In Arizona, Don’t Go Shooting Without a GPS and a Map
I only wanted a little physical stimulation and maybe some thrills and a bit of excitement. So my friend, Jimmy, and I went out to the desert to do us a little shooting.
We drove out to the middle of nowhere which, as it turned out, was actually still just inside the city limits of Avondale, AZ. Like anybody can tell the difference out there. I mean, come on… It’s Avondale, for chrissake!
So we’re in a river bottom, picking off some cans and bottles and I’m doing real well.
So, like I said, I’m doing real well… until the SWAT team comes over the hill.
Not much crime in Avondale, evidently, as half the force showed up to catch themselves a couple of gun-toting city slickers. They had their assault rifles aimed and pistols drawn just in case, you know, we turned out to be unsavory criminal-types just itching for a fight.
Those would be real “assault rifles” – the selective-fire “bullet hoses” designed to be “spray fired from the hip” and are only good for “killing lots of people in the shortest time possible.”
The ones that only military and police forces can own now. Those assault weapons.
“Spread your arms and get on the ground, or we’ll blow your fucking heads off!”
Now I don’t know about you, but if I had to come up with a list of the “Top Ten Things You Never Want to Hear on a Sunday Afternoon”, that phrase would rank pretty high up on the list.
We soon found ourselves in the heart of Avondale proper, in separate holding cells at Police HQ.
At some point, Jimmy later told me he heard two cops talking outside his room and one said to the other, “Neither of these guys have criminal records. What are we suppose to do with them?”
A few weeks later, we went to our preliminary hearing. The felony had been knocked down to a misdemeanor before we even walked in the door and both of us were now facing six months in jail or up to $2500 in fines. I told the prosecutor I couldn’t afford a lawyer, so would a public defender be provided? He responded that Avondale only provides one once you go to jail, which told me the city wouldn’t be paying to house and feed us any time soon either, it just wanted money.
A court date was set. A month later, we talked to the prosecutor and made a deal. About one fourth of the maximum fine with no jail time. And Jimmy had to forfeit the weapon.
No, they wanted money and the gun.
On the drive home, Jimmy and I passed a billboard for “Shooter’s World”, advertising a big gun sale the following weekend. I suggested to Jimmy that he might want to check it out since he didn’t have a gun anymore. We laughed at my moment of levity and our shared misfortune and marveled at how we had bonded since spending time in the pokey together.
The saying goes, “A good friend will bail you out of jail. A GREAT friend will go to jail with you.”
Read the whole tale. It’s pretty sad.