According to an article in foxnews.com, thieves are taking a toll on California’s nut farmers and stole over $500,000 of products last year. As you might imagine, the thieves are not walking up and asking nicely. According to the article: “‘We really have seen a lot more brazen thievery in the area in recent years. We’ve had field workers and employees that have just been accosted in the middle of the day by armed assailants,’ Tricia Stever Blattler, with the Tulare County Farm Bureau, said.” . . .
Unfortunately the politically correct “solution” to the problem doesn’t seem based in reality.
… a newly formed task force is increasing awareness, posting warning signs and asking farmers and sellers to report anything suspicious.
“Our job is to advise local farmers how to … what we call .. . harden the target — to prevent thefts from happening in the first place. And that means checking credentials, make sure you don’t leave the keys in your vehicles,” Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said.
Seriously? Who thinks a warning sign is going to stop an armed thief from driving away with a quarter million dollars in agricultural products? But it was their idea of how to “harden the target” — verifying credentials and not leaving keys in vehicles — that should offend everyone.
Fortunately for those of us who love nuts (the food that is), the farmers themselves seem to know better. California farmer Barrett Blain had this to say:
“… most farmers I know generally have to carry some sort of protection.”
No one would think twice about armed guards transporting $20,000 in cash to a local bank. Are the people who handle a $250,000 harvest any less worthy? More importantly, I wonder if being a nut farmer or one of their employees constitutes “good cause” for a concealed weapon permit in Fresno County.
As thieves become more brazen and sophisticated, inevitably working in groups, I also wonder when people like nut farmers will truly need to carry long guns with them to protect their harvest, which represents an entire year’s income. As it stands, however, California considers citizens to be criminals if they carry loaded long guns in their vehicles, even if going unarmed could mean losing a year’s income — or their lives — to thieves. Apparently, that’s the price we have to pay for “safety”.
I have always heard that California is the land of fruits and nuts. I’m glad to learn that doesn’t apply to most of its farmers. It’s too bad we can’t say the same about California government.