Both Alphecca and Countertop covered the story, but because I experienced such a jaw-dropping moment, such anguished disbelief, I have to blog on it for my own sanity. Let me sketch it all out before I get to those parts that so bothered me.
Our oh so noble author, Mike Kessler, once lived in Los Angeles. He now lives in Boulder, Colorado where he edits Skiing Magazine (you might want to think about dropping your subscriptions). Our intrepid hero helped a friend, Elizabeth, remove belongings from her deceased brother’s home. They found a locked metal box with her brother’s small collection of handguns—they had no key, but she knew what was in it. She wanted to get rid of the guns or in Kessler’s words, have them “…put out of commission.”
He didn’t want them and decided the police would be happy to get them off the streets. He recounts trying to get LAPD to take them. They refused to take them because they were in a locked box. He got a locksmith to open it. He took them, now in a cardboard box, to Glendale PD. The officer there offered to buy them as a private sale. Our narrator didn't want any part of what could have been a shady deal.
He goes through a few moral permutations and decides to smash the guns. OH THE HUMANITY! He actually, if he is to be believed, broke up these fine weapons ( he described them I believe he had a Glock, a Smith & Wesson revolver, and a pocket sized .25 caliber, although there may have been another .38 and another small gun).
Kessler is proud of his act of vandalism and that’s enough for me to curse his name and his actions. Anyone who would do that to a gun deserves a plague of boils and locusts. Still, there are other troubling things here.
For instance, Kessler states, “…I'd been to the indoor shooting range over the years…and each time I enjoyed it. It made me shaky with excitement, and scared, like looking over the edge of a tall bridge.”
Oh my God, he got all shaky with excitement and scared. Then during his moral permutations he confesses, “Every time I'd been to a shooting range, I was fascinated by the power I wielded.” I hate to say it, but I don’t trust such a person with a gun. Excited, scary, fascinated with power. Get him a shrink, not a Glock.
But now here’s a funny thing. Kessler says he has shot guns before. When the locksmith opened the box, he had to take the guns to a friend, a former hunting guide who still owns old rifles no less, to inspect them. He found that they were loaded and his friend gave Kessler a quick lesson in unloading them.
Now, I’ve got a few questions. How the hell do you shoot a gun without knowing how to load and unload it? If he really did shoot guns at all, what lackwit turned him lose with a gun he didn’t know how to verify was loaded, or how to unload it? Or did he go to a range and have someone hand him loaded guns that he could fire a couple of times and then leave on the table for someone else to deal with?
Finally, what kind of human being would take a “fifteen-pound” ax (?) and smash up valuable items? He could have sold them for Elizabeth. They could have donated the money to the Brady Bunch if they really wanted to be ironic. Instead, smashing at least two fine weapons is a sign of a mental disorder in my view.
There may be a degree of projection in Kessler’s mind here. He talked earlier about a feeling of power and he’s concerned that kids will get the smashed guns and stage a “made for TV movie” so he throws the battered pieces into a bag adds dirt and old paint, and then throws them away. Take that you evil guns you.
The man is proud of his vandalism. I hope Elizabeth’s brother’s ghost haunts him and maybe her too.