• Morgan Fagg

Papers Please


Delayed again at Atocha but it was not the train nor a non existent timetable this time but the Agents of Shield as some well armed Men in Black didn’t appreciate me taking pictures in a public place and stopped me.

Coming from Ireland, I am always fascinated by armed men in public. I used to work in an army controlled government building in Ireland and never once saw a gun, never mind a machine gun.

Likewise I have never seen a gun in Dublin Airport never mind a train station.

Historically I know Adolf Hitler didn't see why his soldiers needed assault riffles and I always question how society has adapted to accepting machine guns in public when Hitler didn't see the need for them during WW2.

The Heckler & Koch G36 is an impressive assault riffle used by the armed forces.


It is an impressive weapon and I am always surprised how open people are to walking around with a Lethal Weapon yet are afraid to be photographed in public places with them.

I see a man with a gun no less strange as someone walking around with a chainsaw, nunchucks, flamethrower or a samurai sword.

Eraser: let's forget all about it by deleting pictures from your memory.

Stopped in the train station, a trio with four guns wanted to see my phone and the picture I had taken in the train station.

I have to admit the machine gunner was very polite to talk to but the guy standing there holding the shield took my phone very aggressively while another took my ID.


Behind the shield wall, he demanded that I unlock my phone and show him my photos which I naturally questioned his authority to do so and told him not to delete my photos as he didn’t have permission to do so. He did.


Oh well, at least they didn’t hold me down and forcibly delete pictures from my camera like has happened to me in the past.

As the trio played good cop, bad cop, background check cop, I wondered why Captain España was given a shield.


The man with my ID said I could take photos but not of their faces but when I did take a picture of the G36 Assault Riffle with their permission, the guy with the shield started to get upset again. Maybe I should have given him my phone again to delete my pictures, Men in Black style.

Like Will Smith in MIB, someone please give that guy a bigger gun, it might help with his security. In 2015, La Ley Mordaza was introduced which is more commonly known as The Gag Law and it prevents people from protesting without permission and photographing the police.

The law was introduced under the guise of protecting Freedom of Speech, believe it or not, after cartoonists were executed in Paris. Some people would see the law as being fascist but it was introduced democratically by politicians and the law has yet to be changed.

If you see a group of men with guns at the train station in Madrid, maybe try drawing them like a French cartoonist rather than trying to be a Robert Capa with a smart phone. Robert Capa was a war photographer made famous for his photographs of the Spanish Civil War and died in 1954 when he stepped on a mine in Vietnam.

So watch your step when taking photographs.

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