A Working StoryThree guys are working at a house on the Las Olas Isles in Fort Lauderdale. The lady of the house is not home. The guys manage to lock themselves out of the house. Looking for a way to get back in, they accidentally trip an alarm. The next thing they know police cars are racing up the street, a squad of cops jump out and confront them with drawn guns, ordering them in harsh terms to line up against a car and spread their arms. They try to explain what happened. They don’t look like burglars. They aren’t wearing masks and little Irish caps, although one of them has a distinct Irish brogue. They don’t feel thrilled having guns pointed at them, but sensibly none of them tries to punch a cop.
At this point the lady of the house returns. She confirms that they are indeed working there, and the cops, who had not been the masters of charm up to that point, immediately become the nicest fellows in the world, apologizing to the workmen for the misunderstanding. They even put their guns away.
Now some people in these circumstances would call a lawyer, sue for false arrest or some other silly claim and maybe get some money, at our taxpayers' expense. But these workmen are not that type. But they do wonder what made the cops so hyper.
What made the cops so hyper is that sometimes in similar circumstances, the burglars are real, and armed, and sometimes a cop, wearing a bulletproof vest, takes a slug in the face. They are still looking for people who killed police around here in recent years.
And in Washington there are people who are bought by the National Rifle Association, which pays big money to people who represent it, and even bigger money to the politicians who obligingly oppose anything that has to do with interfering with commerce, meaning selling guns. They don’t want to keep assault rifles out of the hands of law-abiding people, and they say criminals will always get them, so what’s the point of laws that will be only be broken, and might result in the loss of a gun sale? You heard the hired gun for the NRA make that argument before Congress.
The cops, of course, heard this more clearly than anyone, and they know that any time they confront a suspect, they might be faced with a gun. And that gun might have more firepower than the combined lead of several cops. And the above mentioned workmen, after coming down from the high associated with having guns pointed at them, can appreciate the challenge facing police in such cases.
They will get over the scary event, but it doesn’t make their jobs more fun.