When I was approached in the parking lot as mentioned previously, It became obvious that the cop knew what he was looking for and was certain I had it.
So you might ask the question:
How did the cops know I had the flare launcher?
Well, here’s the clincher: they knew because I told them, I didn’t consider it wrong or illicit to have and I felt totally justified in using it in the way I had proposed.
It is almost as interesting as that other issue, what is and what is not a “gun”…. to which the answer is simply that for those who worship violence, everything is an instrument to that end.
So what was I doing walking down the street at 6:30 PM with a large backpack, a situation that may seem suspicious to some. It’s called “laundry”.
When one lives on a boat, one does wear clothes, and those clothes do get dirty. Thus it is occasionally necessary to take those clothes, put them in a bag, or a backpack and take them to the laundry.
I had taken the little flare launcher with me; a habit of carrying it around gained from some events on the mooring that had put me on edge; some persons were diving on it, unfastening the shackles I had so carefully placed around a network of cinder blocks, an arrangement which had worked to hold the boat wonderfully through el-nino, but was failing due to human intervention, as opposed to natural cause.
So I am doing this, I have my dirty clothes in my backpack, I have kayaked to the shore, I am walking through a residential neighborhood at night ~6:30pm when I find I am being followed by a black sedan.
When the door opened on the sedan I poked the flare launcher in the car ready to hit-and-run in the event that these folks were at all related to the unfriendlies diving on my mooring.
Perhaps a bit lame; with the added weight of the backpack it is doubtful I could have run very far or very fast if in fact the occupants had been hostile, and it was explained to me that they were police, the four of them in the unmarked car, and it was I who was the suspicious character.
I felt irritated. “Someone minding their own business, walking on the sidewalk with a backpack is a suspicious character to these swine.”
The next day I went to the police station to confirm that the occupants in the car were in fact police, not yahoos; I showed the chief my flare launcher and explained my strategy.
And that, I thought would be it. A simple misunderstanding. I was mistaken, there was no threat to my safety or person, and they in turn could rest assured that simple folk such as myself proceeding alone along the sidewalk were no threat to the coveted residential neighborhood.
But I was wrong, having seen the vulnerability of my solitary passage they had every intention of exercising the belligerence which I had (correctly as it turns out) sensed coming from them.
I would soon be made to understand the outrage over my ‘flare launcher’ and the tenacity of the plan to use it to stop a gang-bang, righteous indignation of that, that an unarmed pedestrian, the lowest of the low would dare to challenge the might of the auto empowered.