Don Bauder 3:30 p.m., Jan. 21
"Groceries for Guns" Yields Bumper Crop for Local Gang
East Side National City Ojos Host Successful Gun Exchange, Distribute More Than 1,000 Firearms in Exchange for Food and Supermarket Gift Cards
A PARKING LOT SOMEWHERE IN NATIONAL CITY THAT YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT - Kathy Livingston received a gift certificate for a free Honeybaked Ham from her employers at East County Asphalt & Sealing this Christmas. But, she says, she had already purchased a Christmas Turkey during the Albertson's Two-Turkey Blowout on Black Friday. "So when I heard about the Ojos' 'Groceries for Guns' program, I was delighted. Mary Beth Johannson's house got broken into last October, and she lives just four blocks away. I gave the Locos my Honeybaked certificate, and got this sweet little Sig Sauer P238 pistol. I love the rainbow barrel, and I feel so much safer!"
Livingston was just one of the over 1,000 happy citizens who obtained either a handgun, a sawed-off shotgun, or a modified assault rifle without the bother of registration or waiting period last Sunday at the guns-for-groceries exchange. The event was hosted by the East Side National City Ojos, a gang long believed to have connections with the Mexican drug cartels. (That belief was strengthened Sunday, when it was discovered by this reporter that most of the weapons being distributed were among those released into Mexican hands by the Federal Government during Operation Fast and Furious.)
A spokesman for the Ojos explained that the idea for the operation was born of "simple economics, man. We had a surplus of supply, and at the same time, we had some serious gustatory demand going on. So we thought we'd do some bartering. Thug life ain't cheap, yo. There are always expenses, and income can be frustratingly variable, depending on the volatility of the market. And come time for Christmas, you might want to put out something a little finer than Ramen 'n Crank Dust [a popular Ojos staple] for your crew. At the same time, all these IB's [Innocent Bystanders] are feeling the rising heat in the economic pressure cooker, and they're thinking about protecting what they've still got. I was just glad we could make this happen before Christmas. This Sunday, there are going to be a lot of heavy stockings in Eastlake, and a lot of full bellies in our neck of the woods."
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