Let me set the scene…
I stopped an 18 year old last week for speed. Shocking. I walk up to the passenger side of the car and contact the kid (shudder…half my age…I digress). The usual chit-chat (read: bullshit) where I ask, “Do you know why I stopped you?” Blah, blah, blah. And here’s where it gets interesting…
While the kid is getting his license out of his wallet, I glance in the rear seat of the Suburban he was driving. I see what appears to be the stock of an automatic rifle. Well, then. Very calm like, out comes my duty weapon. Kid doesn’t notice anything as he is still fishing his license out of his wallet. I point my duty weapon and the kid (finger indexed, people. Safety first) and ask him, “What’s up with the rifle?”
Remember watching cartoons as a kid and that male wolf saw that hot female wolf and his eyes shot out of his head? Picture that. And I can’t be sure, but I think I got a whiff of poop. I may have scared the shit out of this kid. He stammered, “I-I-I-It’s an airsoft gun.”
Okay, no problem. I got the kid out of the car and had him walk around to me. Yadda, yadda, imagine every episode of COPS you’ve ever seen. I cuffed him without incident and confirmed it was indeed an airsoft gun. He claimed it was his little brother’s and I tend to believe him. No big deal, but it’s not every day a kid from the Town has a Sig .40 pointed at him, so I’m pretty sure the airsoft gun is now at the bottom of some trash heap.
Here’s the lesson…don’t be stupid and keep that shit in plain sight. Or, even better, how’s about not in your car at all. Interesting side note, the orange tip had black electrician’s tape wrapped around it to make it appear more real. Effective. Also a misdemeanor. I didn’t arrest him for it, cuz I believed it was his brother’s. I told him about the tape, though. Let me put it this way…had he pointed that at me, I would have killed him. That’s some scary shit to say, but better him than me. It would have been sad and all, don’t get me wrong, but that goes along with this job. We have to make life and death decisions in a heartbeat. Literally. So, if you have kids, don’t let them alter their fake guns to make them look more real. They’re like that for a reason.
Okay, lecture over. The punchline is that the poor kid could barely sign his citation (of course I cited him…come on) he was shaking so bad. Never thought I would utter the words, “Look at it this way. It’s only a speeding ticket and you didn’t get shot.” Honestly, he was extremely cooperative (you’d be surprised how many aren’t) and didn’t seem to adversely affected by the whole thing. Never had anyone so happy to sign a ticket and wish me a good day.