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Old January 26, 2013, 10:15 AM   #26
Bud Helms
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... If someone breaks in and steals them it is on them, not me. Proximate cause.
On the other hand, that reminds me of the time I let my son drive my pickup truck to school. First time ever. He comes home with damage to the front left fender and turn signal assembly. It cost about $1200.00 and yes, the ins co paid for it. But it turns out he admitted that he saw the other vehicle coming over into his lane, but took no defensive measures like changing lanes or slowing down to let them in. He claimed he was "in the right" to stay right where he was. It was the other driver's fault, not his.

This is a story about decision-making.

He was "in the right".

Truck damaged.

Lost driving privileges from Dad.

Duh.
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Old January 26, 2013, 11:09 AM   #27
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As with all battles, there is a need to defeat the true enemy, the Bloombergs, the Fienstiens, the Schummers, and all the other anti-gun zealots that are afoot in the elitist halls of power. But we also need to "win the hearts and minds" of the non-combatents. Those people who really don't have an opinion one way or the other, but want to be responsible and involved. So they watch the news, they listen to the speaches, and they try to make an informed decision based on what they believe. Granted, we are behind the eight ball because the national and most of the local news media is so slanted to the left, but just maybe we can make some inroads at our local level, and as they say, "all politics are local". We don't do that by being irresponsible and "in your face" but niether do we do it by saying to our leaders "stop doing that or I'm going to tell my Mommy". They must know that if they get bold and push this agenda to its extreme they will order a crap sandwich for lunch which they do not want to eat.
So remember that the gun store shelves are empty because thousands of people are buying guns, many for the first time. Help them learn the joys of the shooting sports and responsible gun ownership. Lead by example, win hearts and minds that way, not by yelling at them about your Second Ammendment rights, they dont get it. And while I hate the idea that as the victim of a theft, the fickle finger gets pointed at me as the one who "gave the bad guy a gun", I would feel terrible if my gun was used to hurt someone because I had not secured it.
I have become more lax about firearms in my home since my children have all grown up and moved away, and I am going to reevaluate my plan for having them accesable if needed yet secured from unauthorized hands. And as an NRA Instructor, I'm going to offer free basic classes in my community to people who are unfamiliar with and even affraid of guns, so that thoses hearts and minds are not so easily swayed by lies and spin from our supposed "Representatives".
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Old January 26, 2013, 12:31 PM   #28
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To our foreign visitors...

... this may come as a shock to you, but when I was a child it was not at all unusual for people to keep guns in display racks in their living rooms. This was considered normal, but then so was gun ownership.

If somebody had implied, back in the 1970s, that a gun owner was morally or legally responsible for the actions of a thief, they would have been laughed at, and rightfully so.

So what are the differences between then and now, in the US?

First, gun ownership has been increasingly demonized, primarily by the types of people who believe the state should assume responsibility for the individual.

Second, in the 1980s, our mental health care infrastructure was drastically cut back, and this was followed by the introduction of crack cocaine. In the 1990s, meth started gaining in popularity.

So, the substantive changes have been in mental health care and a larger black market for drugs, with its accompanying (respective) erratic behaviors and violence.

Have the behaviors of lawful gun owners become somehow more outrageous? No. Have the violent crime rates for lawful gun owners gone up? Again, no.

Have more and more members of society tried to blame the actions of criminals on the rest of society? Yes. Have people tried to shift the paradigm from individual responsibility to societal responsibility? Yes, although only in the worst ways imaginable - IE by chipping away at the individual's ability to deal with issues (Spank your child? That's ABUSE!!! Carry a gun? That's why we have police!!!) while failing to hold agencies that have theoretically assumed those responsibilities accountable when they fail to provide acceptable levels of service.

So, now we have antis blaming gun owners for the actions of people who should either be in treatment programs or in jail, while society fails to hold the actual criminals fully accountable for their actions.

As I said earlier, I have a very good safe, and I use it. I have lockboxes for when I travel (for my suitcase, plus a vault in my vehicle). I recommend that others do the same.

But if a gun owner does not, and a burglar takes his gun, I don't blame the gun owner. I blame the burglar, and I blame the society that tries to shift the blame from where it should fall.
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Old January 26, 2013, 12:36 PM   #29
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He's not talking about any kind of civil liability. If your guns are put away (not locked necessarily) your liability is nil in the eyes of the law. But a criminal who breaks into your house and steals your guns because they weren't locked up is now an armed criminal...because you decided you were within the law. Personally, I don't want that on my conscience. I would be devastated if I ever learned a gun I didn't do everything I could to secure was stolen and used in a murder. That's enough reason for me.
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Old January 26, 2013, 12:49 PM   #30
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Quote:
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If you are try to convince the antis that rules don't need to be tightened that is not the way to do it.
Firearm owners in the US should be doing everything they possibly can to help themselves, not just say its our right and carry on taking little responsibility for themselves.
This.

If gun owners don't want legislation, then they need to police themselves. They need to set themselves the very highest of standards.

I am always encouraged by the seriousness with which members on TFL treat issues such as safe handling.

Conversely, I am disappointed when some members seem to not want any legislation, but then also don't want to make any changes to their lifestyles that would help promote a safer society, without the need for the laws that have so many up in arms, so to speak.
^^All of this. ^^

I get discouraged when I hear about gun owners leaving unsecured guns in locations, especially in family situations. There are other options for accessing them when needed than leaving them in unsecured well intended places. Our whole predicament right now over proposed gun control this year is highlighted because of a son who stole his moms guns. Considering these consequences we have the responsibility to create our own solutions or the anti's will find one for us. If the mindset of the gun owners had as much to do with proper security as simply owning and shooting a gun it could help.... I have always felt that if you can afford a gun, you can afford to secure the gun and you have the responsibility to control that security.
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Old January 26, 2013, 01:32 PM   #31
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So, Gaerek, how would you feel if your car were stolen, and in the course of a high speed pursuit the car thief or a pursuing officer caused one or more traffic deaths?

We would all feel bad, but would you feel responsible?
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Old January 26, 2013, 02:03 PM   #32
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My Dad had a beautiful glass front display cabinet, with a key lock that had just enough strength to resist a toddler...with one hand tied back...
That was considered enough back then.
Now it's different, and the above posts about the deliberate demonizing of gun owners is the reason. I have a safe, a darn good one that I don't regret a single penny of the large sum it cost, but that was my personal decision, living in a neighborhood not considered the best by any stretch of the imagination, and not too far from the Drug Corridor the feds gave to the cartels.
I encourage anyone who can afford it to buy a safe, but if they can't, then I also agree - any theft of property is not the owners fault, but the fault of the criminal, otherwise it would not be a criminal act.
To follow the logic to it's illogical extreme, (as government is ever wont to do), all gasoline, rat poison, fertilizer, alcohol, prescription medications, bleach or any other substance that can be misused to cause death or serious bodily injury must be locked away tightly, lest we be sued by those who violate the law.
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Old January 26, 2013, 02:08 PM   #33
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I whole heartedly agree with the premise of securing firearms when they are not being used, and I also agree with the premise that we all have a duty of care to our society not to make their appropriation by outsiders any easier.

Personally, rather than having a gun in every room, if you really feel the need for that kind of protection indoors, keep one gun on you and the rest locked away. That way if anything goes awry, wherever you are, there is your gun.

Best way to stay safe in your own home is to have decent doors and windows, IMO, not a pistol under every place mat and cushion.

I also agree with Tom's view of guns left in cars...
Well said!
This is very disturbing to me that unsecured firearms are left in people's houses when they are not home. The only weapon left out at any time is my carry gun.
Let's face it, this world is littered with a-holes looking for an easy buck. It's our responsibility to do everything we can to protect firearms from falling into the wrong hands.
The mother of that physco had no business leaving those firearms available for him to get his hands on. She paid for that mistake with her life.
Times have changed. It use to be people left their guns hanging on the wall or displayed in beautiful gun cabinets. Those days are long gone fellas.
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Old January 26, 2013, 02:10 PM   #34
David White
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Originally Posted by ScottRiqui View Post
I'm conflicted on this point. While it's true that having the guns inside your house is technically "securing" them, the idea of "security" for a typical house (or car) is more of a moral restraint than a physical one.

To me, the idea of leaving unattended guns out in the open in an empty, "locked" house still smacks of irresponsibility.

Yes, you can leave banded stacks of $100 bills out in the open in your house, and if you're burgled, you *are* the victim. But I'm still going to call you a dumbass if it happens.
I concur with the above statement.
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Old January 26, 2013, 02:33 PM   #35
Pond, James Pond
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So, Gaerek, how would you feel if your car were stolen
Cars are not designed to kill. It is not their main purpose. Guns are.

Furthermore, if I'd left my car unlocked, i.e. not taken all the measures at my disposal to prevent its theft, and someone was subsequently killed in a high-speed collision, then yes, I would feel partly responsible.

I would have been able to do more, and it would have been easy to do it.
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Old January 26, 2013, 03:46 PM   #36
MLeake
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Pond, it does not matter what they were designed to do, does it? The issue is what could be done with it.

This does not only occur with guns. For example, those who own swimming pools are often required to build fences around their pools, to prevent trespassers from falling in and drowning.

Personally, I would like to see laws passed that specifically barred people (or their estates) from being allowed to even file a lawsuit for damages sustained during the claimant's (or the deceased's) commission of a crime.

I don't think swimming pool owners should have to build fortresses, nor do I think gun owners should be held responsible for the criminal actions of others.

Again, I recommend the use of safes and lockboxes. I recommend any number of things; I do not think they should be mandated, however.

Edit: Going back to the car analogy - when was the last time you saw a media uproar because somebody left his car keys on a wall hook near the door?
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Old January 26, 2013, 04:16 PM   #37
Pond, James Pond
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it does not matter what they were designed to do, does it? The issue is what could be done with it.
Absolutely, it does.
What one does with an object is largely going to be by influenced what it is designed for.

If someone steals a car, they will likely either sell it or drive it.
Typically, that does not cause injury, death nor destruction

If someone steals a gun, they will likely either sell it (possibly to someone who does not want to go through normal channels) or use it.
Typically that does cause injury, death or destruction.
It seems fair to recognise that and act accordingly.

You and I are on the same page on this issue. We both condone the use of safes, as opposed leaving guns lying around.

Frankly, I don't yearn for legislation on this either. As it happens I am bound by law, but would lock them up even if I weren't.

I merely disagreed with the comparison of a car theft having the same potential for disaster as theft of gun.

However, the regrettable truth is that many people do not assume the responsibility and we are then all tarred with the same brush when the unthinkable happens.

Truth for me is that, if it did come down to legislation and I had to choose between compulsory safe installations and an AWB, I'd jump on the former...
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Old January 26, 2013, 04:31 PM   #38
OcelotZ3
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Well, I tend to lock my car keys in my gun safe...
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Old January 26, 2013, 05:11 PM   #39
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I agree comparing guns to cars is a poor analogy, and that it does matter what they were designed to do. This is why there is never any "assault car ban" on cars (especially like sports cars), they are not designed to kill.

I would not put it past the gun control community to introduce laws charging liability to gun owners if their stolen guns are used in crimes. Lets face it, there is a problem with criminals gaining access to guns... there is a responsibility to make an effort to keep our guns safe from theft or our rights will continue to be whittled away with every future incident hows that for liability?
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Old January 26, 2013, 05:33 PM   #40
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Koda94, why don't you pull some numbers on street racing fatalities, and then get back to us about whether there might be "assault cars"?
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Old January 26, 2013, 05:36 PM   #41
MLeake
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Pond, what if such legislation

a. provided no funds for poor people to buy storage devices;

or

b. required that any gun not actively carried must be locked up (IE no nightstand gun when you sleep)?

Would you still think such legislation a good trade?
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Old January 26, 2013, 05:38 PM   #42
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I get the spirit of this, but damn it, my gun is locked up. My doors are locked as are my windows and my ADT alarm system is engaged. I feel much more able to defend my wife and myself with my gun within relatively easy reach. Putting it in a safe back in my closet with any kind of lock on it defeats the sole purpose of my owning the gun in the first place.

If someone takes extraordinary measures to get into my home and steals my TV and my gun, I will feel no responsibility whatsoever for any subsequent ill-advised usage of my stolen property, including robbing a liquor store or watching Survivor.
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Old January 26, 2013, 05:44 PM   #43
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MLeake I have to agree w/you(regarding your recent posts).

I use a safe BUT I feel this thread is skewed. I believe statistics have it at only about 40% of guns being secured in this fashion....

I am well aware of this. I think growing up in an anti state influenced my felings on safes.

As for pools, i must respedtfully and whole-heartedly disagree with you. Kids wonder, kids fall in by accident due to clumsiness or curiosity, etc, and some do not know the dangers. Either way, the law doesn't demand a fortress. the law dictates a fence which can be miminal. it does save lives.
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Old January 26, 2013, 05:51 PM   #44
Koda94
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I was only saying its a poor analogy. Maybe my assault car analogy was poor as well....

I'd rather talk about responsible gun storage than cars. I agree with keeping guns locked up, and that if stolen we are not liable. I agree with the OP's plea to keep our guns secure when unattended.
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Old January 26, 2013, 06:00 PM   #45
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
Pond, what if such legislation

a. provided no funds for poor people to buy storage devices;

or

b. required that any gun not actively carried must be locked up (IE no nightstand gun when you sleep)?

Would you still think such legislation a good trade?
Mleake, if you are implying that the need to buy a safe would "infringe" on someone's right to bear arms, then why not petition gun companies give guns away FOC?
Let's be realistic: There will always be someone, somewhere that can't afford a gun so, in principle, they 2nd-A right is being infringed...

I see people on here buying guns for $400, $500, $600. I can't imagine that a safe is anywhere near that cost, especially if it just designed for a couple of pistols...

I am required, by law, to lock up my guns. I had to factor in the cost of a safe into my budgets.

My safe complies with the law and is signficantly cheaper than any of my guns except for my Astra that I got for a song, purely by luck. Even then it is not a big difference.

Add to that the fact that I am by no means wealthy and that firearm goods in Estonia are waaaaay more expensive than the US (Ruger Redhawk 4.2" about $1600). Yet, I managed.

As regards to the carry clause. We have this restriction but the law was flexible in its interpretation of carry. They take carry to mean holster or case, coffee table or bedside table. The gun, in all cases, is still under the care and supervision of its owner who is carrying it, sitting by it or lying next to it. I see no reason why that could not be the case in the US..

All that said to address your point but, allow me to repeat, again, an important point from my last post: I am not hoping for legislation in any particularly fashion. If it passes, so be it, if not then I hope people buy a safe regardless.

I simply recognise that legislation becomes more and more likely if people do not behave responsibly off their own backs and incidence arise.... as such I consider what legislation would work and be acceptable.
Given the alternatives, it would be a fair trade, IMO...
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Last edited by Pond, James Pond; January 26, 2013 at 06:27 PM.
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Old January 26, 2013, 06:20 PM   #46
spacecoast
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I get the spirit of this, but damn it, my gun is locked up. My doors are locked as are my windows and my ADT alarm system is engaged. I feel much more able to defend my wife and myself with my gun within relatively easy reach. Putting it in a safe back in my closet with any kind of lock on it defeats the sole purpose of my owning the gun in the first place.
Lots of good, reasonable thoughts on this thread. The paragraph above is closest to my own philosophy. In addition, none of my HD guns are "out" in obvious places where they would be easy to pick up, someone would really have to be looking hard for them to find them. As several have said, it used to be common to leave guns and ammo on full display in an easily defeated display case or just standing behind the door. I think there's a limit to the accommodations we have to make for the criminals and crazies in the world.
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Old January 26, 2013, 07:13 PM   #47
MLeake
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Pond, it seems you have not priced safes.

A portable lockbox will keep your small child away from the gun, but will not keep a teenaged thief from taking lockbox, gun, and all. Typical lockbox is $20-$40 USD, but is useless in the context of this discussion.

(Edit: Lost the key to one; took it to a local gunsmith; took him less than two minutes to open the box; less than ten minutes to both open the box and make me a new key.)

A lockable cabinet, such as a Stack-On, goes from $99 to $399 depending on size. It can be defeated in minutes by a screwdriver, or in seconds by an axe.

The cheapest true safe I had was $600 on sale, and was primarily 12 gauge steel. It had seams that would be susceptible to a hammer and chisel, and panels that could be defeated over time by an axe or grinding tool. It was not less expensive than a decent used gun; at 600 lbs it required delivery; and I had to have both floor space to store it and floor strength to support it.

My current safe, as noted earlier, is much tougher. It also weighs 1000 lbs and cost $3000 USD.

So I suspect you might be underestimating the costs of safes, or overestimating the security of lockboxes and cabinets.

Last edited by MLeake; January 26, 2013 at 08:47 PM.
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Old January 26, 2013, 08:26 PM   #48
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This is why I take exception to so many folks leaving guns in their cars.
I often leave a gun in the car but I keep it cable locked under the seat. Most car thefts are smash and grab jobs, it's possible, but unlikely they will stick around to cut the wire.
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Old January 26, 2013, 08:45 PM   #49
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Yeah, some jerk breaks into my home, rifles through my possessions, finds my "in-service" firearms, and somehow I am responsible for arming a criminal? This is absurd.
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Old January 26, 2013, 08:54 PM   #50
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I thought about a safe until I watched a video showing how very easy it is to break into one. Two guys were in in five minutes. I could probably come up with $1,000 for a safe, but I'm betting a $1,000 safe wouldn't keep out a couple of guys intent on getting into it for very long.

A freind of mine has owned firearms for more than 40 years and has never had a safe. He sees it as leaving everything in one spot will make it easier for the scum to find it. He has his firearms littered throughout the house instead.
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