Well, At Least Something Constructive Has Come Out Of The Latest Anti-Gun “Do Something!” Blather: Welcome Rationalization 40 A. Otter’s Solution, Or “I Had To Do Something!” And Rediscovered 40 B., The Lone Inspiration Excuse, Or ” Do You Have A Better Idea?”

We have talked about the empty grandstanding nostrum “Do something!” here quite a bit: there is even a tag for it, introduced in 2016, when the best the House Democrats could come up with to satisfy their anti-gun base that time around was a juvenile sit-in to demand suspension of the Fifth AND Second Amendments. Then I wrote,

The public debate over the various proposals to “do something!” about mass shootings is as depressing as any discussion I have ever participated in. The willingness of gun opponents, Democrats, journalists, pundits and otherwise intelligent people to not only defy the Bill of Rights guarantee of due process but to literally ignore its existence shows how close the stinking breath of totalitarianism is to the neck on our nation, and that it is much hotter than I realized. This isn’t an exception or an anomaly. This is a result of carefully bred contempt for American values.

The intense ignorance crossed with malice toward our Constitution reached a climax of sorts today on social media, as people who should know better (and people who do know better, like erstwhile Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren) applauded the cynical and hypocritical “sit-in” by House Democrats, who said they would hold their breath until they turned blue unless the Congress of the United States voted to allow the government to take away the rights of citizens based on “suspicion.” Only rationalizations can defend this position, primarily among them “The Saint’s Excuse,” or “It’s for a good cause,” “It” is this case meaning..

  • Accepting the ethically and morally bankrupt principle that “the ends justify the means”
  • Setting a precedent for allowing the government to abridge any rights it chooses once by some standard it finds a law-abiding citizen “unworthy”
  • Enacting a provision that the ACLU has pronounced unconstitutional
  • Establishing the principle that the Congress can and will abandon the rule of law as long as enough members of the public and media let emotion overcome reality
  • Lay the groundwork for a President, like say, just to pick a crazy, impossible example out of the air, President Trump, who is as ignorant of the rule of law as the position’s supporters, to really start ripping up the Bill of Rights, beginning with Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Association.

To put it another way, it’s a really, really stupid and indefensible position.

But that’s “Do something!”  That’s’ where it gets you.

For some reason, however, I didn’t realize then that not only is “Do something!” bolstered, enabled and pointed to by many rationalizations [ Among them…“I’m on The Right Side Of History,”“This can’t make things any worse,” “Just this once!,” “It’s for a good cause,” “If I don’t do it, somebody else will,” “There are worse things,” “I’m just giving the people what they want!,” “I have no choice!,”“It’s My Duty!,” “These are not ordinary times,” “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford right now,”  “I’ll do anything!,”  “If it feels good, do it!,” “Think of the children!,”  “If it saves just one life,” and “It’s the right thing to do”…] since it can’t be supported ethics or reason, it is itself a rationalization in its “I had to do something!” form or “You can’t expect me to do nothing, can you?” version. It is a very insidious and dangerous rationalization. I am angry that I didn’t see it before.

I see it now because the Santa Fe shooting really undercuts all of the previous “reasonable gun control measures” that had been proposed to end all school shootings forever, as the pompous Parkland naifs insisted. Banning assault-style weapons and “high capacity magazines.” Background checks and longer waiting periods. Tougher vetting of mental health records of gun purchasers. Not one of these, nor all of them together, would have stopped the shooting in Santa Fe. Rather than admit this like fair, rational people, the anti-gun mob has devolved into shouting, “Well….do SOMETHING!”

On my Facebook page, an old friend, a lawyer, not yet senile as far as I know, actually posted, “Hey guys, here’s an idea: let’s finally do something about all this gun violence!” And that was it. Something. No other recommendation. Something. Brilliant. Why didn’t we think of that before?

The clip that introduces this post, which I have run here before, is the famous moment in “Animal House” in which the Delta House members, led by wise-ass Otter and chaotic Bluto, conclude that the only response they can muster to being kicked off campus is a “really futile and stupid gesture.” Hence the title of #40A. I was tempted to call it Kelly’s Solution after this…

….but Otter’s is funnier, and illustrates perfectly what acceptance of “Do Something!” as a justification leads to…futile and stupid gestures, or worse. For example, it paves the way for totalitarianism, as a desperate public cheers on action for action’s sake, not paying proper heed to where the action leads.

Rationalization #40 A., Otter’s Solution, or “I had to do something!” is an invitation to be unethical, irrational, reckless and irresponsible, bypassing law, values, common sense, and any other obstacle that usually constrains bad policy and  conduct. It creates an intellectually dishonest shortcut, making the decision to act before any effective action is considered, designating action the objective rather than what the objective of the action should be. Obviously this is backwards, and it is intentionally backwards, because it takes a detour around essential questions, responsible decision makers must consider before acting,  like “Is this legal?” “Is this wise?” “What will be the long term consequences?,”  “Can this work?” and “What are the costs?” Rationalization 40A makes the conduct itself the objective rather than the results of the conduct. The imaginary virtue is taking action—even if it is futile and stupid.

And, if one challenges the badly-reasoned “something” that 40 A supports, one often will be challenged by 40 B. The Lone Inspiration Excuse, or ” Do You Have A Better Idea?”

40 B. The Lone Inspiration Excuse, or ” Do You Have A Better Idea?” qualifies as The Lost Rationalization. I announced it two years ago, never entered it on the list, and forgot about it, until today.

I am not obligated to solve the problem you cannot solve without breaching ethics or law.  Nor is it obligatory for someone pointing out why proposed conduct is illegal, unethical, dangerous, imprudent and wrong to posit alternatives for the verdict on the proposed conduct to remains valid. The Lone Inspiration Excuse suggests that a terrible course of conduct can become acceptable by default. How many catastrophes have been created by that warped logic? If a proposed measure is too wrong and reckless to undertake, it shouldn’t be undertaken. That’s the first step. Finding a better course comes later, or never, if there isn’t one.

The ethical response to someone who reasonably and carefully explains why proposed conduct cannot work and violates principles of law, ethics or common sense deserves a thank you, for that is valuable information. “Well, you solve it then!” is not a fair response. It’s a deflection, and a transparent one. If the only course of action being proposed is unethical, then the responsible and ethical better idea may be not to do anything at all.

142 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement

142 responses to “Well, At Least Something Constructive Has Come Out Of The Latest Anti-Gun “Do Something!” Blather: Welcome Rationalization 40 A. Otter’s Solution, Or “I Had To Do Something!” And Rediscovered 40 B., The Lone Inspiration Excuse, Or ” Do You Have A Better Idea?”

  1. “If the only course of action being proposed is unethical, then the responsible and ethical better idea may be not to do anything at all.”

    1) It either means the problem hasn’t been thoroughly researched — as we say in the design world, “A problem well-researched is half solved”.

    OR

    2) The problem really isn’t a problem (or at least it’s not a problem we can’t live with as a symptom of some greater good).

    • I suppose 2 is a corollary of 1…as part of Problem Research is taking inventory of your own values and priorities…your own constraints and your own capabilities. And sometimes revealing those reveals that potential solutions actually hamper your other values and priorities.

    • joed68

      At the risk of sounding callous, it really isn’t half the problem that it’s made out to be. We have a media propaganda apparatus that choreographs every one of these incidents to look like an exponentially-growing epidemic. I think it would do the emotionally handicapped among us some good to spend some time reading The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the CDC, in order to get a better sense of proportion. There are quite a few things killing us in far greater numbers that most people aren’t even aware of; things that are just as tragic and pointless, but would be much easier to prevent, and yet for some reason don’t get any press.

  2. joed68

    But…the CHILDREN!

  3. Other Bill

    Good grief. Look how young Belushi was then. He looks like a fifth or sixth year undergrad. Amazing. What a loss.

    • Makes me angry any time I think about it. Drugs.

      • joed68

        Now is a good time to expand on my earlier point. More than 52,000 people died in 2015 to drug overdoses, yet the same people who are foaming at the mouth about guns, are strangely silent. No “march for our lives”, no demands to shut down pill-mills. In fact, they’re pushing from the opposite direction; let’s LEGALIZE them! While we’re on the subject of selective outrage, why aren’t we being tormented with demands for common-sense nosocomial infection control? Does the 80,000 preventable hospital-borne deaths among our friends and loved ones last year not meet some sort of unknown threshold? It’s not tragic and anger-provoking unless it’s accompanied by the burning of gunpowder? http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/n/nosocomial_infections/stats.htm

    • adimagejim

      Seven years of college down the drain.

  4. That ‘do something’ demand and applause at someone taking total power is a warning, even in pop culture that ALL these foolish people know. But they cannot apply the fictional parable to their own world. (the Senate applaudedwhen Palpy took final power as Padme looked on in horror in Star Wars EpIII) It sounded so reasonable, until you realize it went too far. I’d rather have a neonazi shooting range nearby than thought police. They wallow in their fear, and that is leading to bad things.

    • Oh…I thought everyone knew that the Senate applauding Palpatine in the prequels came right during a height of animosity towards Bush, and was Lucas’s personal jab at Bush.

      It could never apply to a progressive agenda hijacking the system for ITS own purposes.

      • joed68

        See, what you’re confused about is that progressives NEVER hijack the system for it’s own purposes. Everything they do is for the greater good. That’s also why the laws of unintended consequences have no power over them. Conservatives get so hung up on all the stupid little details: “wah! How much will this cost? Wah, slippery-slope! Wah, that didn’t work the first 100 times it was tried ! Wah; the constitution!”

        What matters is INTENTIONS, man !

  5. Ah, do something.

    Did we “do something” after the attack on Pearl Harbor?

    • We took care of those Germans didn’t we?

      • dragin_dragon

        The very first thing we did was Dolittle’s Raid, followed closely by Coral Sea and Midway. So, yeah, you could say we ‘did something’.

        • A month between each of the three.

          • And the fact that we did them WITHOUT most of our fleet (it sitting on the bottom of Pearl) speaks volumes.

            Of course, the Japanese may have done us a favor is several ways:

            1) Forced our Navy to review the balance of carriers versus pig iron battleships. The world had changed, and not everyone knew it yet. Air power is still the number one way of projecting force today, and will be until we get space based strike capability (or admit to it, which is another discussion)

            2) They pissed off common Americans. This is now a classic folly, just before entering a land war in Asia. Middle Class America gets awakened, and countries fall.

            3) We really cranked up help to Great Britain (and the USSR to a certain extent) which bought them time to stave off the Axis until we could jump in. That would not have happened if Pearl Harbor was not attacked. Oh, we would have helped, but how much and how fast would have suffered.

            • joed68

              SEAL-dispensing submarines are starting to come into their own too, now that terrorism and asymetric warfare is on-track to be the preeminent money-maker.

            • dragin_dragon

              However, we gave the USSR MOST of our stock of Aerocobra’s, for which they never forgave us. They did, however, manage to turn them into some AWESOME tank-busters.

              • dragin_dragon wrote, “However, we gave the USSR MOST of our stock of Aerocobra’s, for which they never forgave us. They did, however, manage to turn them into some AWESOME tank-busters.”

                You go to war with what you have or what you’re given to fight with and then you improvise.

        • I think the phenomenal thing overall is that within a half year of Pearl Harbor, momentum had already shifted in the war, and even though a few lucky strokes may have given the advantage back to Japan, for all intents and purposes the war in the Pacific was going to just be one big bloody math problem with all the variables in the USA’s favor.

    • I’ve always thought Dolittle’s Raid was a classic “Do something!” move.

      • War ethics are different than the general ethics we speak of. In war, sometimes “do something” is valid. The Did Little raid is a perfect example of that.

        But, if I recognize Ejercito’s argument and associate it with his known modus operandi, he’s alluding to the fact that we interned thousands of Japanese Americans.

      • Jack Marshall wrote, “I’ve always thought Dolittle’s Raid was a classic “Do something!” move.”

        In my opinion, Doolittle’s raid was really not about “do something” it was about projecting a form of propaganda to the Japanese people that their homeland was not immune to the direct effects of war and proving it with military action. It literally took the war directly to the people and gave them a taste of what was soon to come. In hindsight, history showed us it really didn’t do much good for the USA other than producing some real fear in the Japanese homeland that they weren’t untouchable but it did give the Japanese an additional propaganda tool.

        • Oh, I know it wasn’t totally futile. But it’s mighty close to the “Animal House” parade plot: lets’s who them they can’t get away with this before we really can do anything significant.

          • It was a total propaganda move. It fit the need to strike back for the folks at home; it put the Japanese people on notice; and it increased the number of recruits wanting to be pilots (of any sort) which America desperately needed.

      • My late FIL trained some of the pilots that flew those B-25 Mitchells.

  6. I really like this rationalization, it can be applied to so many things.

    It can even be applied to what this vet did…

    I have absolutely no idea if this little story is true or not but sure does represent some rationalizations for those that appear to support his actions.

  7. Scott GF

    It seems to me the only course of action is to speak directly to gun owners. Appeal to them to keep safe their guns and weapons. The latest examples of school shootings have been legally obtained guns taken from the parents. The gun owners must control their firearms. Lock up the guns in their houses. Engage their children. It seems that a lack of parental awareness of their child has allowed things to fester in these young adults that makes it seem that shooting up the high school seem reasonable. What are the parents/gun owners doing? Are they ignoring their own children?
    The NRA needs to engage gun owners and insist that they start to control their guns and help parents/gun owners identify problems earlier. The NRA should fund a study on what parents should look for regarding their child or anyone else. They should provide suggestions as to limiting (or stopping) access to the guns (which they do but they need to do it more!).
    I would recommend a gun safe, one with a combo that you can change easily. If you have one with a key then hide it or carry it with you at all times. Same with trigger locks.
    A responsible gun owner should be held RESPONSIBLE and accountable. Just like a bartender overserving a drunk before they get behind the wheel.
    So don’t go after the rights to own a gun. Hold the owners of those guns accountable to preserve the safety and security of those guns. That’s the laws I would propose.
    I am a gun owner and I practice what I am preaching.

    • Scott GF wrote, “A responsible gun owner should be held RESPONSIBLE and accountable.”

      I agree; however, how far to push that accountability can be a problem.

      If a gun owner has taken what they consider “responsible” precautions to secure their firearms and keep them out of the hands of their children or grandchildren how far are we as a society willing to push that responsibility. There are those out there that would say there is absolutely no limit to how far you can push that responsibility, if the child gets the firearm and uses it then the gun owner is responsible regardless of their efforts to keep the firearms out of the hands of “children”.

      Rhetorical question: How far are you willing to push that accountability?

      • Scott GF

        Zoltar, There are those that have a better answer, I am certain but here is mine. They should be held totally responsible to the control of their fire arm. Only through an investigation and evidence that the gun owner showed due diligence and due care would the charges be lowered whatever the initial charges would be (out of my depth here).
        Another thought would be to mandate a trigger lock with the purchase of any firearm at a minimum. At the very least, at the time of purchase there is a minimum level of control and security that goes with the weapon. Some guns have these features build into them. I have yet to hear of any of those used in the shooting.

        • Scott GF wrote, “I have yet to hear of any of those used in the shooting.”

          I have absolutely no idea what you’re trying to say with this sentence.

        • Scott GF wrote, “They should be held totally responsible to the control of their fire arm.”

          “Totally” responsible? Seriously Scott, how far are you willing to push that?

          If someone gets into a firearm owners locked home, destroys their locked gun cabinet, steals their firearms, and uses them in a crime; how is that the responsibility of the firearm owner?

          This shifting of “total” responsibility is not reasonable, what about the responsibility of the thief who illegally obtained and used the firearms in a crime?

          Am I misunderstanding you?

          • joed68

            How else are you going to absolve the mistreated, misunderstood criminal from any and all responsibility? SOMEBODY has to answer for these things!

        • philk57

          I am going to call a technical foul here. You said that you are a gun owner and have taken these steps yet you also say:
          “Another thought would be to mandate a trigger lock with the purchase of any firearm at a minimum.”

          How can you not know that all new gun sales must come with either an internal lock or a portable gun lock for the last 15 or so years. Are you concern trolling?

        • Glenn Logan

          Troubling. Sounds like the gun owner would have to prove his innocence, not that the prosecution would have to prove his negligence.

          I’m a no on this one.

    • Michelle Klatt

      No offense, but I think this is a terrible idea. I’ve owned guns or been around them for as long as I can recall. I know that they are useful tools, for hunting and for self defense (against humans and animals). A gun locked safely way sounds good in theory, but is useless against the bear trying to maul my dog, or the meth head breaking into my home. Ditto tigger locks.
      I also don’t understand why I should be responsible for another person commiting a crime. My grandfather had his home broken into and his gun safe was stolen. If one of his guns was used in the commission of a crime, why would he hold any responsibility for that crime? By making such a law, we’d render exercising 2nd Amendment rights fraught with peril…to the point where many law-abiding citizens would choose not to exercise those rights. It would be nearly the same as banning guns, but more insidious in nature.

      • I’ve always thought trigger locks were a bad idea, after my experience as a kid losing every toy gun battle because my quirky dad bought me a rig from “The Restless Gun,” which featured a pistol with all sorts of accessories—a stock, and extended barrel, and more.

        I kept getting killed while assembling my gun. The trigger guards won’t stop premeditated murders, just emergency self-defense. It’s a classic measure dreamed up by people who would never use a gun and don’t care about the needs of those who would.

        • Glenn Logan

          Trigger locks are a bad idea, generally. They remove the ability to operate a firearm quickly in case the need arises.

          Some will argue that you should lock your firearms during the day, but unlock them at night. This is statistically defensible in the sense that most home invasions happen under cover of darkness.

          But not all. What about those?

          Trigger locks are useful when you are going to be away from your firearms. Otherwise, they shouldn’t be used.

      • I’m being creative and making this up…

        A thief breaks into your garage, steals your unlocked truck, gets high on crack, passes out at the wheel and crashes the truck into a large crowd and kills 5 people and injuries 10 others. The car owner is arrested, charged with not securing his vehicle therefore he/she is charged with willingly allowing his vehicle to be use in the commission of a capital murder, his attorney does everything he can to help his client but the system is set up in such a way that the vehicle owner is the one that has to be held totally responsible to the control of their vehicle, he convicted of a felony and is sent to prison for 15 years and his/her life is destroyed. The thief gets a good attorney, babbles some shit about being abused, having a family to support, temporary insanity due to extended use of illegal drugs, he doesn’t remember a thing about doing this because he was high on crack; the criminal is sent to the same prison that the firearm owner is in for the same amount of time. Now that’s justice.

      • Scott GF

        “but is useless against the bear trying to maul my dog or the meth head breaking into my home”
        So do you leave your guns laying around your house for bear? When I go out into the “wood” I bring my gun. If someone is trying to break in I get my gun from the safe. How hard is that? Also, unless you carry it around 24/7 lock it up and due the due care to maintain control of that weapon.

        Your grandfathers safe was stolen, therefore he showed due diligence and due care and would not be held responsible. He showed reasonable care to secure his weapons. 2nd Amendment is the right to bear arms. I’m not taking that away or even suggesting it. I am saying that those that choose to exercise that right should be held responsible and accountable to reasonably secure that weapon from getting into the wrong hands.

        • Scott GF

          Again my example of a bartender overserving a drunk and letting them drive and the driver kills people. the bartender should be held accountable. They have a responsibility that they took upon themselves, like owning a gun.
          Now what crime or punishment, I have not idea but there should be an accounting for irresponsible gun ownership. Training on what to look for if your kid or anyone else starts to act sketchy. Be active in your gun ownership and stay aware. The parent of the shooters were not. They didn’t stay diligent and the kid easily gained access to the weapons.
          The proposed law would have to define due diligence and due care minimums when weapons are stored and not under your control.

          • While a bartender should have authority and support if they cut off a big spender, I don’t think they do. Either the business’ daily quota, other drinks outside cutoff, or someone who holds their liquor well? I’m not so sure it’s fair to make a bartender THAT liable. Addicts can be very problematic, and you cannot completely protect them from themselves. Society can try to help in various ways, but ultimately it’s the drunk driver’s choices.

          • Scott GF wrote, “Again my example of a bartender overserving a drunk and letting them drive and the driver kills people.”

            1. A bartender cannot know the tolerance level of all their patrons, therefore a bartender cannot know a patron has been over served until that patron exhibits signs that they have already exceeded their tolerance level.

            2. Bartenders don’t “let” drunk patrons drive, drunk patrons choose to drive drunk. If you are expecting bartenders to physically prevent patrons from leaving their facility or to follow patrons once they leave their facility and prevent them from getting behind the wheel, you are way, way off base.

            In my area of the United States, bartenders have been offering to call a cab for people they think “might” be drunk; this has been going on for decades. In all honesty bartenders cannot know for sure about the alcohol level of their patrons without forcing them to take a breathalyzer test before hey are allowed to leave, it’s just a guess based on the level of experience of the bartender.

          • Are they responsible if the drunk driver stole the drinks?

        • Scott,

          Have you had someone break into your home? If they have already made entry, they could be outside your bedroom door before you are aware of them. Better have a baseball bat in that case, as you gun in the safe is useless.

          Millions of Americans over the past 250 years have had guns available on a moment’s notice, and the number of incidents like you are ‘fixing’ is statistically insignificant. Proper gun ownership is just like any other type of ownership: find what works and is safe for you and do that.

          So stipulating you get this sort of law, where every gun is secured all the time. How do you propose enforcing that? After the fact? ‘You must have broken the gun storage law because the gun was used in a crime’ is a terrible legal position. Trigger locks can be cut with bolt cutters. Locks can be picked. Trusted confidants can betray the owner. Prosecution of this sort of situation is problematic and prone to abuse by unethical prosecutors.

          If not only after the fact, will you have surprise home inspections by certified law enforcement agencies? How would they know you have a gun without a registry? What about 4th Amendment concerns?

          • PS: get a dog who barks loudly. They will let you know something is going on, and give you time to prepare.

            • Scott GF

              I do have a dog, yes so I have time. I never suggested home inspections or anything like that. If your weapon was used in the crime and an investigation showed you were negligent in securing your weapon then the “responsible” gun owner was not very responsible, were they? They should be held accountable. It seems that most of the crimes are done by the family member of the “responsible” gun owner. I am saying they need to be held responsible.
              In the military I was trained to use a sorts of weapons. They all resided in the armory at the end of the shift, secured. Why is it unreasonable.

              I love the corner case arguments of bears and meth heads. All statically unrealistic. Yes someone can steal your gun and commit a crime, nothing is foolproof.

              Family members and lack of due care by the gun owners/parents are the real threat.

              I made a suggestion to do something now that might help the current situation. To me it seems reasonable and somewhat pain free. Even if it gets the gun owners to reassess their responsibility and become more aware of whom might gain access to them.

              • In the military I was trained to use a sorts of weapons. They all resided in the armory at the end of the shift, secured. Why is it unreasonable.

                Ask those who were the victims of the Ft. Hood massacre. Responsible adults who were certified on weapons of all sorts were disarmed simply because they were on a post in the States. The result was tragedy. Similar incidents at military posts and recruiting stations across the country underlined the stupidity of that policy.

                (As an aside: thank you for your service. You will find a great number of ex service here at EA)

                In the end, I feel that you are looking for a band aid, someone to blame (outside the shooter) for a senseless situation. We need hardened schools. We need better ways to deal with mental illness. We don’t need more gun laws.

              • philk57

                Yep – confirmation – you are a concern troll.

              • Scott GF wrote, “It seems that most of the crimes are done by the family member of the “responsible” gun owner.”

                Where did you get this absolutely ridiculous statistical reference from, did you make it up out of the clear blue sky? Site an actual credible source for that utter nonsense or be labeled a less than truthful person and please don’t try to pawn off some crap that you can’t find it right now.

                While you’re going google search after google search to try to twist something into support for your nonsense, please read the link below it contains real statistical facts.

                https://resurrectedsite.wordpress.com/2018/04/02/logic-vs-emotion/

                • Scott GF

                  Sandy Hook, Parkland and now Santa Fe all examples of the shooter gaining guns from their family members and gun owners that didn’t due the due diligence of securing the weapons.
                  Genesis of my point.

                  • So out of ALL the crimes committed by anyone, you have three instances of this scenario.

                    Well, that settles the case that we must DO SOMETHING. /snark

                  • Scott GF wrote, “Sandy Hook, Parkland and now Santa Fe all examples of the shooter gaining guns from their family members and gun owners that didn’t due the due diligence of securing the weapons.”

                    Your very generalized writing about this was not properly reflecting that you were only talking about children using their parents firearms in school shootings.

                    What if the firearms were locked up and the child broke into the locked storage and literally stole the firearms?

                    • Let me bolster Scott a bit. In the common law, and later under tort law, there were some things that incurred strict liability. Having wild animals as pets for example: if you keep a loin as a pet, and he eats someone, you’re liable no matter who else was to blame.

                      The concept of limited strict liability for the owner of a gun that allows that weapon to be used illegally by others has validity. The cases I’ve covered where toddlers grab loaded guns and shoot, for example. I’d draw the line at theft, but if you have a teen, a disturbed person or a felon living in your house, you can own as many guns as you want, but you had better be able to make certain they don’t fall into other, dangerous hands. If they do, it’s your ass. I have no problem at all with that kind of strict liability.

                    • So would President Obama have been strictly liable for the wrongful death of Kate Steinle under this policy?

                    • Jack wrote, “I’d draw the line at theft, but if you have a teen, a disturbed person or a felon living in your house, you can own as many guns as you want, but you had better be able to make certain they don’t fall into other, dangerous hands.”

                      You and I think alike on this.

                      When I had a drinking alcoholic x-wife that had a tendency towards violent outbursts living in my home I stored all my firearms in a locked facility not at my home and my x-wife didn’t have any access; at that time I lived in apartments and didn’t have a reasonably secure place to safely lock them away from possible misuse.

                      As my children were growing up, until they were responsible adults and beyond 21 years old, 100% of my firearms and 100% of my ammo was securely locked away with absolutely no access possible by anyone in the home but me and they all knew I was the only one that could access it.

                      Even with an empty nest I still lock away 100% of my firearms and 100% of my ammunition (separate locations) with the exception of my readily accessible handgun which is physically with me most of the time and any time it’s not with me it’s safely locked away in a rapid accessible handgun safe and the only ones with access are me and my wife.

                      Jack wrote, “If they do, it’s your ass. I have no problem at all with that kind of strict liability.”

                      I agree in general but it should be evaluated and applied on a case by case basis.

                      Firearms that are reasonably locked up and a teenager breaks into that locked storage place and steals the firearms is different and I’m really not talking about a locked glass display cabinet or a soft sided gun case with a small pad lock (absolutely useless), something significantly more substantial. In my opinion even a key-locked dead bolted closet is reasonable for firearm storage where storing a loaded firearm in an unlocked bedside nightstand drawer is not.

                      I implicitly trust my current wife of well over 30 years, she knows how to use a pistol but the likelihood that she would ever choose to actually use one is at or near zero. She’s damn near an absolute pacifist for any kind of physical violence regardless of the situation.

                      If any of the conditions in my home were to change I have absolutely no problem reevaluating how my readily available firearm is stored in my home. I don’t compromise on safety.

                    • Crud, Jack, I was done with this topic… 🙂

                      Note: I am NOT being disrespectful with the pointed observations and discussion below. I am not a lawyer (praise be to Allah!) and did not even sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

                      Having wild animals as pets for example…

                      Having a wild animal is not a Constitutional right, no? And what Scott is suggesting is far beyond anything (to my knowledge, anyway) such liability would be today. Having a gun is not, in and of itself, at threat to another’s life, and unlike a lion, left to itself a gun will never hurt anyone. It takes a person to kill with a gun, or knife, or baseball bat.

                      Thus we are inventing a new standard for a Constitutional right. Meaning new law(s). For a statistical improbability. With a progressive movement that really wants to push any advantage to the point of destroying that right.

                      …if you have a teen, a disturbed person or a felon living in your house, you can own as many guns as you want, but you had better be able to make certain they don’t fall into other, dangerous hands.

                      In Texas, you are not allowed to have guns in the house if a convicted felon lives there, no matter how you lock it up. Period. You will go to jail, at least pending trial until you get bail. The state assumes the felon has access if they live there.

                      That said, having a teen in your house makes this more likely? Where are the studies that show that to be the case? You have three, THREE instances where this tragically happened. Would you be up for changing free speech laws based upon three times they caused harm? How about search and seizure? Three times an unreasonable search would have stopped a massacre, and so we infringe upon that right too?

                      By age 13, I (and a great many of my classmates) hunted for our family’s supper. Never a massacre, unless you count the Mourning Doves we shot (never shot more than 15 a day… well, never got caught). Fresh (never frozen!) squirrel and dumplings are a comfort food where I grew up! Teens are not the problem here.

                      Now a disturbed person, that requires some unpacking. We agree that the single common thread in these mass shootings is that the shooter was unhinged, wacko, nuts, or otherwise in mental distress. Better methods for detecting such, and for treating the ill are needed.

                      However, you are assuming that the parent would know that their child has a mental challenge larger than typical teen angst. Parents in general are not qualified to make such judgements. There will be the ‘the kid was under treatment for mental illness so the parent should have known’ cases, sure. In Santa Fe, there was no such warning: the kid was on the honor roll, I heard. This gets complicated quickly, and law should be plain and clear. Again, I am not a lawyer.

                      This whole sub thread sounds like more ‘Do Something!’ to me. We have to game out the consequences of new laws, despite what progressives always want to do (hurriedly legislate first, screw over those they intended to help later.)

                    • 1. Oh, I don’t think such laws would do much to address school shootings or gun violence generally. I’m not advocating it as a solution. I’m advocating it as justice. Dangerous instrumentality on one property should incur special obligations to the community. If the Texas felon law doesn’t infringe, neither would a far less restrictive law requiring effective precautions when residents are young or untrustworthy.

                      2. ALL teens are unstable. They are inherently sociopathic.

                      3. My position on this would be the same if there had been no Parkland, Sandy Hook, Columbine or Santa Fe. The responsibility doesn’t change.

                    • Michelle Klatt

                      Taking slicks’s thoughts a step further, let’s think about the logical outcome of enacting even a limited liability law around gun ownership.

                      Let’s say I have my gun inside my locked home, and it’s stolen. In today’s world, I’d immediately file a police report. Under the new limited liability law, I may not. I may just hope the gun isn’t used to kill people, and keep my mouth shut. I may reason that the gun would be quite difficult to trace back to me, and if it ever was, I’d insist that I sold it previously. Seems to be worth the lie if I knew I’d need to support the expense of a lawyer to defend myself.

                      The proposal would require a gun registry, and who’s going to support and pay for that? It would require gun shows to shut down, and eliminate private sales, and inheriting guns in order to be enforceable. It would also require everyone who currently owns a gun to willingly register them. If individuals did not comply, who would know?

                      I grew up in a home with guns. They were in an unlocked gun cabinet, same as the vast majority of my friends and neighbors. Most of us were taught early and often how to handle various guns. We didn’t play with them, and we never used them without permission. I bagged my first deer at 13, and can still remember the pride on my dad’s face. I’m firmly in the camp of recognising we have a human problem, not a gun problem.

                    • dragin_dragon

                      Well said, Michelle.

                  • Why do we have to do this due diligence thing?

                    Can we not simply teach people to not steal?

              • Michelle Klatt

                Scott GF,
                “Corner case argument” and “statistically insignificant” for you perhaps. Just a friendly reminder not all of us live in suburbia, surrounded by picket fences and neatly trimmed hedges. Some of us live in fly-over country, surrounded by woods, wildlife, and small towns with ever expanding meth problems. I carry every day, both at and away from home. It’s a pretty regular occurrence to have bears in our yard. It’s less regular, but happens often enough, to have meth busts all over our county. I’m glad to hear it’s not been your life experience, but not having it be an issue for you doesn’t make it insignificant to those of us who live it daily.

        • Scott GF wrote, “I am saying that those that choose to exercise that right should be held responsible and accountable to reasonably secure that weapon from getting into the wrong hands.”

          Are you backing off your original statement that they should be held “totally responsible”? If you are that’s great.

          Now let’s give it a try to somehow define what would be reasonable when talking about “responsible to the control of their fire arm”. I’m going to throw a bunch of stuff at you.

          Is locked away in a gun or display cabinet adequate in your mind to absolve a gun owner of legal responsibility if their firearms are stolen and used in a crime?

          How about a firearm that is not locked but within arms reach of the owner and somehow that firearm is taken and used illegally?

          How about if a firearm is displayed in the home but there is no ammunition in it or with it?

          My children and grandchildren do not have the right to come into my home and take my firearms without my knowledge, that’s stealing and stealing is illegal, I don’t condone or support any illegal activity taken with my firearms whether the individual has reasonable access to it or not. Some think I should be held responsible even if I didn’t directly put the firearm in their hands and they essentially stole it. What say you?

          If my wife, who doesn’t own any firearms, were to take one of my legally owned firearms and use it illegally do you think I should be held responsible for that?

          How do “we” define this very reasonable idea to be “responsible to the control of their fire arm” without serious interference into the legal ability to own a firearm?

          I can control my shot groupings quite nicely, only hitting the target that I intend to kill, and if someone whats to take my firearms they have to literally go through me. That’s my idea of responsibly controlling my firearms, what’s yours?

          • Scott GF

            “I can control my shot groupings quite nicely, only hitting the target that I intend to kill, and if someone whats to take my firearms they have to literally go through me. That’s my idea of responsibly controlling my firearms, what’s yours?”

            Yep me to, it’s the negligent gun owners that are the target. The idea could certainly be improved and some of my spit-balling has been called out, oh well.

          • I’ll bite:

            Is locked away in a gun or display cabinet adequate in your mind to absolve a gun owner of legal responsibility if their firearms are stolen and used in a crime?

            Sure.

            How about a firearm that is not locked but within arms reach of the owner and somehow that firearm is taken and used illegally?

            Define “somehow.” If is taken by an individual residing in the home who is child, a teen, a felon, suicidal or unstable, or who the owner should know is a risk? Liable.

            How about if a firearm is displayed in the home but there is no ammunition in it or with it?

            Unless the ammunition is readily available. Again: residents? Liable. Robbers? No.

            My children and grandchildren do not have the right to come into my home and take my firearms without my knowledge, that’s stealing and stealing is illegal, I don’t condone or support any illegal activity taken with my firearms whether the individual has reasonable access to it or not. Some think I should be held responsible even if I didn’t directly put the firearm in their hands and they essentially stole it. What say you?

            If my wife, who doesn’t own any firearms, were to take one of my legally owned firearms and use it illegally do you think I should be held responsible for that?

            I tend to believe that there should be some liability for this, yes. Case by case.

            How do “we” define this very reasonable idea to be “responsible to the control of their fire arm” without serious interference into the legal ability to own a firearm?

            Oh, I don’t see any conflict there at all. We can own dangerous things if they are legal, but we then also accept the duty of making sure they don’t end up harming someone.

            • I asked, “If my wife, who doesn’t own any firearms, were to take one of my legally owned firearms and use it illegally do you think I should be held responsible for that?”

              Jack answered, “I tend to believe that there should be some liability for this, yes. Case by case.”

              I might be a little out of my knowledge base on the law so I’m going to approach this one differently than I normally would.

              You’re talking about “liability” which can be interpreted as being either financial liability, criminal liability, or both. I think this is one of those times when discussing hypotheticals is at least a reasonable approach to see if how we are apply our conclusions is reasonable. Since the anti-firearms zealots are focusing on criminal liability lets focus on that too.

              Hypothetical A: My wife for some unknown reason and well out of character for her opens my handgun safe, takes my hand gun, walks into to our local McDonalds and opens fire on a crowd of people, people die.

              Hypothetical B: My wife for some unknown reason and well out of character for her takes my chainsaw out of its locked cabinet in the garage and attacks the people having a party in our neighbors back yard, people die.

              Hypothetical C: My wife for some unknown reason and well out of character for her gets the keys to my locked Kenworth Cab-Over Semi tractor, which she is not licensed to drive, and drives it into a huge crowd of people, people die.

              Hypothetical D: My wife for some unknown reason and well out of character for her gets on my motorcycle, which she is not licensed to drive, and runs down bicyclists and runners on the area trails, people die.

              Hypothetical E: My wife for some unknown reason and well out of character for her, get’s drunk while I’m at a gig with the band, takes our family car, and kills another person in a head-on collision.

              From my viewpoint, these are all very similar in that In all of these instances the item used to kill others was physically and reasonably locked away and a person other than myself chose to use them in a manner that killed other people.

              Question: Should I be criminally charged with something because my adult wife chose to do something that was well out of character for her and use items that were reasonably locked up to kill people?

              Ok, my head is going a little wonky from thinking up hypotheticals. 😉

        • Michelle Klatt

          I live in the woods and by your standards, I do ‘have guns lying around me house for bear’. That is, they are not all locked away, all the time. I do not have children living in my home, but I do have a bear problem, and an easily accessible gun is necessary during Spring and early Summer. I typically carry a gun with me while outdoors, and have one handy when in the house as well. My house is locked when I leave, and for me, that is due diligence. It’s reasonable to expect people to not force their way into my home, regardless if I’m present or not.

          • dragin_dragon

            So I have a question for Michelle, Z, slick and Scott. But first, a bit of background. I am obviously now living alone. I am a senior citizen, 72 (be 73 next month). I live in a neighborhood (for 15 years) that has undergone a RADICAL change. When I first moved in here, after my Father-In-Laws death, the subdivision was largely retired people, but now has morphed into younger people, gang-bangers (2 gangs), drug dealers and some other assorted crazies. My grand-children live 162 miles away and rarely visit. The local bar, which I visit 4 days a week, is, literally, my social life. I have 3 long-guns, which are kept in a locked cabinet. My .45, however, is kept where I can get my hands on it at need. I haven’t shot anybody with it, but I have felt a need to ‘brandish’ it a couple of times. If, some night, I go to the bar, some young gang-banger breaks into my house, steals the .45 and kills someone, AM I RESPONSIBLE? I’d say no. Locking my house should be considered a ‘reasonable precaution’. Your thoughts?

            • Many years ago, I had a drug/flop house across the street from me for a over a year where teenagers were hitting that house at lunchtime from our local high school every single school day, the activity was reported, there was photos presented to the police, license plates of every car that came and went for over two weeks. There were a few armed muggins close by too. Nothing was done except a squad car driving through the neighborhood a little more often.

              It took a while, some people moved out of the neighborhood, and there were many complaints but eventually I got to watched them drag the drug dealers out of the house across the street and load them into the back of the squad cars. What happened before they were hauled off was the drug dealers got to see me randomly taking days off and sit on my front porch with my M1A and a camera on a tripod and I would get my mail with my sidearm visible in its holster. The local police didn’t much approve (that’s their job) but they knew me and knew exactly what I was doing because I talked directly to the police chief beforehand.

              The neighborhood is now 30 years older and still quite safe and now there’s a young family with an infantry Marine living in my old house. I thought it was fitting to pass the house from one member of the United States Infantry to another. My family and his actually go out for dinner at least once every other week, they’re like family.

            • Yes d_d locking your home should be enough.

              • Agreed.

                However, what if it is a family member (who presumably has a key?)

                • slickwilly wrote, “However, what if it is a family member (who presumably has a key?)”

                  If it’s children with a key, additional locking up of the firearms within the home is necessary. I also choose to lock up my stored firearms and ammo in two completely separate locations in my home.

                  If it’s just my wife that has a key, no I shouldn’t be required by law to restrict her access it she needs one she knows how to reasonably use it, she’s not a child, she’s not a felon, she’s an responsible adult that’s 100% responsible for her own actions.

            • Michelle Klatt

              I think locking your home is plenty. While it is possible someone could break in and steal your gun, you tried to prevent that by securing your home. If someone chooses to steal from you, and then harm another with a stolen item, you should not be held responsible for their choices. Scott GF seems to think that property (guns) are the sole responsibility of the owner, regardless of who uses that property, or how they obtained it. If I steal a locked car, mow down a group of nuns with it, nobody blames the owner of the car, or holds them responsible for the harm.

              • joed68

                I think I have a bead on how the left determines who’s responsible for what. If they don’t own firearms, and think we don’t have any business owning them either, well then, we’re already guilty of defying their wishes, so why shouldn’t we be held accountable, especially if someone who’s already a victim of institutional oppression, by virtue of his membership of a disadvantaged socioeconomic group, is in danger of being held accountable for his actions? Now you would think that anyone with such a creative and no-nonsense notion of assigning blame would be consistent in applying that brand of logic to other things like, say, paying for abortions or birth control, or committing crime while under the influence of drugs, but they’re apparently very flexible, and not about to be nailed down to any one template of logic. Imagine how boring and predictable they would be if they were?

              • dragin_dragon

                Thanks, Michelle. That’s my feeling, as well.

              • Not only that, Scott here refuses to apply his idea tio the killing of Kate Steinle.

            • Scott GF

              Is the .45 on the kitchen table or in a isolated area only you would know about it? And no a lock house would not be considered due care in this case it would be negligent especially if you’re not carrying. You have the ability to secure the .45 in the safe.
              I have a weapon place in my house in the place I only know about and I only can access. I think that is a good question and not a very clear answer.
              Like obfuscation of the weapon, where as it’s not locked up but hidden and not obvious to the causal viewing eye seem a reasonable countermeasure.
              Not great but you put thought into it’s location and didn’t show gross negligence.

              • The safest bet is to just own guns so big your children couldn’t possibly handle them let alone cause them to discharge.

                Desert Eagle .50 cals and Ma-Deuce’s are great home defense weapons.

                • Scott GF

                  Yes that’ll be a good deterrent.

                • dragin_dragon

                  I gotta know…where’s the Ma-Deuce mounted?

                  • where’s the Ma-Deuce mounted?

                    Front porch? Screened in front porch?

                    Reminds me of the Ben Affleck movie ‘The Accountant’ where he had a minigun in the garage… on a pull down mount. Heavy duty home protection for sure!

                  • “The” Ma-Deuce? I pluralized mine…

                    But if, sir, you are limiting me to just one, I’d place it to cover the most likely avenues of approach and cover my dead zones with command detonated Claymores.

                    If I have a plural amount, I would place them in key points that ensure 360 degree coverage with overlapping fields of fire.

                    • …cover my dead zones with command detonated Claymores.

                      THATS what I’m talking about!!!

                      (Although the neighbors may object, if and when they find out)

                      (Of course, if they found out through detonation, they are unlikely to complain… but their heirs might)

                    • 1) Neighbors?

                      2) I’d do my best to integrate my neighbors into my defensive plans. Now we’re talking a dynamic defense with maneuver.

                      3) If they’re worried about my Claymores, they’re really not going to like my Final Protective Fires…

                    • I want to volunteer to man your OP/LP, when SHTF.

                      I can bring my own food, guns, PLENTY of ammo, and supplies.

                    • dragin_dragon

                      My personal preference would be a quad-fifty, radar controlled, mounted on the roof, supported by RPG 7’s. Screw the neighbors. See ‘High Noon’.

              • Wait, a criminal breaks into your HOME (they are a criminal the minute they do so, even if they are family) and you are responsible because you did not hide your gun?

                Jumped the shark here.

                Concern troll indeed!

                • dragin_dragon

                  Obviously, I disagree with Scott. For the record, the .45 has a clip inserted, but no round up the spout, nor is the hammer cocked and it is holstered in a not-obvious spot.

      • John Billingsley

        Let me start by saying that I am an NRA member and hard core 2A supporter. Having said that, I am a firm believer in devices to secure guns that are not under the immediate control of the owner. The NRA supports the position that it is the responsibility of a gun owner to store firearms safely and one of the NRA gun safety rules is “Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.” They state that what needs to be done to accomplish that is unique to each situation but trigger locks and gun safes are two possible ways they suggest.

        It would be ludicrous to suggest you have a trigger lock on a gun you are carrying for self defense or hunting. That gun is under your control. If you are keeping a weapon for home defense, clearly it would be useless if you had to get it out of the safe and load it while someone is breaking in. But it would also be useless if if were not readily at hand and under your control when you needed it. Keeping a loaded gun at hand while you are in the home is different than going off and leaving it lying around.

        Our host has previously said (Jan 28, 2015) about a case where two brothers were playing and found their father’s gun and one ended up shooting and killing the other,
        “The father should be arrested and charged with negligent homicide.

        Any parent who keeps a gun in a house with children has an obligation to 1) make absolutely certain that the gun is secure and cannot be loaded, found, or used by the kids, 2) teach the children that if for any reason they come across that gun or any gun, they are not to touch it, much less pick it up or play with it, and 3) make certain that they understand that real guns are not toys.

        If a parent does not do these things, and a tragedy results, the parent must be held accountable under the law….everywhere, no matter what happens.”

        In my opinion there is no way to “make absolutely certain” that a gun in the home is secure from children. That sets an impossible standard. There is no affordable lock or safe that cannot be defeated given enough time and determination. There is information on how to defeat various locks readily available on the internet. I feel the standard should be that an individual takes reasonably prudent steps to secure their firearms when they are not in direct control of them.

        If I put a good quality trigger lock on my gun, or put it in a safe, or both and while I am at work my child or a burglar is able to defeat those precautions and use the weapon to kill someone, should I be arrested and charged with negligent homicide? If I should, then MIchelle K is correct. It would just be a way to effectively ban guns. On the other hand, if I go off and leave a pistol and ammunition readily available and my child or one of their playmates finds it and uses it, then believe I should be arrested and charged.

        • “Any parent who keeps a gun in a house with children has an obligation to 1) make absolutely certain that the gun is secure and cannot be loaded, found, or used by the kids, 2) teach the children that if for any reason they come across that gun or any gun, they are not to touch it, much less pick it up or play with it, and 3) make certain that they understand that real guns are not toys.

          If a parent does not do these things, and a tragedy results, the parent must be held accountable under the law….everywhere, no matter what happens.”

          I agree with this.

          The logic problem that we’re dealing with with gun control advocates is that they want to extend that concept beyond the walls of the home and apply the same thing to a firearm that is taken from the home without the consent of the owner and used in a criminal manner outside the home and that is immorally holing an innocent person accountable for someone else’s criminal activity and a terribly slippery slope.

          • John Billingsley

            My brain was knocked off kilter when I saw “logic” in the same sentence as “gun control advocate.” I’m not a lawyer, but my understanding is that if someone steals your property, car, Louisville Slugger, gun, whatever and uses it to commit a crime the doctrine of proximate cause states that the person who used it and not the person it was illegally taken from is responsible. I’m sure it is a wet dream of gun control advocates to change that and make everyone connected with the gun except the criminal responsible.

        • Scott GF

          John,
          Nice write up. Nothing is absolutely certain. Again reasonable due diligence and due care. Trigger lock and safes when not being carried seems a minimum to me. If someone defeats your safe and trigger lock and commits a crime, I cannot see that person being held accountable since they showed no neglect. Whereas your second example is clear neglect and they should be help accountable to what end? I don’t have a good answer for that.

          Zoltar
          “How about a firearm that is not locked but within arms reach of the owner and somehow that firearm is taken and used illegally?”

          What happened to the owner where that would happen? That answer is it depends on the circumstances. as asked, then yes the owner is responsible for the unlocked firearm so it is there responsibility to maintain control of it

          “If my wife, who doesn’t own any firearms, were to take one of my legally owned firearms and use it illegally do you think I should be held responsible for that?”

          Yes, you are the owner of the gun, not her. You should be held accountable, unless she broke the locks and overcame the barriers to secure the gun.

          • Scott GF

            Zoltar,
            “The logic problem that we’re dealing with gun control advocates is that they want to extend that concept beyond the walls of the home and apply the same thing to a firearm that is taken from the home without the consent of the owner and used in a criminal manner outside the home and that is immorally holing an innocent person accountable for someone else’s criminal activity and a terribly slippery slope.”

            “firearm that is taken from the home without the consent”

            How did they do that? Steal it? Use the key (or code)? Probably. In any case the owner must ensure that weapon is secure and that the method of being secured is part of the due care.

          • I asked, “If my wife, who doesn’t own any firearms, were to take one of my legally owned firearms and use it illegally do you think I should be held responsible for that?”

            You replied, “Yes, you are the owner of the gun, not her. You should be held accountable, unless she broke the locks and overcame the barriers to secure the gun.”

            Reread that exchange, I think you just went over the deep end.

            • Yes, you are the owner of the gun, not her. You should be held accountable, unless she broke the locks and overcame the barriers to secure the gun.

              Scott just stated that your WIFE (for God’s sake!) does not have the moral agency to be held responsible for a crime she commits. That you must protect her from herself, lest she commit a crime.

              If he sticks with this statement, Scott is a trojan horse who is acting like a conservative gun owner in order to use progressive tactics to slide the discussion toward gun control.

              • slickwilly,
                Every once in a while I get a bite on some really subtle bait, I honestly didn’t expect to get a bite this time but…

              • joed68

                “If he sticks with this statement, Scott is a trojan horse who is acting like a conservative gun owner in order to use progressive tactics to slide the discussion toward gun control.”
                I suspected that a while ago. Reminds me of the prog that commented on one site, talking about being “highly trained” in tactical shooting by the Navy, but thought it was a bad idea to allow teachers to arm themselves because “I even doubt MY ability to react appropriately during an active-shooter incident”.
                Turns out that he worked in the mail room on a carrier.

            • Scott GF

              Being held accountable is not the same, or wouldn’t be the same as committing the crime itself. if you had the weapons unsecured and she committed a crime I would hold you accountable yes. If she unlocked the weapons from the safe or whatever and them committed the crime I would not expect you to be held accountable because you showed a level of diligence to secure the weapon.

              I have never said trigger locks must be on at all times, that’s just dumb and I wouldn’t even follow that stupidity. I do believe that when I cannot carry that the weapon should be reasonably secured against robbers, bears, meth heads, a sketchy wife or a emo kid.

              My suggestion is trying to navigate very sketchy waters. Trying to raise awareness directly to the owners of guns to ensure that they might want to take extra steps in securing the weapons doesn’t seem like trolling.
              Most gun owners I know already do this, it’s the guns owners that don’t that would be the target audience.

              If the disturbed person knew that their parent would be held accountable to a higher degree then today, maybe they would pause and not carry out the crime.
              If a parent/gun owner hears the message and takes an action that secures their weapon a little more then maybe it foils another crime.

              It’s not progressive or conservative. It’s ethical gun ownership.

              • Michelle Klatt

                You think that someone may be so morally bankrupt that they’d shoot children en masse, but have enough compassion to pause or even stop themselves from stealing a firearm from a parent if that parent could get in trouble? Really?

          • joed68

            “Yes, you are the owner of the gun, not her. You should be held accountable, unless she broke the locks and overcame the barriers to secure the gun.”
            How old is your wife? you know that this isn’t an Islamic theocracy, right?

          • Glenn Logan

            “If my wife, who doesn’t own any firearms, were to take one of my legally owned firearms and use it illegally do you think I should be held responsible for that?”

            Yes, you are the owner of the gun, not her. You should be held accountable, unless she broke the locks and overcame the barriers to secure the gun.

            Sorry, unacceptable. Holding someone accountable for the theft of their firearm would only be an acceptable remedy in the case of some kind of gross negligence, like leaving them loaded and unlocked in the presence of children, or leaving them in an unlocked home in a densely populated area.

            For example, in the Santa Fe shooter’s case, the firearm owner (as far as we know now) had no reasonable cause to expect his honor roll son would secretly harbor a desire to murder ten people. Failing to lock up firearms from a 17-year old young man who apparently demonstrated he was trustworthy and responsible is not negligence by any reasonable standard.

            Trying to apply a new standard of negligence to firearms is a slippery slope that will lead to similar claims for other items that can be used as a deadly weapon. Suppose somebody steals a car, and does murder with it. Imagine trying to hold the car owner responsible as an accessory to murder. The public outcry would be deafening.

            A man loses his knife used in his warehouse work. It winds up a murder weapon. He is charged with some kind of negligent homicide.

            These are all directly comparable to your suggestions. All of them are unacceptable.

            • joed68

              “Trying to apply a new standard of negligence to firearms is a slippery slope that will lead to similar claims for other items that can be used as a deadly weapon. ”
              That slippery-slope can stay in its lane, too. Never forget that anti-gun people are playing the long game. They know it would be folly, and possibly political suicide for some, to openly state their true intention (the banning and confiscation of all guns), so they’re going to cause death by 1000 paper cuts, and by establishing claw-holds with nebulous laws that leave things open for interpretation. In this particular case, I can see the definition of negligence getting wider and wider, until owning a weapon becomes so fraught with peril that many people decide it’s not worth doing, all while claiming that nobody’s RKBA has been infringed.

              • Glenn Logan

                Exactly.

                That’s the purpose of this, and the equally insidious suggestion that all gun owners be required to purchase specific liability policies against the illegal use of their firearm by another person.

                This is an attempt to incrementally deny civilian gun ownership or render it prohibitively expensive. As you say, death by a thousand tiny cuts.

        • joed68

          I also agree. If you’re in a home with children, all guns should be stored unloaded in a safe, and if one is to be kept at the ready, keep it condition 3 on your person in a secure holster. I know that probably seems a bit “Wyatt Earp”, but it really is the best way to do this, and many people that teach weapons safety and employment agree. Way back, when I lived in N. Carolina, I did this. At first, you feel a little stupid, and it’s a hassle, but it quickly becomes second-nature, and completely unobtrusive.

          • joed68 wrote, “if one is to be kept at the ready, keep it condition 3”

            That’s my go-to condition nearly 100% of the time. There are situations where I move to condition 1 but it’s only when it’s not reasonable for me to expect the availability of both of my hands.

            • My wife and daughter may not have the… constitution… to chamber a round, in the heat of the moment. The guns they would use are Condition 2, and I dry fire with them on the manual of arms.

    • Ah, so President Obama should be held totally responsible for the murder of Kate Steinle.

      It was his gun, you know.

    • “It seems that a lack of parental awareness of their child has allowed things to fester in these young adults that makes it seem that shooting up the high school seem reasonable. What are the parents/gun owners doing? Are they ignoring their own children?”

      I think there are myriad nuanced factors in modern society that are coalescing around our citizens creating greater disillusionment and anger than usual. I think most people, in general, have still learned enough resilience or at least find outlets for these stressors. I think though, on the margins, we’re finding enough stressors piling onto particularly vulnerable demographics who haven’t been taught enough resilience that ultimately they reach the threshold of despair that anti-social outlets are sought.

      Naturally a small percentage of these outlets involve violence and small percentage of those involve firearms.

      Gun violence is merely the outlet. Closing the outlet does nothing to solve the problem, but it sure makes people feel better about themselves.

    • Glenn Logan

      The NRA needs to engage gun owners and insist that they start to control their guns and help parents/gun owners identify problems earlier.

      For the record, the NRA already does this. They don’t “insist,” because how the hell do you “insist” on something like this? The NRA understands that gun ownership is a right, and safe gun ownership a responsibility, but they can hardly “insist” on any of this.

      The NRA offers training for both old and young, safety education for all ages, they grant funding for schools and law enforcement agencies under the Eddie Eagle program for child gun awareness and safety.
      The NRA is a volunteer organization. If you’d like to change what they do, maybe you should run for a leadership position there. They offer a lot of resources regarding gun safety, but requiring them to do anything is the province if its members.

  8. OhThatGuy

    My concept of how the “Do SOMETHING!!!” cognitive defect (I mean rationale) must sound like inside the person’s head:

    “I have to do something because the world isn’t the way I think it should be. If everyone would just listen to me, I know how to fix things, and wouldn’t it be great if my doing something fixed something and made me the hero!”

    The same situation arises daily in education. The “do something!” people typically have no idea how complex and involved the issues are nor do they really care, they just want to seem to be part of the solution. That is as long as the way to the solution is easy, uncomplicated, cheap, and if possible, actually solved by others onto which they can latch on to for some glory.

    • OhThatGuy,
      Are you new here? Welcome.

      OhThatGuy wrote, “The same situation arises daily in education. The “do something!” people typically have no idea how complex and involved the issues are nor do they really care, they just want to seem to be part of the solution. That is as long as the way to the solution is easy, uncomplicated, cheap, and if possible, actually solved by others onto which they can latch on to for some glory.”

      I hate to say it but that perfectly describes some of the K-12 teachers I know. 😦

  9. 40A has such a strong affect especially on leaders. As leaders sense a growing urgency among their followers/constituency they feel an urge to act.

    In the military we had to forcibly create a counter to this bias called “Tactical Patience”, which is, in summary: be certain you aren’t actually in an emergency situation that does demand action now, if you aren’t, you may just be in a stressful situation that may be calling you to panic but doesn’t actually require action. Sit back, calm down, watch the situation develop, act *if* necessary.

    The more I think about it, #40 A really is a Panic excuse.

    In addition to the ethics/legal angles discussed in #40 B in the main post, I find it is also often used by egotistical leaders who want their solution to be THE solution (even if a solution isn’t necessary) used as a way to shut up people who recognize flaws in the proposed solution or don’t even think there’s a problem to be solved.

  10. Along the lines of liability…

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/26/texas-school-shooting-victims-family-sue-suspects-parents.html

    Personally I’d like to know how the parent stored their firearms.

    What do you all think of this case?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.