According to bakersfield.com, local police reckon that a robbery gone bad led to the murder of 32-year-old Campus Park (CA) resident Amber Kelch. Evidence found at the scene suggests that Kelch was doing drugs with Pablo Salas, 25, and Adolf Casica, 29; all three had drug-related prior convictions. So here we have a woman with a serious drug problem hanging out with fellow drug addicts, all of whom have spent time in prison. All we need to add to this mix is a couple of assault rifles . . .
The motive for the killing of Kelch appears to be robbery in the theft of two assault rifles, [Bakersfield police Sgt. Mary] DeGeare said. The rifles were legally possessed by Kelch’s husband, Michael Shawn Lovett, who was out of town for work during the incident, DeGeare said.
The rifles are still missing and anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jim Moore at 326-3567 or the main police line at 327-7111.
Kelch had recently told her friends that the assault rifles were in her home, DeGeare said. Casica’s sister is a friend of [victim] Kelch, DeGeare said. But it is not known when Casica became aware that the assault rifles were in the house, she said.
You know how some concealed carry self-defense gurus tell you to have a system of escalating awareness? Code White if everything’s alright. Code Red is someone’s going to get dead. Well, the same rule applies to safe gun storage. You have to adjust your storage habits according to the security threat level.
If everything’s all-white in your household—no kids, no drug users, nobody suffering from depression or other mental illness, good neighborhood, etc.—you can stash your weapons in accordance with the legal required safety minimum. (Exact requirements vary by state.) I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t keep your firearms into a big ass safe. I’m simply saying that the risks of not doing so are not so great in that situation. Not zero. But not high.
As soon as kids enter the picture, gun safety habits must escalate dramatically. If there’s criminal activity in the house (including but not limited to illegal drug use), a severely troubled teen or some other factor creating a potentially volatile environment, it’s time to consider getting rid of the guns. Seriously. Man up. Disarm.
At the same time, no matter what the security threat level, NEVER TELL ANYONE ABOUT YOUR GUNS. It is a natural human instinct to do so. Don’t. And if you DO tell someone about your guns, never tell them about their style, type or location.
Remember: if there is a shooting in your house and the neighbors inform the police that you have other guns (’cause you told them), that hearsay evidence is sufficient justification for a search warrant, leading to confiscation, leading to evidence presented in court that you are a homicidal gun nut.
As a gun writer, I violate this rule of armed omerta. But then, I’ve already escalated my security and continue to do so regularly—in terms of access, storage and alarm systems. A gun owner should constantly assesses the dangers inherent in keeping guns. Anything less is irresponsible.