The Assassinated Press

Guns and Guidebooks Outlet Has Wealthy Residents Up In Arms.
Compass Guns & Ammo Offers a Bit More than Buckshot.
Open Sales of Blueprints, Guides, Medical Records and Personal Schedules of Billionaire’s and Their Estates Makes Resident’s of Gated Communities Fearful.

Special to the Assassinated Press

PALM SPRINGS, CA---Compass Guns & Ammo, a burgeoning retail chain with 12 stores in 8 states and plans to open 35 more is the brainchild of former Deputy CIA Director A. Philip Conover and, Michael Seth a long time Oklahoma gun dealer and former Navy intelligence officer. At first glance, the 26,000 square foot retail space looks like any ordinary gun shop centrally located in the Coachella Valley two miles from posh Palm Springs and smack dab in the middle of some of the wealthiest gated communities in the U.S.

I walked through the store with floor manager, Iris Ambolt, in her mid-forties. A slight woman with a plethora of tattoos you might guess that she’s an ex-Navy seal, only one of three documented cases of women passing the rigorous course. “I had to disguise myself like a man. But then again I ain't no Demi Moore. I read about doing that in a book. Those Navy knuckleheads have been fooled more times than they know. Half the seals they graduate have the little triggers. I think most of the Navy trainers are women.”

At one of the two hundred foot long counters, I overhear an employee helping a female customer choose a pistol for home protection. The customer, Deanne Winters of nearby Chino says she’s looking for something to protect herself from a former boyfriend, “I just want to scare him.”

“Oh, this’ll scare him, mam,” assures the clerk, handing her a Bereta 92FS, “especially if you squeeze off a couple of rounds just over his head or maybe get his ear to bleeding.” “Maybe, I’ll make his sorry ass dance,” Ms. Winters snorts. Then she mocks “Pow! Pow! Pow!” at the clerk’s feet as he does a jig and we all share a good-natured laugh.

Another customer, former Marine Lieutenant Charles ‘Chucky Boy’ Harrelson, is sprawled on the floor fiddling with the site on a modified version of the U.S. Marine Corps M40A3 Sniper Rifle. “I trained on one of these babies. But I never got to ‘split no cantaloupe with it’” an apparent military euphemism for shooting someone in the head because at Compass you can shoot cantaloupe in the parking lot 24/7. “Shit, I’ll take it,” Lt. Harrelson says as he springs to his feet turning in a 360 degree circle drawing the site on a progression of customers. “Now, where’s the maps.”

The Maps

“It’s the maps and blueprints that have the community upset. Not the guns,” says Palm Springs Mayor Jamie Fote. “We believe in the people’s right to bear arms. Guns and armaments have been very profitable for many of the residents of Palm Springs. My word, I dare say, if there weren’t any guns there wouldn’t be any Palm Springs.”

Spread out in the aisles before us there seems to be at least an acre of maps, guidebooks and information packets. When I pick up a map, I quickly see that certain areas and residences have been highlighted with the name address and phone numbers (most supposedly private) tipped into the map. “Why would they sell this stuff if not to abet felons. And it gets much worse.”

And indeed it does. Not only can you buy maps and guidebooks that give you the location, addresses and private phone numbers of some of the most wealthy and prominent people in the country, Compass also offers high resolution aerial recon photographs, city planning documents, platte maps and blueprints of private residences and their security systems.

Compass has teamed up with the giant grain combine, Cargill, which has one of the largest intelligence collecting capacities in the world. Together the retailer and the grain operator offer an online service which updates all sorts of information and supplies up to the minute dossiers on police and security presence in an area. They also supply shift changes, duty rosters, break times, real time surveillance and rap sheets laying out the criminal history of both local law enforcement employees and private contract security employees.

“Why would you do that if Compass doesn’t intend to be one stop shop for felony burglary at best?” Fote complains.

According to Fote, many rich residents of the Coachella Valley developments are trekking to Compass to arm themselves to defend against what they see as a Compass inspired wave of burglaries.

“Its like two Goliaths battling it out,” is the way Tommy Franks of Blackwater USA a private security firm describes it. “On the one hand you’ve got a set of major All-American corporations expanding the franchise of the of the Second Amendment through the free market system. On the other hand, you’ve got a bunch of rich white fucks, many of whom hold stocks in Compass and even own affiliated companies like Remington and Smith & Wesson, finding themselves sitting ducks in their own gated communities.”

Franks admitted that Blackwater had had trouble with their security personnel pulling what amount to insider jobs with the help of Compass’s information services. But he defends Blackwater’s record.

“The number of private security contractors found to be on the take or convicted of felonies is no greater than those from the local, county and state police forces” he added.

Meet Don Forcas

Don Forcas was the former Deputy Assistant to the Director of Intelligence at the National Reconnaissance Office and is the current CEO of Compass Guns. He won’t disclose how many years he worked at the NRO and he vehemently disagrees with Mrs. Fote’s characterization of Compass.

“First of all,” he says leaning forward and talking in a raspy whisper. “We get our data through a series of open contracts with dozens of government agencies and through our alliance with Cargill. We do not concern ourselves with possible classified information being made public or any other national security issues. Perhaps, the people who sell us the shit should worry, but not right now with Muke 'the Monkey' Mukasey as attorney general. Shit! Alberto Gonzales still faxes us classfied information to help pay his legal debts. I went to high school with 'Muk'. I used to beat the shit out of him everyday and steal his weed money."

“But you miss the point,” I tell Mr. Forcas, at which point he turns a livid shade of purple and the creases at the sides of his frontal lobes become so pronounced they look like horns. “Ms. Fote was merely suggesting that the information you sell could fall into the hands of criminals and be used in burglaries and assaults.”

“Bullshit,” he shouted in that hissing whisper. “We’re free to sell our information anyway we want and these panty-assed liberal fucks are just going to have to suck it up.”

“But, sir,” I reply. “For $75.00 I saw a packet in your Palm Springs store that included a blueprint of the Cathedral City mansion of former Dow Chemical executive Daniel Carlucci, aerial photographs of the residence, a city platte including the sewer and electrical system, Mr. Carlucci’s private phone numbers, a current police manpower and private security report, a blueprint of the security system, the location of all phone towers relevant to Mr. Carlucci’s service, photographs of Mr. Carlucci and his family, servants and gardeners, including schedules. It even included a dossier on the family pets. ‘Page 78: Sparky has a tendency to bark at negroes and Indians. This may influence the complexion of your crew.’”

“Look” Forcas rasped poking me in the chest, “I worked with Danny Carlucci when we rubbed out Allende, defoliated Vietnam, overthrew Goulart, and blew up Zia ul-Haq’s plane. Danny and I go way back. He knows I would never do anything to hurt him or his family.”

Back to the Compass Campus

I decided to go back to the Compass and canvass the customers themselves. Compass was offering all ex-military 30% off and the place was jammed.

“Turn in a copy of your discharge papers at the door and get an armband,” a greeter reminded.

I stopped two middle aged men with “Semper Fi” tattooed on their forearms carrying newly purchased shot guns and asked, “What do you think about Compass not only selling guns but also selling things like guidebooks and even blueprints to the homes of the rich and powerful.”

“Sir,” one of the men said politely, “No offense intended but I have to go. I’m on parole.”

But a chipper young man waving a Rossi-Braztech 38 Special and a box of bullets was eager to answer my questions. “How do you like shooping at Compass?” I asked.

“Oh man its great. I can usually find one right on my way to a job,” he said. “ And these maps and blueprints have helped me increase my hourly wage.”

“How’s tha?” I asked.

“Its increased my efficiency and I’m not wasting a lot of time boosting old TV sets, toaster ovens and DVD players anymore. Now, its strictly cash jewelry and stocks and bonds. I can even afford a health plan for my kids now.” And then he trotted off.

I approached a woman carrying five Glock 9/40s and a stack of maps, blueprints and an information packet for the Rancho Mirage residence of former Exxon Mobil executive Lee Raymond.

“I appreciate the need for five high caliber hand guns in a dangerous urban setting like Palm Springs, but can I ask why you are purchasing the deluxe information packet to Lee Raymond’s mansion?” I asked.

“Look man. Three bikers picked me up on the side of the road outside Chino and said if I buy them these guns and maps and shit and give them each a blow job, they’d set me up with some crunch.”

Satisfied that Palm Springs had nothing to fear from Compass's many and varied clientele, I turned my attention to a group of six pale white men pushing a dolly loaded down with an assortment of rifles, shotguns, kevlar vests made of state of the art nanopolyethylene, thousands of rounds of ammunition, plastic explosives, razor wire and shoulder mounted rocket launchers.

When I inquired, one of the men calling himself Jebidiah said “The weapons are for defensive purposes only.” His face was covered with picked acne pimples. He looked as though he’d been shot in the face with birdshot. "Luke here is our Seckerterry of Dafence out at the compund. Tell him Luke. Defence only."

“We’re preparing to defend our compound against Satan,” Luke proudly asserted taking his camouflage cap off his head and nervously kneading it with his hands while he shyly looked down at the ground at his shuffling feet.

“Doctor LeHaye says we gotta be ready because the devil can appear in any disguise, even a women like that sasquatch Janet Reno,” he added. “That’s why we shot that family on that camping trip outside our compound last year. How was we to know? Doctor LeHaye said it was the devil, even though it was right after Daisy refused to have sex with him.”

“Daisy? Who’s Daisy?”

“Daisy’s a cow.”

“Where’d you boys get the razor wire?” I asked.

“Oh at the big old warehouse out back, the Blackwater Military Outlet Center,” Jebidiah answered.

“And what packet do you have?”

“Oh, we got the one to Dr. LeHaye’s Palm Springs palace. You know, we figger that Dr. LeHaye is so insistent that the devil can take on any form he wants, that, well, we think maybe he protesteth too much. I mean, what’s to say he’s not the devil and he’s trying to throw us off the scent with all his infernal whinin’ and thumpin’.”

Hmmmm. "And why shop at Compass?"

"We drive all the way from Idaho for the friendly atmosphere. The people are so nice. And the snack bar's got 25 cent foot longs."

Back at his office, Don Forcas orders up a couple of fruit juices from his secretary. "You like papaya, boy?" he asks.

“So wha’d ya think now that you’ve taken a look at Compass?”

“I’m very impressed. Obviously you’re making a killing. And I think this threat to high society thing is way overblown.

“And our new Kennebunkport location is doing even better. And within a few months, we’ll be breaking ground in Canyon Lake and Laguna Woods, California, and Rosemont, Illinois, Sea Ranch Lakes, Florida and McLean, Virginia. “

“I also recently read that Compass will join with E-Bay and place pawn shops in all of their locations.”

“That’s true,” Forcas responded, “But right now I can’t talk about it. We’re in sensitive negotiations with local law enforcement in those areas. We want to make sure that local authorities are on board with the idea, if you know what I mean.”

I sure do, Mr. Forcas. I sure do.