Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Cedar Hill Mayor Rob Franke

Our own James Montgomery has been blogging the murder/suicide case of Coppell Mayor Jayne Peters. The divine Mr. M is threatening to leave his air-conditioned videogame station to visit the Texas town and unearth new info on this tragedy. Meanwhile, the local press has discovered the source of Mayor Peter’s pistol: fellow Mayor Rob Franke. The story, via dallasnews.com, is most instructive . . .

“We were all just talking generally about the concealed weapons law,” said Franke, who worked with Peters on the Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition. “About how if you have the license you can have one in the state Capitol without having to go through metal detectors.”

Police said Franke took Peters to a Duncanville shooting range on July 8 to teach her how to handle a gun. Peters then told him she wanted to borrow Franke’s gun for a training class she was planning to take on Saturday. Franke said it seemed as if Peters felt comfortable shooting a gun after having the range lesson.

Coppell Deputy Police Chief Steve Thomas said Peters left the gun range that day with the pistol in a camera bag along with paper targets, earplugs and extra ammunition.

“She told me she didn’t want to actually own a gun,” Franke said. “She said she was just interested in getting the concealed handgun license.”

Peters didn’t want a gun, she just wanted a license to carry? That’s like saying I don’t want to eat junk food, I just want to smell it. Missouri may be the “Show Me” state, but Rhode Island is the “Now tell me the real story” state.

As I said, Monty’s on the case. Meanwhile, Franke’s decision to loan his piece to Peters is yet another illustration of the dangers of lending someone a gun. It might turn out well, but it might not. And when it doesn’t, hoo-boy, it sure don’t.

I know there are exceptions that prove (i.e. test) the rule. Someone’s stalking your sister in a state that requires a handgun license and a cooling off period.

In that case, lending her a gun would be illegal. And while you CAN do illegal things with guns, it’s best not to. If nothing else, how could you help your sister if you were arrested on a weapons charge?

If she’s already called the cops, it’s time for her to stay with you (the guy with the gun who may actually know how to use it). Or hire a bodyguard. I don’t know. But it’s hard to imagine any scenario where there wouldn’t be a more effective response than becoming a one-man firearms lending library.

So . . . what else you got? Nothing. You got nothing.

Let’s accept Mayor Franke’s assertion that he had no inkling that his new shooting partner was going to kill her daughter and then turn his Glock 19 on herself. Franke’s motives were pure: he wanted to help Mayor Peters prepare for a concealed carry course. And in case you couldn’t have guessed it, lending your gun to someone is not a crime in the Lone Star state.

So what? What difference does any of that make?

Franke willingly surrendered control of his weapon to another person. At that point, he was responsible for what Peters did with it. Heads-up: it’s a gun, not a Bon Jovi CD. What do you THINK could happen with a gun? Let’s see . . . she could shoot someone! Depending on the number of bullets and her aim, two people! Maybe more!

Believing that Peters wanted his gun for a concealed carry course—just because she said so and gained some skills at the range—was insane. A politician who doesn’t assume that a politician isn’t lying? The mind boggles.

Besides, Peters could have rented a gun. Or bought one. Or borrowed one from an instructor. Or asked someone else. If someone needs a gun, unless you’ve got an FFL license, it’s not your job to provide it.

Let’s say you were carrying a gun. You’re about to enter a story and you see someone holding someone at gunpoint. What do you do? Call 911. It’s not your job to intervene. You may not have the whole story. Your best bet: call the cops. Be a good witness.

In the same sense, if someone asks you for your gun, you may not have the whole story. I have a stalker. I’m driving through a bad part of town. Mine’s being fixed. And? Don’t trust anyone with your gun. Tell them to sort out their own shit.

You always go through thinking about the what-ifs,” Franke said. “I just thought I was doing a favor for a friend.”

Some friend. Some favor.

comments

  1. avatar Wes says:

    “Franke willingly surrendered control of his weapon to another person. At that point, he was responsible for what Peters did with it.”

    If I loan my friend a knife and he stabs someone, it’s my fault?
    If I give a stick of gum to a friend and he chokes on it, it’s my fault?

    I’m having some trouble with the lack of personal responsibility on this one.

  2. avatar Robert Farago says:

    If you loan someone a piece of gum, you have a reasonable expectation that A) you won't get it back B) you're not going to want to get it back and C) nothing dangerous will occur. If you loan someone a lethal weapon, you're taking a MUCH larger and more obvious risk than if you loan them a piece of gum.

    Why? What for? Why take the risk? What upside could possibly justify the decision to surrender control of your gun? Remember that there are PLENTY of other guns out there.

    As for knives, the argument still applies. As you probably know, knives are far more lethal than firearms at close-in distances. And you don't have to reload. The more aggressive the knife, the more obvious the danger that it will be misused. Risk? High. Reward? Not as high.

    It's common sense really. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. And in this case, common sense says you shouldn't.

  3. avatar txracks says:

    Seriously? I do not blame Franke, period. He did nothing illegal, and he did not give his gun to just anyone. Peters lied to him others and she is ultimately responsbile and will answer for it. Peters had her own reasons and purposes and was set to fulfill them. Peters would have gotten a gun regardless of Franke. I feel bad that he is having to endure this.

  4. avatar Marksiwel says:

    If I see someone on top of a woman, he pants are around his ankles and he is ripping the womans panties off. I should do nothing to stop him? I should be a good witness? What are you smoking?
    How about, I pull them apart, draw the gun (If I need to) and tell them to stay put untill the cops come.
    Jesus.

  5. Marksivel, You're right. My example was not well chosen. I meant to say if someone was being dragged away by someone with a gun crying rape. Not actually doin git. In that case, it might be an undercover cop. Anyway, I've changed the example. Thanks for helping me keep it real.

    1. avatar marksiwel says:

      No you shouldn't change your article because I pointed out one of your many logical fallacy's. You wrote it, your published it, you should leave it up there for the world to see.

      1. That's not the way we roll. If the text is wrong, we acknowledge the mistake in the comments section and amend the post, so that new readers don't get bad information.

        1. avatar marksiwel says:

          You werent giving out facts, it was your personal opinion.
          Should you also change your
          "Get a Body Guard" comment " or "You’re about to enter a story and you see someone holding someone at gunpoint. " (I assume you mean Store)
          Also http://kotv.com/news/topstory/?id=124857 Man shoots robber who had gun to managers head. I'm sure the manager is thankful he wasnt just a good witness.
          You wrote your silly article about a tragic event that obviously wasn't spur of the moment (she'd been planning it for weeks) Where she got the gun is irrelevant, she didnt get it illegally. She could have gone to a Store, bought one, and had it that day. If there were a cool down period she could have bought one waited a week and done the same thing.
          This is a woman who shot her daughter in the back of the head after lying to her for weeks about her "New car' and getting into UT Austin.
          She then returned the car at the local Mall, walked the 3 miles (much of that journey is without sidewalks, I lived there I know) Passed Neighbors and the Local Morman church. Went home, and blew her brains out. She planned it out.
          The police havent pressed charges, I say drop it.

  6. avatar marksiwel says:

    Also please volunteer at a woman's shelter and tell them to "Hire a Bodyguard" because their crazy ex stalks them. I've met Dozens of women who used a firearm in self defense from Ex Boyfriends, Rapists, and in one case a friggin' bear, while volunteering at the Women s shelters around the Country.
    Fun fact, according to the supreme court the police have no duty to protect you. That means your safety is up to YOURSELF.
    Should you loan out firearms? As a rule, no.
    The Mayor of Coppell could have also strangled, stabbed, or poisoned her daughter. She also could have gone off and bought a gun.
    The woman had been planning on killing herself for sometime (I grew up in Coppell and my Parents are residents, I am also friends with the City Managers Son) No waiting period (There is none in texas) or background check would have stopped her.
    Many people are wanting CHL's because it makes access to the capital easier due to the fact they installed asinine metal dedicators after a shooting (that hurt no one) OUTSIDE of the building.
    I ramble, I admit.
    -Marksiwel (Not marksivel)

  7. avatar alyssa says:

    Rob Franke is absolutely one the most horrible people I have had to the privilege of knowing. As stated before “just because you can doesnt mean you should.” Believe it or not vigilante justice is for the birds. If you get both of you killed who are you helping? Nobody. I think so little of Mayor Franke that it honestly wouldnt surprise me if she had told him exactly what she planned on doing and he still handed over his weapon with no regard. He’s a liar and crook. Let’s persecute the man and his actions.

  8. avatar miken says:

    I will go in the kitchen right now and throw away all the knives. Tell us Robert how do you roll? I wouldn’t loan out one of my many guns. But to go in a “STORY” or BRANK see a crime taking place and do nothing. And as for you Alyssa I hope I never see someone on top of you tearing off your panties, I hate the thought that I would waste a 60 cent bullet on your liberal butt. Hire a body guard, call the cops my 79 year old mom could afford a body guard and the cops told her if the Guy had a gun let him take what he wants. You know what, the next 79 year old lady wont need to worry about the scum bag. The next time he kicked in her door mom Sen the SOB straight to hell. GO MOM.

  9. avatar Eagle70 says:

    Forget the facts you didn’t get straight; forget that if you knew Rob Franke as well as I do, you would never question his motives in this case. What I’m finding absolutely ridiculous is that the picture at the top of your post is not Rob Franke, but former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. I’m glad this thread seems to be dead now. I hope you’ve moved on to matters you actually know a flip about.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Are you sure? Here’s the link to Cedar Hill Texas’ official website: http://www.cedarhilltx.com/index.aspx?NID=280

      The guy on the left sure likes Rob Frank to me.

      1. avatar Eagle70 says:

        Nope, not even close (well, of course, maybe the hair):
        http://www.tomleppert.com/meet-tom

        1. avatar Richard Driskill says:

          Actually, you are correct Eagle70; it is Tom Lappert in the photograph, not Robert Franke. There is a similarity though.

          To this day, if you place your mouse on top of the picture at the top it STILL reads “Rob Franke (left)”, which is wrong.

  10. avatar Eagle70 says:

    See if this link works for you. In this photo, Tom Leppert has his arm around Rob Franke’s shoulder: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/media/109/a2935/helen-giddings-north-texas-joe-straus-4.JPG

    Although I’m not sure how old Mr. Leppert is, I imagine he’s a good 10 years older than Rob, who started turning silver in his late 30s.

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