Thursday, October 24, 2013

Easy Access

This is embarrassing.

RALEIGH — U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers’ husband reported an AR-15 rifle stolen from the family’s home in Dunn last week, according to a police report.

The weapon had been left leaning against a gun locker in an unlocked garage on Kingsway Drive, the report said.

The rifle, a gun case and a GPS, with a cumulative value of $1,100, were reported stolen, according to Chief J.D. Pope. Police think the theft happened on the night of Oct. 15.

“According to the report, they had been out target shooting and brought the gun back and leaned it against the gun safe,” Pope said. “ … The garage door was left unsecured, according to the report.”

Ms. Ellmers is a Tea Party favorite and a strong advocate — obviously — of gun rights.

“Although she believes that gun owners must be responsible for the use and care of their guns, she does not want to see law-abiding gun owners penalized for the actions of criminals. It has become far too easy to place blame on guns, and their accessibility, rather than the criminals themselves.”

I wonder how she feels about making guns accessible to criminals now?

5 barks and woofs on “Easy Access

  1. This is where I have my biggest beef with the gun lobby (same as my biggest beef with the anti-regulation crowd): negligence like this is expected to be handled with a slap on the wrist, and suggestions of more severe penalties, or (should the Ellmers’ gun end up being used in a crime) a heavy civil penalty levied on behalf of anyone injured by the weapon. There’s a distinct disconnect between the “personal responsibility” imposed on anyone wanting any support from the public sector, and the “undue burden” faced by anyone who whiile exercising that personal responsibility exhibits poor judgment or just plain malfeasance.

    I would be quite comfortable with a civil suit against the Ellmers should that weapon turn up in some ex-felon’s possession, and especially if that person used it to commit a crime. But I expect nothing from the gun rights crowd except sympathy for the Ellmers and their “moment of forgetfulness”. Moments of forgetfulness like that are the kind that get other people killed, and the “personal responsibility” those volk tout are the presumed disincentive to be careless – but dollars to doughnuts you won’t hear a peep about it in this case.

  2. I too think they should be held responsible if the a gun shows up used in a crime. I also think all gun owners should carry liability insurance like car insurance. After all that school system in Arkansas or Kansas lost their insurance coverage for putting guns in teachers hands.

    • I disagree about the insurance. Liability insurance is expensive. Too many 2nd-Amendment-shouters will insist that they don’t need it because they are responsible – in spite of continued evidence to the contrary (as here). And handing the burden to the insurer is an easy way to avoid the consequences: if you’re insured, you’re less likely to be concerned about the consequences of an “incident” (just as you’re less likely to be worried about injury or illness if you have health insurance, btw).

      It would be the best learning experience for some of these volk to experience a full-scale civil lawsuit with damages sufficient to result in bankruptcy. There’s no better teaching tool than taking their toys away when they’re naughty, and few other means of explaining the wrongness of what they’re doing to them that carry the same weight. It would have the added benefit of adhering to the “personal responsibility” ethic they keep throwing in everyone else’s face. And their peers who hold the same values would be either in full agreement with the verdict, or whine about the “excess” of the decision – thereby immediately identified as lying hypocrites, which will only help the cause of meaningful gun control.

    • It’s different because dogs bite people, but guns don’t shoot people (people shoot people). For them it’s a case of agency: the dog is an independent animal, but the gun is an inanimate object. The fact that it was lifted for reasons unspecified and could well be used in commission of a felony does not in any way compare to the dog’s wandering off on its own and chewing up someone. And besides, knowing similar volk, they probably have a nice cuddly Staffordshire terrier who’d never hurt anyone. For them, it’s always about how it’s never their fault and you can’t prove that it was.

      I’d put it more in the class of “if they own a car, and leave it in the driveway with the engine running and in gear, they’d be liable when the brake slipped and the car ran over someone’s two-year-old.” But of course they won’t see it that way, either.

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