotten about until long after the war. The 66th Division took more casualties in the sinking than they did from the Germans.
Assault Weapon and Illegal “Ghost Gun” Manufacturing Discovered During Investigation of Camarillo Resident.
I have a policy of avoiding criticizing California gun laws when some scumbag gets arrests for a gun-related crime, usually on charges that are unique to this once-great state. Felons, drug dealers, and other assorted criminals who have no business being armed have nothing coming to them. It’s not the hill I want to die on. However, I do want to discuss this case.
In this case, a dude who was high on something got pulled over and his vehicle searched. A gun was found and he was charged with CCW. The trail of bread crumbs was followed and he was probably getting high with a parolee in a hotel room. More guns and ammo were found. SED, the Special Enforcement Detail (plainclothes deputies), gets a warrant for the guys house and find out he’s been making his own firearms.
So scumbag makes guns in his garage. Not a big deal to make your own guns, but this guy is a felon and all indications are that he’s not making these things simply because he is a hobbyist with fervent belief in the Second Amendment. By all appearances (and I don’t have any inside knowledge of the case) he’s selling the guns he makes to bad guys, which makes him a bad guy. Law-abiding gun owners don’t do drugs, make guns, then sell them to parolees.
Despite the retardation of California, the world is a better, and safer place with this guy staying in mid-town Ventura’s worst reviewed high-rise temporary living establishment. Trust me, the room service sucks. The only thing on the menu for room service is Neutraloaf.
Once the Bruen case law gets established, this guy, if he can afford a decent lawyer, will get the CCW, loaded firearm, “assault weapon,” and magazine charges tossed out. I don’t see how he can get away from the under the influence while armed charge. The manufacturer charge may go as well depending on court rulings but I’m not so sure. He’s definitely done for selling guns illegally and should be nailed to the wall for that.
First off, making your own firearms is perfectly moral and still mostly legal. Second, none of the stuff confiscated should be illegal or particularly regulated; it was the suspect’s actions that are evil, not the items. In other states, he still would have been done once it was discovered he was DUI drugs and carrying a gun. The supply guns to felons part also spells doom across the country. The other stuff? It shouldn’t be illegal, but not for his sake. These gun laws didn’t stop this guy and they disproportionately harm normal citizens.
Third, “ghost gun” and “assault weapon” are nonsensical scare words that should be banned from law enforcement vernacular. Polymer 80 is/was the only way anyone in California is going to get a Glock type gun in this state because of the stupid handgun roster. Want a Glock 43? Only way to get one is buy an overpriced one from a cop who bought it and didn’t like it or to roll your own 80%. Until the rules tightened, these were really popular in California with legitimate gun owners.
80% guns also probably reduced a lot of gun thefts as criminals before would have had to steal guns or obtain them through straw purchases. Serial numbers and registration does fuck all to stop crime. All serial numbers do is make it easier to track straw purchases or thefts after a criminal’s gun is recovered. Oh, and where serial numbers are required you can be arrested for having a gun without one or having obliterated it.
“Ghost gun” and “un-serialized” are ways of scaring stupid people. It’s anti-gun propaganda that I’m sure the PIOs picked up from CA DOJ somewhere and it all just trickled down to detectives who aren’t that in to guns. It’s frustrating, but at least Dustin’s press release isn’t any more sensational than it has to be.
When was the last time you saw Ventura County deputies arrest a normal, otherwise law-abiding citizen because he did something in California that is legal in like 45 states? I’m sure something is out there but I can’t think of it. The only thing that does come to mind is an arrest for “high capacity” magazines that got 849’d (basically un-arrested) due to Freedom Week. Turns out, no one in briefing bothered to discuss Freedom Week and that all 10+ magazines had been semi-legalized with the stay.
I’m not keen on having units named the “Gun Violence Reduction Team” (basically an adjunct of the Gang Unit but focuses on felons with guns so justify the grant money they’re taking to fund it) but at least in this small corner of the People’s Republic, the only people who are getting hammered are the real bad guys.
However, we must continue to discuss this kind of stuff open and freely to make sure it’s only drug dealers, felons, and gang members who are getting busted. There has to be a delineation in the mind of police between law abiding citizens defending themselves or engaged in a perfectly normal hobby and real criminals. As long as deputies are using the California-only gun felonies as a means to an end, that’s fine, but all of us in the law enforcement family with Second Amendment community crossover have to be the light on a hill for our badged brethren who might not know better.
Now for the Camarillians who might be scared, this was a nothing burger. You were never in any heightened danger because of this guy or his “ghost gun” factory. Good bust? Yes. Second Amendment violation? Not really. Is California retarded? You bet.
You gotta remember (and I do too) that most cops are not likely to be gun people anymore than a car salesman is likely to be a gearhead. Trust me, it took me a lot of time to come around to the position that I have. A cop with little experience with the gun community and no exposure to the kind of “shall not be infringed” thinking my readers have isn’t going to look at things the same way.
My one ask of incoming sheriff Jim Fryhoff, who is rumored to be a “gun guy,” is to rein in the use of “assault weapon” and “ghost gun.” Quit the hype and hysterical titles. To paraphrase Charles Dickens, if I could work my will, any cop who went about with “ghost gun” and “assault weapon” on his lips would be boiled in his own Hoppes and his cleaning rod buried in his butt.
To summarize, this is why I don’t bother commenting on this stuff. A real bad guy is the wrong context to argue over semantics and legalities that most are too dense to understand. Bad guy = no one cares. It’s not worth the energy. Hell, I’m not even sure why I typed this.
No, I didn't run the license plate, discover the girls were underage, and then call campus police to arrest them for minors in possession of alcohol (but that version is funnier).
The two robust young girls in bright sundresses were walking back. The taller one had her arms full of PBR. I laughed out loud, unable to believe that the jokes were true. I knew for sure they were college kids. No one else that age would be so stupid or cliché to drink that shit. Since I am from an older and more distinguished generation, I know that Pabst Blue Ribbon is for alcoholics who have either gone blind or have brain damage from drinking too much rubbing alcohol. My grandfather had a Pabst sign in his garage as a joke. No one who lived in a home with a foundation actually drank that stuff.
The charitable part of my personality got the better of me and ran outside with a twenty dollar bill in my hand.
“Here,” I said offering the portrait of Jackson to the girl with a hand free. “Go buy yourself some real beer.”
Her hand continued to swing with her step. Noses wrinkled upwards and I detected an imminent wave of teenage indignancy radiating towards me.
“No.” There is no real way to write how that ‘no’ sounded. It was two very long, drawn-out, offended syllables. It was the same ‘no’ that men out of their league heard in bars, that scantily-clad women mistakenly propositioned on corners uttered, and the sound of an emotion that only recently former juveniles could feel. It was a sound of horror, disgust, the utmost offense taken, and truly a jarring feeling for whoever was on the other end of it.
“No. We like this beer. We don’t want your money,” blue dress said.
I heard 30 cans of inferior beer jangle past me like a plea for help. The beer cans were calling me, begging me to return them to their destiny. Oh, how those cans wanted to be returned to the shelf, to be guzzled in short order by a welfare collecting senior who wouldn’t notice the taste. They wanted to be drunk and recycled for more beer money, or turned into an ingredient in someone’s home meth lab. Slowly being sipped like it was fine wine or a tasty craft beer while drunken minors trashed a rental house was a cruel fate. They were not meant to be drank by kids who enjoyed the sense of irony.
Note: this an adaptation from my non-fiction book Suburban Warfare: A cop's guide to surviving a civil war, SHTF, or modern urban combat, available on Amazon.