Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Gun Story

A secretary at one of the criminal defense law firms in a large city in shall issue state had been carrying a glock pistol in her purse. Her reason for this, of course, was self-protection. After all, the people who came into the office were those facing criminal charges. Some of these people were violent criminals. 

It made sense in her mind to carry a gun for protection. 10 years of carrying the gun, she never used it.

But after 10 years, her purse was stolen from the office--along with the gun--a couple of weeks back. 

The really amazing part was that the video cameras in the building got fried in a power outage. That meant the video footage was missing that would help to identify the culprit. That means the gun in now out on the street and in the hands of a criminal.

This story, which I figure is quite illustrative of one of the problems with carrying, was sent by a friend who shall remain nameless. I have every reason to believe it's a true story. The only question is how representative is it?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. Criminal steals gun. Happens all the time wherever you have criminals and victims of said criminals.

  2. I'd be worried if I was that woman because her ID is in the purse, presumably along with her keys?

    Even after changing locks, there must be an increased sense of vulnerability to robbery (or worse).

    It does suggest a greater reliance on keys (like locking locations where purses are kept?) and less on fire power might be in order.

    And maybe more security guards?

    The other thought which occurred to me was to wonder if there was some sign in process for people coming and going in the building, if they didn't show a work ID to get in? Possibly that record would be helpful to the police in tracking down who was in the building at the time of the robbery - and where?

  3. After ten years of carrying the gun, perhaps she was less careful than she should have been. Of course the thief is responsible when he steals something, but the owner of that something is responsible for not securing it properly, if that aided the thief.

  4. So is the woman also responsible if she is now a victim of identity theft because she did not properly secure her purse while at work? Should she be held responsible for all the credit card charges run up in her name for her failure here? Why are you so intent on blaming the victim in cases of theft when a gun is involved? Do you blame the victim in other cases of theft?

  5. (Hand raised, waving, like in school)

    I know the answer to this one!

    YES, Jim, sometimes we DO hold the victims at leat jointly responsible - for example, if you leave the keys in your ignition and the door unlocked (or, as we sometimes do of necessity here in MN in winter - with the engine RUNNING) you can be a contributor to a vehicle being stolen, by not using normal, prudent safety precautions.

    If someone steals your vehicle because you don't use those normal safety precautions, and that stolen vehicle injures or kills someone, or even just does significant property damage, then the owner's insurance is charged for the expense (and if it goes over the insurance coverage, the owner is charged directly) for those damages because of contributory negligence.

    There was negligence here, with not just ID, but a potentially dangerous weapon that - like a vehicle in vehicular homicide - could kill someone. That is substatially different than just credit card charges which can be sorted out legally with arguably less harm, potentially far less harm done.

    Answer me this Jim. If this woman had left her keys in her car, say, with the engine running because it was cold outside, at oh...lets hypothesize in the parking lot of a liquor store in a bad part of town with a high crime rate, and that car was stolen and the thief did a hit and run killing someone YOU love dearly ------- would you hold that owner responsible, in part, for the theft of that vehicle? Wouldn't YOU consider them to have been negligent in a manner which contributed to vehicular homicide of your loved one?

    So, why not have the same attitude re: the theft of a gun if it is used in a crime?

    I think it is reasonable to say the victim is not the only person responsible; but for being negligent, they are also, in part, responsible. you disagree?

  6. Dog Gone, I've received so much flak from the pro-gun, individual-responsibility guys that I've started describing it like this: the thief, 100% responsible for the theft. The victim of the theft, 100% responsible for improper strorage and custody of the gun.

    It's the same damn thing, but this way it's harder for them to deny.

    Whaddya say Jim?