You know what a good use of law enforcement resources is? Detaining old women for attempting to sell moon rocks and space shuttle pieces.
Of course, NASA is one of the many federal agencies with their own police force. One thing they decided to use this police force for was setting up a sting to catch a woman selling a piece of a space shuttle and moon rock she had received from her deceased husband.
NASA claims ownership over all space shuttle pieces, and therefore assumed the woman was selling stolen federal property. But her husband used to be an engineer for NASA and had received the space souvenirs from his employers.
NASA didn’t have to work hard to catch this 75-year-old widow. She contacted them! But rather than politely inform the woman what she was doing may be illegal, agents set up a sting to meet the woman in a parking lot and exchange the contraband.
Six armed agents detained her for two hours in the busy parking lot, during which time she wet her pants, presumably because she was afraid.
NASA declined to press charges; they are so forgiving. The woman was selling the items in an attempt to raise money for the medical car for her sick son, who has since died.
Her youngest daughter also died, and Joann took responsibility for her grandchildren.
She decided to try to sell the paperweights and contacted auction houses without success. She finally emailed NASA for help in finding a buyer for what she called “rare Apollo 11 space artifacts.” She explained how her late husband had received them.
An appeals court will allow the woman to sue NASA. Because of sovereign immunity, the government can actually decide whether or not to allow people to sue them.
Of course what will likely happen is she will waste money and time in court, and still not get justice for the way she was treated.
This just makes you wonder what is going on in the minds of these government agents. Who was seriously concerned about specs of a space shuttle and moon rock trying to be sold? Who thought it was appropriate to pursue a sting of a woman who contacted them!
This is what happens in bureaucracy. There is no sanity, no thinking feeling human being behind the actions of government. And if they will do something like this automatically, it makes you wonder just what else they will do, how far they will go to do their duty to enforce the laws of the United States government.