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Posted: 6/22/2001 8:23:33 AM EDT
Maybe they should read "Unintended Consequences" instead. [url]www.contracostatimes.com/partners/ns/safety_20010621.htm[/url] Meat factory inspectors more alert after rampage On anniversary of San Leandro shootings, safety precautions for employees are still being discussed BY BRIAN ANDERSON TIMES STAFF WRITER It was not a secret that a gun was kept at the Santos Linguisa Factory in San Leandro when four state and federal meat investigators and compliance officers walked into the plant a year ago today. Nor was it a mystery that inspectors ran into trouble with the sausage factory's owner during previous visits. But the government workers were caught by surprise when a man emerged from a back room firing wildly, killing three of four in a violent exchange that stunned the nation's meat inspection agencies. "I don't think they realized how much this problem was out there and how serious it really was," said Doug Morton, president of the Western Council of the American Federation of Government Employees, a meat inspectors union. "I felt like it was something that was eventually going to happen." A year later, government officials continue talks about taking precautions, improving safety and remembering three colleagues, friends and family members. U.S. Department of Agriculture officers Thomas Quadros, 52, and Jean Hillery, 56, along with state meat investigator Bill Shaline, 57, were not lost in vain that day, officials said. Their deaths gave birth to new policies, procedures and programs -- including the use of bulletproof vests -- that could ultimately save lives. "The incident that happened last year was the first incident, like that, we've ever had," said Karen Long, a spokeswoman for the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. "Everybody has been saying in the past year that this can happen, so let's make sure we are better-equipped and prepared to hopefully prevent things from escalating to that level." On that sunny June day, Quadros, Hillery, Shaline and state investigator Earl Willis arrived at Stuart Alexander's popular, family-owned sausage plant to talk about the company's operating permits. Alexander flew into a rage, authorities said, arguing with the agents, who were captured by a security videotape casually standing in the plant's lobby.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 8:24:12 AM EDT
(continued) At 3:37 p.m., bullets broke the air, hitting everyone but Willis, who dodged the gunfire as he was chased down the street. Alexander was arrested and indicted on three counts of homicide with special circumstances that could lead to the death penalty. He also faces a federal charge, but is awaiting trial on the state charges first. In the months following the shootings, USDA officials commissioned a study, due out next month, to examine workplace violence across the meat inspection industry. They also made an internal review of safety guidelines for another report also expected to be completed in July, Long said. There were training sessions to help inspectors and compliance officers better handle potentially violent situations. Directives were issued for workers to report any threats or confrontations with plant owners or managers. In one of its boldest moves, the USDA bought bulletproof vests late last year for its workers to use, upon request. A compliance officer, for instance, who is worried about a particular plant visit could request a vest to be delivered overnight, Long said. "If people feel a need for that, we have them there," she said, adding that they have yet to be used. [B] Steve Lyle, a spokesman for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, said agency Secretary William Lyons directed the legal department to explore creating a special unit of investigators. The small group would have peace officer status, allowing them to carry firearms, and would be called in by investigators leery of confrontational plant operators.[/B] "That process is still ongoing," Lyle said, adding that it was uncertain whether the idea would ultimately be put into action. "I think the mere fact that the secretary asked our lawyers to look at it is indicative of strong interest, though." The notion of arming more government agents, however, does not come without controversy, even from those who deal with heated situations in the field. "I really think it is a bad idea," said Morton, who has had a handful of run-ins during his 25 years as a meat inspector. "We're really not trained as law enforcement officers. I really think that in most cases that's not going to take care of the problem." Even with the enhanced safety programs, no one denied that it could happen again. "Nothing is 100 percent foolproof," Lyle said. "What we want to do, is provide our employees with information that they can use to help protect themselves."
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 8:30:13 AM EDT
I take it you think this is a bad idea, Imbrog. You seem to think that it is okay for us to arm ourselves against bad guys and even the government, but that these inspectors should not be allowed to be armed in order to protect themselves against nuts like Alexander.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 8:33:08 AM EDT
If the Gov't comes to inspect my meat they can expect to get shot.[;)]
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 8:58:32 AM EDT
Originally Posted By LARRY G: I take it you think this is a bad idea, Imbrog. You seem to think that it is okay for us to arm ourselves against bad guys and even the government, but that these inspectors should not be allowed to be armed in order to protect themselves against nuts like Alexander.
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If everyone were free to arm themselves, that would include meat inspectors, wouldn't it?
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 9:08:15 AM EDT
I happened to follow the incident from the begining. Alexander's family owned the sausage plant for 4 generations, never had any health code violations or consumer complaints. Then all of a sudden these guys come in and tell him "you are out of business".
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 9:12:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbrog|io: I happened to follow the incident from the begining. Alexander's family owned the sausage plant for 4 generations, never had any health code violations or consumer complaints. Then all of a sudden these guys come in and tell him "you are out of business".
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So that makes it okay to kill them? Maybe the family had not run into a non-bribable inspector before. What about this?
Nor was it a mystery that inspectors ran into trouble with the sausage factory's owner during previous visits.
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Sounds like they had problems before to me.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 9:27:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbrog|io: I happened to follow the incident from the beginning. Alexander's family owned the sausage plant for 4 generations, never had any health code violations or consumer complaints. Then all of a sudden these guys come in and tell him "you are out of business".
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Well, if his father owned a meat packing company that means he can't be bad. After all no responsible family has EVER had an offspring that is an loser compared to the rest of the family. "They ran into problems before..." So when they asked him to pack food in a sanitary way he threw a tantrum, lucky thing he practiced good business practices. It's not like un-sanitary food could give any food poisoning, that's an urban legend. Inspectors, FDA, OSHA, FERC, or otherwise have a reputation for issuing tons of written warning before issuing fines which might eventually lead to a stop order. That kind of stuff usually takes a year or more. To bad the just surprised him like that. Yeah Imbro aren't meat inspectors citizens too? they should be able to go into the business with AR-15's and shotguns. To let them do any less is to lessen the RKBA. It's not like anything could happen if they didn't have a firearm to defend themselves. Wait, I know what Imbro was getting at, no one should be able to have a firearm in their office. Brilliant ban work place weapons it's for the children. Good one Imbro!
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 9:28:34 AM EDT
Well boys and girls, as you continue to get more and more rules and regulations rammed down your throats, don't be completely shocked when more "crazy bastards with guns" continue such behavior. In fact, you can count on it. Why do you think the "rules-makers" want you unarmed? NEWSFLASH!!!! It ain't for the children. Imbroglio, don't you ever get just a bit disheartened?
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 9:51:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/22/2001 9:49:15 AM EDT by KBaker]
Here's the question: What's the whole story? We've got just this report and Imbrog|io's comment that there was more to it. If the story was about BATF agents gunned down by a C&R license holder during an inspection, what would your knee-jerk reaction be? (Be honest.) My problem is that I don't trust the media to report "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth". Hell, at this point I don't trust them to tell anything [i]approaching[/i] the truth. I don't think they bother to even get the [i]facts[/i] right anymore. Was the shooter in this case a wacko? Hard to tell. Many on this board advocate shooting Government agents who "infringe on their rights". Maybe he was someone who took that idea to heart. Personally I doubt he was, though. I lean toward the wacko diagnosis. Walking out and gunning down Gov. agents in broad daylight A) doesn't solve your problems, and B) gets you life in prison at a minimum, thus adding to your problems. Now, if this guy was mentally unbalanced enough to gun down government agents, this gives me reason to believe that maybe things in the plant weren't kosher in all meanings of the word. The questions that remain, though (and that aren't addressed here) are: Was there a problem at the plant, and was the guy being harrassed by the agents? One, both, or neither may be true. In any case, killing the agents wasn't the answer. And arming inspectors isn't a solution. [sniper]
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 9:59:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SP10: Well boys and girls, as you continue to get more and more rules and regulations rammed down your throats, don't be completely shocked when more "crazy bastards with guns" continue such behavior. In fact, you can count on it. Why do you think the "rules-makers" want you unarmed? NEWSFLASH!!!! It ain't for the children. Imbroglio, don't you ever get just a bit disheartened?
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Well the people shot were not "rule-makers" they were people trying to do a job. Do you think it would be ok for someone to shoot you at work because the didn't like your job performance? YOU voted for the "rule-makers" if you don't like them vote'em out. Yeah I can't believe the government would actually want to enforce food saftety standards. It's a known fact that the more excrement, germs, and bacteria you eat the stronger your immune system becomes, if you live.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 10:10:09 AM EDT
Gee, and I seriously doubt any of those fine folks just doing their jobs enforcing all those fine laws get a rush out of making the serfs obey them, either. It is a vicious circle, no doubt. Obviously, without governmental control over every aspects of our lives, we just can't function. Because all those bad serfs will do something wrong without the threat of eminent punishment by the strong and good guv'ment. Serfs, you just can't trust 'em! Jesus, some of you guys should just get fitted up with airsofts now and save yourself any inconvenience or trouble. Have a good weekend, all! Don't break too many laws...
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 10:34:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By NO-AR-:(: YOU voted for the "rule-makers" if you don't like them vote'em out.
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A plurality of the voters voted for the "rule-makers"; [b]I[/b] didn't. My candidates lost.
Yeah I can't believe the government would actually want to enforce food saftety standards.
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And of course it's inconceivable that a manufacturer would want to avoid poisoning his customers. There's nothing like a few batches of tainted sausage to pump up the profits. [rolleyes] Having federal meat inspections isn't a big problem. Developing an "us versus them" mindset because of a single incident is (and that goes both ways).
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 10:59:26 AM EDT
Your right Matt, but this post started as an us versus them. I pointed out that was what it was, I may have digressed. But I believe in the Constitution, Lawful Election, and represtentative governmet. It seems to me that a lot of people on this site believe that thier rights are very important, but other peoples right aren't. It irritates me that someone who claims to be so staunchly RKBA, feels that others shouldn't have that right. Someone who feels that they should be given full exercise of his rights, but who feels others can't be trusted to exercise their rights.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 11:06:03 AM EDT
Let them carry guns. But make them carry a personally owned side arm.And make them get a CCW or whatever{I am an Ohioan I can't carry and don't ask me what permits you need either.}
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 11:52:21 AM EDT
After he shot those people, he reloaded and then executed each of them as they lay on the floor bleeding to death. Not a very sweet guy, but his sausage was really good. [url]www.tahoe.com/appeal/stories.10.28.00/WORLD/sausa28Oct6846.html[/url]
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 12:02:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SP10: Gee, and I seriously doubt any of those fine folks just doing their jobs enforcing all those fine laws get a rush out of making the serfs obey them, either. It is a vicious circle, no doubt. Obviously, without governmental control over every aspects of our lives, we just can't function. Because all those bad serfs will do something wrong without the threat of eminent punishment by the strong and good guv'ment. Serfs, you just can't trust 'em! Jesus, some of you guys should just get fitted up with airsofts now and save yourself any inconvenience or trouble. Have a good weekend, all! Don't break too many laws...
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Well, obviously you don't break many laws as we haven't heard of you being arrested yet. How in the hell does all your ranting equate to this. Do you not want health inspectors and do you just want to eat whatever the producers put out there? No thanks. These were unarmed health inspectors, not BATF thugs. Apparently, some people think that EVERYTHING is a government conspiracy and we all have the right to just gun down anyone that disagrees with us or tries to keep us from poisoning the public. I am not saying that this guy was poisoning anyone, but if he was completely above board, why did this happen?
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 12:28:57 PM EDT
It is hard being an honest cop. And there are alot of us that have to enforce the laws that don't wear blue like the street cops. All we want to do is to go home at the end of our shift. But we also take the blame for the dirty cops. The inspectors have a right to go home after their shift. You got a problem with them? you don't shoot them.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 12:44:03 PM EDT
Here we go again! You guys just don't F@#king get it at all!! Everone should be armed. Damn right those guys should have been armed. They were gunned down because they were unable to defend themselves. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6!!!!! When you live in a country were criminals roam the streets and are not punished for their crimes carrying a Gun is the only logical solution. I will not be a victim or a crime statistic. My Walther PPS/S is at my side as I am typing this. My M16 is propped in the corner. If you want some come and get some! Thats my solution for anybody that wants to hurt my family or myself.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 12:51:24 PM EDT
That dam mad cow desease...... [heavy]
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 1:04:21 PM EDT
I cant pass up the connection between 'pigs' and a sausage factory..... While I have personally dealt with heavy handed, unreasonable govt employees, killing them is NOT the answer! As private citzen they SHOULD be CCW. I am , EVERYONE should be. One problem though. They live in Kalikommie, and Heir Feinstein and the other socialists down there will save them. I am however against ANOTHER govt agency, at face value, coming in with guns and LEO powers. If they 'think' there is a problem, CALL 911. Thats what everybody else is stuck with, and I dont see where the govt is ANY better. NO worker should die by violence at work, thats where the RKBA comes into play!
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 2:33:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CavVet: I am however against ANOTHER govt agency, at face value, coming in with guns and LEO powers.
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I agree 100% - the only federal agencies that should be armed are the FBI, US Marshals, and Secret Service. There's no need for DOE, USPS, FWS, or FDA to have armed agents.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 3:05:42 PM EDT
DOE, they guy who guard nuclear material and secrets, we may want them armed. USPS, subject of frequent armed robberies becuase of the checks that go through the mail. I'm leery of arming more feds. How much traing will the y get what will there responsibilites be. It's a shame that inspectors are met with gun fire. Is it really the gov't getting out of hand or are more and more people in this country rude, imapatient, self-centered clods who don't know how to treat other people?
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 3:30:00 PM EDT
Carrying a firearm in the Fedaral government doen't necessarily equate to LEO powers. It's not that common, but government employees placed in potentially dangerous situations are sometimes issued firearms purely for self-defense and are not given LEO powers. This is not done capriciously and applies only to a small number of specific positions where firearms issuance is authorized. Typically these firearms cannot be carried off-duty. Often employees receiving firearms in this manner start agitating for LEO powers since that gives them LEO retirement benefits. This is a major reason that agencies resist the issuance of firearms. Firearms issuance also brings up issues of training and employee hiring. (There are also some employees who have LEO powers but no authority to carry fireams. Sometimes these employees are deputized as a deputy U.S. Marshall and carry firearms based on that.) Getting back to the central topic: Most of us work for somebody (gotta pay that mortgage!). I certainly don't think it's reasonable that someone can shoot you because they disagree with your employer.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 3:38:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NO-AR-:(: DOE, they guy who guard nuclear material and secrets, we may want them armed. USPS, subject of frequent armed robberies becuase of the checks that go through the mail.
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I'm sure that if we tried hard enough we could come up with a reason for every federal agency to be issued firearms and have plenipotent powers to shoot. My theory is that unless your federal job requires you to be ready to face armed adversaries, you don't need to be armed. Municipalities don't arm garbage collectors, snowplow drivers, or the mechanics in the motor pool, after all, and they have as much to do with law enforcement as some federal agencies do. I know it's a matter of semantics, but I don't think the people who enforce regulations written by political appointees who aren't accountable to the people should be armed. BATF, DOE, etc, enforce regulations for the most part, while FBI, USSS, and USMS enforce laws.
Is it really the gov't getting out of hand or are more and more people in this country rude, imapatient, self-centered clods who don't know how to treat other people?
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Both, definitely both! I blame the rudeness on liberalism because it's definitely a self-centered ideology - "don't do this because I don't like it, but do that because I think it should be that way" seems to summarize the average liberal's mindset very nicely.
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