Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 02:43:21 -0400
Subject: Re: customized weaponry, cops, and robber gangs
On Wed, 28 Jun 2000 at 12:47:03 PDT, Rodney Basler wrote:
> According to the source I read, the weapon used to bring down Bonnie and
>Clyde was a .35 Remmington. It was considered to be a more-than-adaquate
>deer cartridge and the semi-automatic rifle that it was chambered for (I
>don't recall the model number) is a gun that more Call of Cthulhu players
>should be aware of :) The rest of the posse at that ambush were using
>Winchester pump-action shotguns.
> As for Bonnie Parker, she was partial to a specially-modified gun herself.
>It was a Browning Auto-5 shotgun in 20ga. (she was a small woman) It had
>the barrel sawed off just in front of the magazine tube and had the butt cut
>off behind the recoil spring which runs part-way down the stock. It looks a
>little odd with this necessary little lump hanging off the back of the
>pistolgrip. Apparently you have to monkey with the spring a bit in order to
>get it to work, but when it does it is a devistating weapon up close.
>Popular with several noted criminals of the era. (The Dillinger gang had
>one in 12ga.)
> Rod Basler, COFIT (Crochety Old Fart In Training)
Thanks Rod, that's the one! .35 Remington. Very good characteristics for the job. My mistake about .30 cal. And *very* good point you make about Call of Cthulu, too. Weren't BARs around also by the time of Call of Cthulu?
Bonnie was small, but tough, and lots of professional expertise in her chosen field. I applaud her shotgun choice. Shotguns tend to intimidate the victims into submission without firing a shot. (A major reason cops like them.) And if trouble does start up, it's outstanding at self defense and at "crowd control". Wonder if she mixed and matched her ammo for various situations.
Oh, and yes, ambush is the word for it. The FBI hireling, former legendary Texas Ranger, had an informant set up Bonnie & Clyde to show at his chosen ambush spot, lay waiting in the bushes with I think three other people (or was it two?), and when B&C arrived, fired off hundreds of rounds with no pretense of arresting or capturing anyone. Was it Melvin Purvis who hired the guy, or was it J. Edgar Himself? I think it was Purvis. Anyway, the FBI knew full well they were paying somebody to kill B&C, not bringing in a consultant to help capture them and bring them to trial. If Johnnie Cochran were around back then, B&C's next of kin would have brought a huge wrongful death suit against the FBI and won. :->
ObTrav: The characters are discreetly asked to meet with a high Naval Intelligence official. She proposes they be given temporary official status as agents in order to track down and "bring to justice" a small group of violent robbers who have been terrorizing financial institutions in several subsectors. This has dampened commerce there, and is tarnishing the reputations of the Imperial government and the megacorps they often choose as victims. The bandit gang are experts at small arms and vehicles of all sorts, well practiced in the tactics of their raids, have displayed excellent luck, and have a very loose and far-flung network of sympathizers who lend aid in the form of shelter, information, medical assistance, etc. to them. These sympathizers are generally very resentful of governments in general, and the Imperium in particular, blaming them for long-endured economic hardships. The robbers have come to be seen by many as Robin Hood types who represent the downtrodden people of the Marches, struggling to survive in the post-FFW depression under the grinding heels of the megacorps. They are also snappy dressers who frequently leave their victims charmed and remembering a clever sound bite. They have frequently made very generous gifts of cash to random members of the public who they encounter. NavInt won't ask questions, as long as things are kept discreet, and there are no negative press stories as a result of the PC's operations. Compensation will be generous. Any Imperial resources they might require for assistance (within reason) will be made available.
Second ObTrav: Researchers have found that all the various members of famous bandit gangs in the Old West had interconnections and members moved from one gang to the next, down through the decades and into the famous robber gangs of the Prohibition era. In other words, there was a kind of "corporate memory" passed down from Jesse James & Co. through those in the Barker era and to Bonnie & Clyde's era. This family tree of robbers may or may not have ended when the Mafia became dominant in the US, I don't know. IMTU, outlaw groups have connections to past outlaw groups as well. How about your Traveller universes? I don't think there are any canonical examples of this, though. Anybody know one?