Dear Editor: My concern is pertaining to the recent raid of the supposed “shot house” in Barrow County. In these tough economic times, it saddens me to watch our government waste our hard earned tax dollars to gather so many departments for a problem with a much simpler solution. If we look at the amount of time and resources we actually invested, it is easy to conclude “the bust was a bust.”

Considering the numbers thrown out by our local sheriffs office, did the means exhausted justify the results? Fact is, there were only a small number of arrests. Very little was found. But what I find most disappointing was the mistreatment of our citizens.

It’s been reported “over 200 detained as 200 police officers converge on alleged ‘shot house’ in Statham.” Only 10 people were arrested. Most, if not all, were for misdemeanors. Out of the five pistols confiscated one was a “marksman bb gun.”

In all seriousness we are in a red state. In a recession, our county’s local gun retailers could not keep weapons on the shelves following the 2008 election. Therefore, why did we recruit law enforcement agencies from Lawrenceville, Monroe, Statham, Jefferson, Winder, Oconee, Gwinnett, the Georgia State Patrol and a helicopter? The next time, for precautionary measures, lets call in some paratroopers too. We can get everyone to surround our local Wal-Mart at high noon on Thursday. We’d probably catch more serious offenses being violated and we might even confiscate a few water pistols this time around.

After at least a five-month investigation, we expect more than a few empty beer cans from our intelligence agencies. This exercise proved to be nothing more than another targeted and wasteful organized sweep of hundreds of innocent people. According to the numbers touted, 95 percent of the people detained were found not to be in violation of the law.

What was worse than anything was the mistreatment hardly reported on of those citizens unlawfully detained. After hours of being processed outside in the cold like cattle, even women asking to be allowed to relieve themselves were instructed by the police to “go on themselves.” Some actually did. To top it all off our sheriff implicated, by name in our local paper, a man who spent the last few years of his life fighting sickness. He died earlier this year and out of respect for his family his name should have never been mentioned in this exaggerated misuse of public funds.

In the past I’ve called the police to complain about a neighbors activity. Only two Barrow County deputies came out. They walked over and simply asked the man to keep it down. Believe it or not the problem was solved. But if this is the new norm, I think I am going to call to see how many of our surrounding counties fire departments I can get to gather at the end of my yard to put out a cigarette my neighbor just threw onto my driveway.

Sincerely,

Barnard Sims

Statham

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