A while back, I posted about Paul Clarke getting arrested for gun possession when he turned the gun in. I still think that law is stupid, but apparently Mr. Clarke isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer either.
I thought it was a little weird that when he called the police, all he said was “I asked the chief if I could come see him.” I thought why not say “I found a gun left in my garden that isn’t mine, and I wonder how I can turn it in.” But I thought maybe he thought that might arouse suspicion, so thought he’d just bring it in the next day.
The next weird thing was before saying a word, he pulled it out and set it on the table. I know it was facing the wall, and he wasn’t holding it, but I thought that was a little weird. But I still thought what happened to him was stupid.
Now I found out that he’s had trouble with the law before, so should have known that you don’t waltz into the police station and whip out a gun, even if your intent is to turn it in. Plus, why did he put his fingerprints all over it too? If he knows he’s had trouble with cops before, why give them a reason to be suspicious of his intentions?
Don’t get me wrong, I think the law is stupid. As Randy Cassingham points out on his blog,
Let’s take it to an extreme (as if Clarke’s case isn’t extreme enough): a citizen could see someone about to shoot the queen, and grab the gun away from the assassin. Thus according to the law, he should go to jail for that act of “possession”! Therefore citizens who witness a crime in progress must choose between someone’s life, or ruining their own. The evil, then, isn’t the choice, but that one has to make such a choice according to the law.
Even so, Clarke gets tapped a bit with the stupid stick.
December 11 is still coming, so we’ll see what happens. Some readers have been telling Randy that he may get an absolute discharge and completely come away with a clean record. Maybe they can whip out one of those cautions we’ve talked about before. Hell, if it’s good for the sex-offenders, it’s good for Clarke.