If he ever saw me walking down the street in the city limits taking pop shots at squirrels and such with my Daisy 880.
Four MENSA candidates decided upon themselves to take up squirrel hunting inside the Houston city limits yesterday evening. Can't really say as I blame them. It was hot, and there was really nothing to do. Not like XBox or PS2 in an air conditioned tenement would have been a more attractive pursuit in this 106 degree heat.
I've seen these 'yutes' (yes, I invoked the holy Fred Gwynn pronunciation) hanging out in front of their little barrio tenement with air rifles before. They're usually shooting cans in the bar ditch next to the street. While their trigger discipline leaves something to be desired, I have found no reason to freak out and run away screaming with my hair on fire due to poor muzzle control. I have yet to see them point those rifles at anyone or anyone's property and cause alarm. So, I guess there are at least two brain cells rubbing together in their collective brain pans to create a coherent thought.
This tenement is at the corner of my street and the north/south street that bisects our neighborhood. I guess these kids didn't want to take the long way around to the other apartments where I guess one or two of them live at the other end of my street and decided to hunt their way down the quickest route. . . my street.
I was sitting in the computer room fiddling with iTunes when Swede called me into the front room. She warned me not to become alarmed when she pointed out what these kids were doing. I wasn't too alarmed at seeing them take a few potshots at squirrels in the trees across the street. Had they turned around and pointed those things at my house, I would have put the fear of Gawdalmighty in them from the business end of an 870. As it was, they were standing in my neighbor-across-the-way's yard and shooting into the trees of my neighbor next door. She saw this and came flying out to confront these boys.
Right about this time is when I am on the phone with 911. More than anything, I wanted a police officer to come down and put the fear of God into them and let them know there are better and more constructive uses of their time. The operator was just a complete model of city beauracracy and effeciency. She wasted a lot of time getting useless information and detail when I was trying to inform her of description and direction of travel. Had I played ignorant and said four Latino males were shooting guns at my neighbor's house, there'd be a SWAT rollout and twenty cars on my street in a matter of minutes. That kind of attention I don't want.
A call came in about a minute after I hung up with 911. The shift supervisor for my area called to confirm I wasn't some prankster, I guess. He seemed more perturbed that I was creating more paperwork for his desk. He told me it was not illegal for kids to be shooting air guns in public. I responded that there were little kids in backyards where these boys were aiming. Someone could get seriously hurt by their actions. I also reminded him that there were about 10 to 15 households on my street with NRA bumperstickers on their cars. I also politely reminded him that those people might be more inclined to panic and start shooting if they see these kids taking pot shots at their houses.
It was ten minutes later when I received a call from Officer Walker of the Houston Police Department. It seems that he is now in possession of two nearly new, dropped once, air guns. He has had dealings with this complex and a couple of these boys before. I asked if it had anything to do with the Latin Kings tags spraypainted on the side of one of the buildings. He just laughed. Officer Walker told me those boys lit out like striped-ass apes when they saw him coming and just left the rifles where they dropped. He made a mental note of which apartments they ran to and planned on coming back to speak with their parents later in the evening.
I jokingly asked if he'd let me keep one of the air rifles for my collection. Unfortunately, Officer Walker has to play by the rules and turn them over to HPD Property as evidence.
I don't think I will be seeing these 'yutes' on the street for a week or two. They probably think it was my neighbor who confronted them who called it in. They may be shittin' their britches wondering if Johnny Law is gonna bust down their door in a midnight raid.
Something tells me that Officer Walker is the type that wouldn't need to chase after these boys. Just a stern talking to to emphasize his point and let them be on their way. These kids weren't really doing any damage, but weren't thinking either. Lord knows things could have escalated rather quickly, and for the worse. Heck, I might have let them use my backyard as a shooting gallery if they'd ask. It would beat having them possibly shoot out a window or an eye.
I can remember those days of my youth real well. Dad would have beat my ass five shades of black and blue if he caught me doing something that stupid. He'd invent a new shade of black and blue if the cops brought me home.
Let's just hope I don't have any more problems dealing with these kids.
An Ode to the EMS Whacker
4 weeks ago