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.