Crime doesn't pay, they say, but crime fighting apparently does.
We'll start off this week's Chatter by talking about guns.
Back in late June, on orders from the Georgia General Assembly, the Columbus Police Department auctioned off all the firearms it had confiscated in criminal investigations over the past couple of years. More than 500 handguns, rifles and shotguns were laid out on 14 tables in a large conference room at police headquarters where licensed gun dealers could inspect them and prepare bids.
Joe Sixpack could not just walk in off the street and shop. You had to be a licensed dealer and you bid by the table.
As one might imagine, police weren't thrilled to be selling the guns that they had traditionally destroyed.
"But it was passed by the General Assembly and it's state law now, so we have to enforce it and abide by it," said Police Chief Ricky Boren.
Well, the good news is that the sale brought in more than $96,000 to the city's coffers, and the guns are going to other cities.
Most, about $85,000 worth, are going to an outfit in Montgomery, while the rest are going to Smyrna, Ga., and Macon.
But as any movie buff knows, guns are no good against monsters.
A defense attorney whose client a prosecutor called a "monster" took it literally in a recent Superior Court filing, copies of which other lawyers have been showing off.
He wrote that an Assistant District Attorney's making the "monster" remark to jurors denied his client a "fair trial" and due process of law as guaranteed by the Constitution.
He explained it this way:
"Monsters are not entitled to due process. They may be destroyed on sight. Monsters are subhuman. The defendant is not a monster. "
At the word "sight" in that second sentence was a footnote marker. Read the footnote beneath:
"Even the use of nuclear weapons is sometimes authorized to kill a monster. No warrant is required. See 'The Official Godzilla Compendium: A 40-Year Retrospective,' J.P. Lees and Mark Cerasini, Amazon (2014)."
So if you ever come face to face with a monster, remember it has no civil rights and may be destroyed on sight, even if you have to use nuclear weapons.
A new school year usually brings lots of optimism and new goals.
As she waited to welcome her students during last week's opening of Dorothy Height Elementary School, principal Tammy Anderson proclaimed, "We're going to be the premier elementary school in this district and then in the state."
And she made that declaration with her boss standing next to her.
"Now you see why she's the principal," said David Lewis, the Muscogee County School District superintendent.
Pessimists would attribute such bravado to the excitement of the moment. After all, the new school consolidated Cusseta Road and Muscogee elementary schools, which have been among the district's lower-achieving schools.
But optimists would applaud Anderson for oozing the positive attitude that creates success.
Anderson was principal at Cusseta Road, where the school showed the largest gain in the district on the state's 100-point scale, called the College and Career Readiness Performance Index. Cusseta Road improved its CCRPI by 22.2 points, from 48.4 in 2011-12 to 70.6 2012-13, the most recent school year available for the CCRPI.
So the question we have here in Chatterland isn't whether Anderson's prediction that her school will be the best in the district and then the state is delusional or visionary, but what are you doing to help your neighborhood school be the best?