Friday, December 14, 2012

The Importance Of Having A Real Gun Safe

Most accounts of this tragedy indicate that the murderer obtained a Bushmaster M4 that belonged to his mother, who was a target shooter.  However, it appears that he left the rifle in the car, and committed the murders with two handguns. It appears that the murderer had a long history of some sort of mental problem. Let me again emphasize that if you own guns, you should have some method of securing them adequately against unauthorized use. This can even include members of your own family. There was a time, many years ago, when I had a relative living with me who was somewhat unstable, and I was very careful to make sure that all firearms were secured during this troubling time.  A real gun safe is vitally important for preventing theft, as well as unauthorized use by unstable or troubled teenagers.


  1. If everyone followed this policy, though, how many "kids" and their relatives etc. would die from an inability to defend themselves?

    We know of many cases where children as young as toddlers in one unusual case have used lethal force appropriately and responsibly, and then there's that notorious California case where its "Lock Up Your Safety" law resulted in an older sister sacrificing her life to protect her siblings against a pitchfork wielding home invader, the family's guns locked up according to the law.

    That latter case, where the criminal was a complete stranger, as I recall meshes with your general theme of how things have changed after deinstitutionalization. Given that reality, which your arguments have gotten me to accept the NICS, can you justify (or do you advocate) a complete ban on access by children to guns in the house?

    Your views are illuminated by your history with your brother; mine by my 3 siblings and myself who were responsible with unrestricted access to the family's guns (to this day I think I'm the only one with a safe).

  2. There are kids that I would trust around guns. This was a situation where the relative in question was irresponsible and mentally disturbed.

  3. Which means, for instance, if you're going to have an open door policy for the troubled but manageable (as I always have), you ought to be prepared with a gun safe, even if you don't always use it 100%.

  4. With small kids and a semi-auto weapon, leaving no round in the chamber should be enough safety since they will have trouble working the action to load it.

    The story that the mother had guns in the home with this kid is really troubling.

    The medical examiner said the kids were hit with "long gun" rounds. Maybe he had another rifle. Someone commented elsewhere that he was very accurate for a pistol. Of course, cowering little kids are easy targets.

  5. You aren't giving small kids enough credit for cleverness.

  6. Michael K., as Clayton mentions, small kids figure out how to do things and are stronger than one realizes.

  7. Clayton, with respect to the rifle, reports have seemingly contradicted themselves a lot in this case, and I think I've seen a report that said in fact the rifle was used in the attack.

    So far, every single report I've seen on the incident turned out to later be false, so who knows where this will end up.

  8. After looking at the size of the house (the husband was paying 250K to more than 300K in alimony), I wouldn't be surprised if the mother carried one of her pistols around it, she would have otherwise needed an unreasonable number of handgun safes and handguns to be sure of having one handy.

    So maybe she was fairly responsible about keeping them in the safe but he managed to snatch one from her. Or if she carries concealed, grabbed it after she got it out of the safe.