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Departments : It's a Jungle Out There

Scarce Ammo and Surprising Shots

None of the politicos knew until it was over that many of the officers only had one bullet each, and many of them had no ammunition at all.

August 01, 2002  |  by Commander Gilmore

It's Your Turn to Hold the Bullet

Government officials attending the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia-including Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair-probably thought they were protected by the best security in the world. After all, 4,000 cops were assigned to the event, and they all looked pretty businesslike, packin' those big autopistols. None of the politicos knew until it was over that many of the officers only had one bullet each, and many of them had no ammunition at all. Just some fine semi-automatic paperweights.

The story broke in a cop newspaper, the Queensland Police Union Journal. "We had some members of the security force who were issued with one bullet," an editorial stated, "And others not supplied with any ammunition at all. How can the QPS (Queensland Police Service) run out of ammunition?" It seems that with Australia's new draconian gun control laws and accompanying red tape "to protect the people," even law enforcement agencies are having a tough time getting supplies of ammunition.

The politically correct police superintendent, Paul Stewart, copped to the problem but dismissed it as a "logistical challenge." Opposition police spokesman Jeff Sweeney felt a little differently about it. "The whole situation sounds like some macabre game of Russian roulette," he said. Now just imagine patrolling Chicago with one bullet in your pocket, pal.

Now That's a 'Money Shot'

Officer Lim Kim Soth of the Cambodian National Police swears it was purely accidental, but his ten-ring hit on a relic-poacher brought him unexpected fame and money, and his "precision marksmanship" is now the envy of his pals.

Soth was foot-patrolling the area around Angkor Wat, the 9th-  to 13th-century temple complex that is his nation's biggest tourist attraction-and greatest hard-currency magnet-when he saw two guys illegally searching for antiquities with a metal detector. Soth yelled at 'em to halt, but they split for the woods, as relic-poaching is a national felony, punishable with long prison sentences. And folks, any sentence in a Cambodian prison is too long....

The thieves were leaving Soth in the dust when he launched a couple of rounds in their general direction, sort of as an incentive to keep movin'. To his shock and amazement, one of them screamed, grabbed his groin, and dropped to the ground. Soth's shot, possibly the result of a ricochet, had taken the guy's testicles, as they say, clean off.

Poor Soth was sure he was gonna lose his job at the least, and probably had visions of spending the rest of his days staring at the south end of a northbound water buffalo. And when Chea Sophat, the Siem Reap regional police chief suddenly blew into town wanting a one-on-one with him, Soth thought he was cooked. But the top cop didn't cut off his buttons and drum him out. Instead, he handed Soth a cash "bonus" greater than his annual salary, and declared to all and sundry that he'd like to see more of Soth's kinda shooting.

It seems that Chief Chea Sophat sorta hates relic poachers and personally believes that while many men will risk some time in the Big House for a ruby-eyed golden Buddha, there ain't many men who'll risk those other kinda jewels for love or money or both. We agree. And the message wasn't lost on Soth's pals in blue, either. More than a year's extra pay? Dang, that's worth some time on the practice range, poppin' caps at a "special silhouette target."

Note: If you're thinking about touring Angkor Wat, we recommend you don't look, walk, talk, or breathe like you're interested in any of the temple knick-knacks-and Kevlar underwear might be a nifty idea.

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