I think it’s fair to say that I don’t have the greatest amount of respect for the competence of many law enforcement agencies in the Northeast when it comes to their use of firearms, nor for the draconian firearms laws they enforce.
This is particularly true of the Boston (MA) area police who forced angels to work overtime as they sprayed more than a thousand rounds of 5.56 assault rifle rounds at two Islamic terrorist brothers in densely populated residential neighborhoods in 2013, including several hundred panic-fired at an unarmed terrorist hiding in a boat, apparently with no thought at all for the citizens cowering in homes downrange. That they didn’t injure or kill more citizens of Boston than the bombers is a miracle of the first order.
I guess we should consider ourselves lucky, then, that Cohasset Police managed to take a 65-year-old man into custody Friday for having a collection of unsecured firearms in his home, along with inert military shells and stolen grave markers from the cemetery across the street, without firing a shot.
A Cohasset man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly stole markers from military, police and fire department grave sites.
Police seized more than two dozen guns and military grade shells from the Doane Street home of 65-year-old Robert Stoddard on Friday.
While executing the search warrant, police also found the grave markers, which police say were stolen from a cemetery across the street from his home.
Officers are working to identify the family members of the servicemen, police officers, and firefighters whose grave markers were stolen.
The military mortar shells that were seized in the search were turned over to the U.S. Navy.
Stoddard was charged with three counts of desecrating a grave, five counts of receiving stolen property, three counts of improper storage of a handgun, and one count of possession of a firearm with obliterated serial numbers.
Let’s be very clear that Stoddard appears to be a first-rate dirtbag for stealing grave markers. Those markers were incidental, however, to the collection of unsecured firearms that resulted in the police being issued a warrant to raid his home.
In fact, Stoddard had the required Massachusetts licenses to own every single one of the rifles and shotguns confiscated from his home, almost all of which appear to be older, conventional rifles and pistols, not even magical, death-causing “assault weapons.”
So why was the cavalry called in? Because someone noticed that he did not have all of his firearms stored in safes.
While I strongly and consistently advocate for the safe storage of firearms, there are very few states that have infringed so deeply on the rights of American citizens that they feel that they can dictate how you are allowed to store your own personal property in your own home. Such laws are repellant to the concept if liberty itself.
Stoddard appears to have clearly deserved the incidental charges of three counts of desecrating a grave and five counts of receiving stolen property.
What is asinine is that he is also being charged with three counts of improper storage of a handgun in his own home, and a count of possession of a firearm with obliterated serial numbers, the latter of which is likely the result of corrosion and wear on these very old and well-worn firearms.
You’ll note he was not charged for the long guns the police confiscated, nor for the (almost certainly inert) mortar shells.
I hope Stoddard is convicted of all counts of grave desecration and receiving stolen property, but the gun charges infuriate me as a citizen of a free state, which Massachusetts most certainly is not.
As for the mortar shells, they’re almost certainly inert casings that you can find throughout the nation at flea markets, memorabilia swaps, and gun shows, and which are not more lethal than a bowling ball. Live ordnance is carefully tracked by the military, and I cannot recall a time in recent memory when actual live ordnance was recovered from anything short of a drug cartel.
It galls me that on this day in 1775, citizens rose up against the government for attempting to seize their “in common use firearms,” but that residents of the same proud commonwealth have sunk so low as to be terrified of the sight of a weapon in someone’s home in just a few hundred years.
Paul Revere and Sam Adams would be appalled.