Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Monday, December 22, 1997

Handcuff me down!
What a, er, great gift

NOTHING says Christmas like a pair of Smith & Wesson Handcuffs in blue or nickel. At least according to one of the more unusual mail order catalogs to come across my desk this holiday season.

Everything imaginable in the law enforcement equipment line (except actual guns) is available to anyone who wants it from the Gall's Inc. Christmas catalog, which promises on its cover "Call us as late as Dec. 21st and still get in-stock items in time for Christmas!" (Sorry, too late this year!)

What kind of items? How about the indestructible Monadnock 24-inch baton which has a side handle that eliminates re-gripping when swinging the baton? And you know why this bad boy will be swinging!

Here's some other stuff from the Gall's catalog to get you in the mood for the holidays:

Genesis Hand-Held Radar ($999.99): With digital readout and range up 4,000 feet, this little beauty puts you in the driver's seat. You clock the cops before they clock you. And if they do pull you over and ask ''Do you know how fast you were going, buddy?' You just whip out your Genesis and say, ''I had me at 75, what'd you get on yours?"

Decals, tape, lights, etc.: Everything you need to turn your Yugo into a rolling law enforcement buggy. For $29.99 you can get one of those big Sheriff's Department decals for your door. Then snaz up the sides with 3M reflective strips. Deck the top of your cruiser with the Vista Strobe lightbar ($479.99) that will clear traffic in front of you faster than Moses parted the Red Sea..

Barrier Tape: Want to keep people off your property? Nothing says "Stay Away!" like reams of "Crime Scene -- Do Not Cross" yellow tape. Rolls of 1,000 feet are only $9.99. At that price you can cordon off your entire neighborhood for practically nothing.

Complete SWAT team gear: You'll be the envy of your militia group with these fine riot gear items. With the Riot Duty Helmet ($119.99) with full face shield, you'll be able to head-butt a Mack truck. For the full storm trooper look, don't forget the knee, shin and foot guards ($36.99 per), the black Tactical Hood ($9.99), Multi-Flex Body Armor ($389.99) and Kevlar protective sleeves ($16.99).

You da man! With the entire line of cuffs, shackles, leg restraints, MK-9 Magnum defense spray ($39.99) and Mace Pepper Foam ($12.99) you can restrain Santa and a pack of elves!

Badges? We have stinkin' badges! All the badges you'll ever need! But you'll have to have some official letterhead in order to get them. "When you place an order with us for products that are subject to any legal restrictions, you warrant to us that you are authorized to make such a purchase," the catalog says. In other words, don't trick us, OK?

These boots were made for stompin'! Yes, from the Enforcer Series, you can get the Gall's All Leather Enforcer for just $69.99. (Does not come with the Easi-Perp-Off Wipes.)

I made up that last part. I point that out because I don't want there to be any confusion about what is actually for sale and what isn't. I don't know why this catalog seems so offensive to me.

I'm all for law enforcement. I guess it's a little scary to think that anyone can order this stuff and pass themselves off as super cops. It also seems a little incongruous to offer these items as sort of a "Christmas sale." Christmas is supposed to be about peace and hope. Most of these items, other than the emergency and rescue stuff, are used when there is no peace. I've got a slogan that maybe Gall's Inc. can use next holiday season: "It's Takes Gall to Sell This Stuff For Christmas."

Charles Memminger, winner of
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
awards in 1994 and 1992, writes "Honolulu Lite"
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Write to him at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802

or send E-mail to charley@nomayo.com or

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