Don’t Blame Acorns


            Katmandu       For a long, long time, I’ve had a Google Alert for ACORN.  How else would I have been able to keep up with the roses and brickbats thrown in our path?  Sure, there were times like Thanksgiving and deer season where my feed would be inundated with news of either the size of the acorn crop and what it portended for killing or what kinds of recipes someone might be able to make with acorns.  All that was harmless, and the price of admission in order to keep up with how many years the House Budget Committee would ban us and 170 associated groups from funding, because they might have known us well, or the latest exploits in the steep fall of James O’Keefe and his career as a fake journalist and full-time provocateur for the right.  Of course, I could also read press from multiple Canadian and United Kingdom news sources about ACORN’s progress there and do my part to make sure they were in our monthly bulletin.

Nonetheless, I wasn’t prepared to land in Delhi on my way to Katmandu and see my feed had been swamped with news from Florida heaping unheard of blame on not ACORN so much as acorns in general.  Seems a deputy sheriff in Okaloosa County, Florida emptied a clip at an unarmed prisoner in his patrol car, because he mistook the sound of some acorns hitting the roof of his ride for God knows what and started firing at his prisoner.  Miraculously, the prisoner was not wounded or killed, which thankfully speaks to another problem with this deputy.  He resigned under investigation by the county.  But according to one of the many accounts, this one from the Washington Post,

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office investigation …found former deputy Jesse Hernandez used excessive force. But he and a sergeant who shot at unarmed suspect Marquis Jackson were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, according to Sheriff Eric Aden.

Wow, lucky for him.  I guess?  Although in Florida, this trigger-happy cop and his sergeant are probably still allowed to have a license to carry, even openly, and probably will end up working in some other jurisdiction of the country before the year is out.  The fact that he can’t hit the side of a barn even at three-feet is the only comforting news in this tale.

But, let’s give some things to oak trees and their acorns for conclusively demonstrating some of the amazing dangers of cops and the guns they have no clue how to use.  I’m not saying we should go all Britain, but I am saying that if we’re going to allow police to have guns, the safety and handling training is woefully deficient.  This quickdraw cowboy stuff is a hundred years out of date.  Watching Netflix on the regular, I can tell you in many EU and Scandinavian countries where police have guns, they had to put them in their glove compartments when they get in the car and in a lock safe when they are in their squad rooms or home at night.

Is that too much to ask?  I’ll like to see acorns get some credit for some real reform involving cops and their guns.  Let’s hear it for oak trees showing the way!