Get It in Writing

I read about the conundrum for firearms owners regarding the firearms that have been ‘lost’ by the police recently and it reminded me of a saying I have tried to adhere to religiously. Get it in writing.

I have an acquaintance who spoke to me about a relative … a man of more mature years who had an encounter with a young woman from Europe. She fell pregnant and subsequently gave birth to a beautiful baby daughter. The DNA tests were done, the commitment to support his lovely wee daughter was made and he secured a promise that he would be allowed to visit his daughter any time he wished.

Over the past years, he has travelled to Europe from New Zealand every year to spend time with the little one.

But this year, he is not welcome. The mother has a new boyfriend, a new life and this foreigner from Downunder is no longer welcome. Yet his monthly (generous) child support payments are.

On face value, it is a dreadful situation. Yet he has no one to blame but himself. He did NOT get it in writing.  It was a handshake agreement.

What is wrong with people? Are we so naïve that we still believe in the decency of others when it comes to such things of great importance?

Sadly, I learned a long time ago that trust is all very well whilst both parties are in agreement. When one party deviates from that agreement, the only thing we have left is a paper trail. With no paper trail, he or she with the most credible evidence will always triumph in a court of law or a dispute.

Our word is worthless; our recollections and memories, merely… recollections and memories.

You have to have a piece of paper that can be referred to.

The young lady in Europe has a piece of paper that says that this man will pay child support for 18 years. Visitation was not part of that agreement.

A paper trail can be your best friend if you are on the side of good intent. If you have mischief in your heart, the absence of it can be your salvation.

In the case of the firearms that are missing:

It seems that a chap had been required to surrender his firearms due to a temporary protection order being issued against him. When the order was discharged, the man applied to get his firearms back, only to find that the police had lost them.

“It is not possible to determine what happened to Mr X’s firearms. Appropriate procedures were not in place to ensure surrendered firearms were properly received, registered, stored, and tracked. If the firearms were destroyed, arms officers failed to comply with procedures for destruction,” says Judge Colin Doherty, Authority Chair.

In the meantime, those firearms are “missing” and there is no paper trail.

In too many cases today, it is not the absence of “getting it in writing” that is the problem. It is that too much of what was put in writing is lost.

Misfiled. Gone. Into the ether, suppressed by our ‘protective’ government because it is too dreadful for us to see… or removed because someone somewhere could cop a slap for incompetence.

So not only get it in writing, but save a copy.

One day, that piece of paper could save you.

But, if it never existed, you are open to a situation whereby you have no one to blame but yourself for being foolish enough, old fashioned enough, decent enough and gullible enough to believe that your government, your friends or your neighbour will do unto you as you do unto others.

No wonder they want to destroy Christian values.

Trust is so cliché. Decency is now indecent. Commonsense is now becoming extinct.

Get it in writing and protect that piece of paper as if your life depends upon it.

Because one day, it just might.