Friday, November 29, 2013

Game Warden Files--Just Keep the Mouth Shut

It seems like some folks don't know when to quit. If you're caught and you're wrong, just apologize and leave--doesn't that make sense? To some it does not, apparently
One nice fall morning, a local landowner was working on his property when he saw three men hunting. He knew two of them, brothers who lived in the area and the third man was a stranger to him. When confronted with being on posted property, two of the men apologized, the third, one of the brothers, had to make a rather unpleasant argument out of it and now the landowner understandably wanted him arrested.
Though the landowner knew the brothers, he didn't know where they lived. The apologetic brother, however worked for a local excavating contractor and had been driving a company truck when they'd been hunting. The owner of the company was a long-time friend, so I called him and got the man's phone number. When I got him on the phone, he quickly agreed to meet me at the Sheriff's Office to talk about the incident and gave me a full statement of the event which agreed with the landowner's story almost exactly. He also told me where to find Brother #2, and revealed that the Brother #2 was on probation and not supposed to have any guns. Even worse, Brother #2 had guns that were really family owned guns, having belonged their deceased father. I thanked him for his statement and told him he needed to talk to his boss about using the company truck to violate the game laws. Then I was off to see Brother #2.
Though I've always been a strong supporter of the right to bear arms, it's never bothered me to take guns away from criminals and this time was no exception. However I'd known the father who had owned these guns and if they'd been seized they may have ended up being destroyed; that bothered me. Brother #1 hadn't done anything to deserve losing his right to them; but I had no right to tell him how to get around the law. However, I didn't have to rush to write Brother #2 his tickets. Since I had all the information I needed, I took the time to write the tickets out before going over to Brother #2's house. As I drove down the road, I saw Brother #1's truck going the other way and was happy to know that he'd figured this out on his own. Brother #2 met me in his front lawn, hands outstretched for the tickets. He told me that he no longer had the guns...that was all I needed to hear; case closed. He plead out and paid his fines.
A few days after this took place I got a call from Brother #2's probation officer. He had reported the incident to her as required and she wanted to know my take on it. She too was a Second Amendment Supporter and was happy that the guns had been removed and not subject to seizure. She also thought that maybe her probationer had learned a valuable lesson about keeping his mouth shut--something she'd identified as a problem he had. If he'd just apologized and left, he'd have never had to meet me that day.

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