August 2, 2010; Source: San Tan Valley Today | In the course of scanning the news wires for the latest developments involving nonprofit organizations and causes, we come across lots of stories that describe different fundraising appeals, as well as calls for food, clothing, even shelter. But this one from Arizona, even in light of the current immigration tussle, came as a bit of a stunner.

San Tan Valley Today is carrying news about an appeal from the Pinal County Justice Foundation to help it “purchase rifles to arm our first responders who are charged with protecting our citizens.” The item goes on to say: “Dangerous incidents have increased through the past few years and are now escalating to a point where Deputies are involved in high speed vehicle pursuits, shoot outs between deputies and smugglers, incidents of ambush, as well as the deputy who was injured in a shooting. These incidents show compelling evidence that Pinal County Deputies need automatic rifles to not be out-gunned by Drug and Human Smugglers.”

Also quoted is Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who said, “My deputies are outgunned and we are outmanned. We need help to raise money to buy Arizona made semi-automatic rifles to fight this threat against our citizens.” The question we’re left with is how to measure the success of an appeal like this, say, compared to a food drive?—Bruce Trachtenberg