Many moons ago, Uncle Wayne W2NSD wrote in one of his long-winded 73 Magazine editorials about the best way to deal with a ham who was making trouble for local repeater users by suggesting a personal visit from a dozen or so club members carrying pitchforks and shotguns might remedy the situation.

I don’t know about that, but it certainly seems like it would be more effective than leaving it up to the feckless Feds.

In a July 9 Order, FCC Administrative Law Judge Richard L. Sippel has ended the decade-old license renewal proceeding involving William Crowell, W6WBJ (ex-N6AYJ), of Diamond Springs, California, upon a motion by Enforcement Bureau Chief Rosemary C. Harold. Termination of the proceeding and the dismissal of Crowell’s license renewal application followed his refusal to appear for a hearing in Washington, DC, to consider his license renewal and other issues in an enforcement proceeding that dates back 15 years or more.

Fifteen years is a long time to wait for justice. Unfortunately, that’s downright speedy for this hapless government agency. The truth is you could decide tonight to break every commission rule with regard to amateur radio, and you would very likely die of natural causes long before your license would ever be revoked.

What do you think of the disposition of this other situation about the fellow who intentionally interfered with the communications of other Amateur Radio operators and failed to properly identify? Despite being heavily fined for his actions ages ago, he’s just recently settled that by agreeing to pay the $7,000 and his Extra class privileges will be set aside for six months though he will be permitted to continue to operate with Technician privileges during that time and then return to enjoying all amateur privileges. Gee, how nice for him.

This could be handled much more aggressively, like making tougher laws that would make violating commission rules felonies requiring prison time instead of merely civil fines.

But don’t hold your breath. Riley Hollingsworth admitted years ago that upon further investigation, many licensees who were causing some of the most egregious problems were military veterans with mental issues and the federal government had no stomach for going after war vets.

The good news is that our fraternity is filled with very nice people who are friendly and courteous to a fault and most go out of their way to avoid making radio less fun for others. There are so few bad guys that most are known to us by their name. But the very nature of radio makes it possible for one bad apple to spoil it for a large portion of our population.

Which is what makes Uncle Wayne’s vigilante justice seem like such a damn fine idea.