Good morning. As of this writing, Google lists 373 news stories about Kristy Louise Grove, an aspiring airline passenger caught carrying a cheap and cheerful Raven Arms MP-25 with six bullets as she attempted to board her flight. Security caught it. Grove claims she simply forgot that The Mother of All Saturday Night Specials was in her purse. Police are investigating. To paraphrase Poe, why not only this and nothing more? The system worked. If Ms. Grove made an honest mistake, and the Ft. Myers Beach marketing director doesn’t look like an Al Queda operative to me, she should be charged, released and fined. Instead, what’s the bet that the now-Ravenless marketing director will face the full force of the law? No more guns for Grove. No-Fly list? Terrorist Watch list? You betcha! Given her newfound celebrity status, The Powers That Be will want to make an example of her. Well, so do I.
Carrying a gun should not be a casual business. For one thing, you could put someone’s eye out with that thing. Simple firearm safety requires that a gun owner maintain a constant vigil on their weapon’s operational state. Regularly checking a gun to make sure it’s safe may seem OCD, or trigger OCD (so to speak), but needs must.
At the very least, a concealed carry weapon should be checked twice a day, just in case something happened to the gun that might stop it functioning or start it functioning at the wrong time. For holster-types, it’s no biggie. But just because a gun lives at the bottom of a woman’s purse or a LOCKED glove box or a bedside GUN SAFE doesn’t mean you shouldn’t inspect the weapon. In other words, don’t trust and do verify.
If the concealed carry gun is loaded—-and why wouldn’t it be?—its owner has an even greater responsibility to ratchet up their gun state awareness to an even higher level. In the Raven’s case, Wikipedia reports that
Early models have a sliding bar safety that will not allow the pistol to chamber a round or cock the striker if the safety is not in the fire position when the slide is pulled back. Later models have a push up safety that will not allow the action to be cycled at all when engaged.
Question: how much would you trust a gun’s safety if that weapon sells for under $100? Would you feel a hundred percent comfortable dropping the gun whilst it was in a purse/man bag, for example?
In any case (so to speak), a person carrying a gun should always be aware that they’re carrying a gun. If Ms. Grove was capable of forgetting that she had a Raven in her bag, she’s capable of forgetting her bag. Could a child find the bag, open it, grab the gun and kill someone? It’s not exactly what I’d call a likely scenario, but it’s not impossible. More plausibly, some creep could steal her bag and keep the gun. Or sell it.
Legal gun owners have an obligation to keep their weapons out of the hands of illegal gun users. Losing your gun is not a good thing for you OR society. So it behooves you to know where it is at all times, and remember that it is what it is, where it is. Whatever is is.
And, lest we forget [sic], inadvertently exposing a theretofore concealed weapon—I know my keys are in here somewhere—could create an ugly scene. There are people who see a gun and immediately, instinctively and adrenally assume that you’re a threat to their life. Some of these people also carry guns. People like . . . airport security staff.
And then there’s the nutnfancy factor. No, not the cylindrical baked good that’s propelled Lisa Burns to the finals of the “Create Dunkin’s Next Donut” contest. The web’s most famous gun reviewer.
Mr. Fancy will tell you (and tell you and tell you) that anyone who carries a concealed weapon is a sheepdog. Despite deploying the world’s worst anthropomorphic metaphor (Can I be a Doberman? A Schnauzer?), the man has a point: when you carry, it’s not all about you. You have an obligation to protect innocent lives.
To do so, you have to scan the world around you for threats and consider responses. However casually. Perhaps even subconsciously. Is there anyone suspicious lurking around the playground? In this crowd? That mental process not to say paranoia is one reason why a lot of people don’t want to carry a gun. But if you do, it goes with the territory.
At least it should. As we’ve said here before, gun ownership is a right that comes with responsibilities. One of those: staying alert to the fact, and potential, of carrying a weapon. Assuming mental distraction, Ms. Grove is hardly the only person who’s put a gun somewhere and forgotten it. If only she was the last.