“The real story is always in the comments section.” – Former Navy SEAL Matt Bracken
It was reported in St. Louis this week that a woman discovered a loaded handgun under the seat of her Hertz rental car.
The lessons regarding proper holsters, unattended weapons, and personal responsibility are obvious – I want to look at different aspect, here.
What I found most compelling in this case were the comments posted on multiple media, and social media, outlets.
“Why didn’t she keep it?”
“I would have never told anyone.”
“What an idiot! Why would you turn it in?”
…and thousands more like them.
OK – I get humor. I understand that most were tongue in cheek. I accept that not everyone is serious – but, we need to get a few things straight.
First, when any of us “find” a gun – regardless of location – the one thing we know for sure is that IT ISN’T OURS! It is not our property. When you take such a gun as your own personal property, it’s what is referred to as STEALING. …Which makes you a THIEF. Sure, one could pretend that the Archangel Gabriel hand-delivered it as a gift from Heaven, but that just adds LIAR t the list.
It’s immoral to keep it. The end.
Second, when we find an orphan gun in public we have no idea if it has been used in a crime. I’m not interested in placing any random guns in my safe that I didn’t procure from a trusted source, and that I can’t document the date I took possession of them. That goes double for my carry holster!
Third, everything we upload on the internet related to our attitudes, mindset, and philosophies towards…well, ANYTHING, are discoverable in court. When we are prosecuted for a related crime, the prosecutor will comb our posts for all that can be used against us. When one types “I would have just kept it” they have announced to the world their intent to steal. Doesn’t matter if it was a joke – they’ll have to defend that statement in court. They might even be successful (while racking up massive by-the-hour bills.) But, will it help them? Once a jury has heard something, can they “un-hear” it? The internet is not conversation had sitting in your living room with your friends. It’s forever – documented word-for-word. Facebook doesn’t have a sarcasm font, and no post is ever truly deleted.
…and, now that I think about it, Alexa is probably recording you in your living room, too.
Guns are found unattended almost daily in bathrooms around the nation. Generally, they are left behind by absent minded owners who disarmed to use the facilities, then wandered off oblivious to the safety hazard they created. Usually, especially in smaller towns, the gun is secured by an employee and embarrassingly retrieved by the owner once discovered missing. Few legal repercussions are suffered, and its not reported on. I know of dozens of such events. However, on occasion, a gun is found by a child, and sometimes the guns are absconded with, and sometimes they are later used in crimes. None of that is “good!” And we should not be the catalyst – either by leaving a gun unattended or ignoring one that has been.