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If you know me, you know I’m not one for conspiracy theories; in fact, I’m usually vigorously opposed to them. But even I find it hard not to connect the dots when just days after Moms Demand Action announced they were attempting to get Target to ban guns, an employee at a Myrtle Beach, SC Target store found a loaded 9mm handgun just laying in the open in the toy department. It’s just too convenient. A man was seen repeatedly walking around that area, but it was unknown if he was the one that left the gun. His strange behavior prompted suspicions of shoplifting, though, bringing an employee to investigate . . .

and that employee found the gun. Security footage is being reviewed to try to determine what happened. In the meantime, just thank the deity of your choice that it wasn’t found by a child, because false flag or not, that could have been a horrible thing. (Unless it was one of your children, of course, because they’ve all been trained to Eddie Eagle standards, right?)

UPDATE: Predictably, Shannon Watts and her ilk have wasted no time jumping all over this one. Partial text of an email blast received this morning follows:

This is horrifying: According to multiple news outlets, a Target employee found a loaded handgun in the toy aisle of a store in South Carolina. When you’re shopping at Target, you shouldn’t have to worry about someone parading around with a semiautomatic rifle, or whether your kid is going to find a loaded handgun while looking at toys.

Because a criminal carrying and dumping a gun (if that’s what it turns out to be) has anything whatsoever to do with legal open carry, of a semiautomatic rifle or anything else.

Guns aren’t meant to be fun. That’s the title of an opinion piece in USA Today this week. The author notes that it’s rare that he agrees with the NRA about anything, but of course he agrees with their recent comments re: Open Carry Texas. He’s not a very imaginative person, though, because he “can only think of two reasons why someone would want to openly carry a firearm… The first is in order to intimidate people around you. The second is simply to show off.” He goes on to draw a distinction between “responsible gun owners” and those that own guns for the “alleged purpose of self defense.” The archetype of the responsible gun owner “is the hunter who keeps a hunting rifle locked in a safe,” but the author acknowledges that that wouldn’t be terribly effective for self defense, so it would need to be out. If a locked up gun makes you responsible, then an unlocked, more accessible gun must by definition make you irresponsible, right?

The TSA set a new record Thursday for number of guns detected at checkpoints in a single day. Eighteen guns were found at airports across the country, with virtually all of them being found in carryons as the bags went through security. The crises that were averted are nearly unimaginable, of course, mainly because if those guns hadn’t been found, there’s an astonishingly large chance that they would have all made it to their destination without event. If people legitimately forget they have them (which I believe is virtually always the case), then it’s not like they’ll suddenly remember the gun is in the bag just because they get annoyed at the kid kicking their seat, right? Blood in the skies is no more a concern of mine than blood in the streets.

Some sanity from a school district in Pennsylvania, after a 7-year-old boy turned himself in for having a toy gun at school. He was sent home from Martin Elementary School on Wednesday, and told he could be expelled, but it turns out he’s only going to get a two day suspension, and will return to class on Monday. In reality, the kid did the “right” thing, and the kid’s mom should get the suspension. The boy forgot his regular book bag at a friend’s house, so that day she packed another one for him, not realizing the toy gun was inside it. Whoops.

It’s the weekend, so there’s time for a longer video. Hickok45 shoots and discusses SIG’s new striker-fired offering, the P320.

Sigh. Add another gun to the wishlist.

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  1. OMG! I just saw an open carry at Chik-Fil-A. There were kids everywhere! …….and no one got killed. Cool, glad he was there.

    • sarc on/ THANK GOD HE WAS ABLE TO CONTROL THAT EVIL GUN. ANOTHER MASS SHOOTING NARROWLY AVOIDED! We really have to outlaw every gun. For the children. / sarc off

      Chik-fil-a will be the next business targeted by MDA.

      • The difference is, Chick-FilA knows on what side their biscuit is buttered, and it’s not MDA. After the $h@#@ storm that was the chick-fila boycott and that wacko who threw sandwiches and shot people at a conservative group in DC, they had RECORD SALES during the boycott. Not to mention they don’t go much further North (and therefore crazy liberal) than Maryland. Their core market votes R and probably carries. Not to mention they’re all franchises rather than being centrally owned.

        • There’s also the fact that their owners are rather religious and insist that all their stores are closed on Sundays. I don’t really see them caving to MDA.

  2. Is it illegal to “accidentally” leave a gun in a public place? Like how do you leave a gun laying in an aisle in Target if its not on purpose…

  3. I’m with you Matt.
    I found that story just way too convenient, timing wise.

    Sigh. So many guns. And the taxidermy bill just arrived. Plus $500 for shipping.
    Sigh. Won’t be buying any new guns for a few months.

  4. I just can’t fathom how so many people are forgetting where their gun is and inadvertently attempt to carry it on an airplane. No matter if you agree with the law or not, it is just idiocy to “forget” where your gun is, especially in your gosh dang carry-on bag! Same type of stupidity that leads to losing your gun on the toy aisle i suppose.

      • I have lost a lot of knives to the TSA. all because I forgot they were in my bag. Its best to just let them have it(as long as its not an heirloom) since its probably the only way you are getting to your flight on time.

        • You can mail the knife to yourself. The TSA is supposed to direct you to that option, and there is a typically a mail station near the security checkpoint for that reason.

    • Was it one of those real cheap Hi Points? Maybe the guy was just too embarrassed to be seen with it!

      • “…really cheap Hi-Points…”

        Is there any other kind?

        The good news is, no children were ever in danger of picking it up and firing it, since A) most children do not possess the strength necessary to pick up and point a 48-pound cast iron handgun, and B) since it was a Hi-Point, the odds of it actually firing are quite low.

  5. I wonder if the SN on the gun will yield a name. Or does Shannon use straw buyers?

  6. The target incident is clearly an MDA plant and a false flag. If it were a bathroom perhaps an ATF agent was leaving their weapon behind accidentally, but setting a gun up in a toy aisle is as deliberate as it gets and wouldn’t be something any gun owner would do, if not for the very fact that its leaving a few c-notes around and what gun owner forgets about *their* firearm (unlike ATF agents whom are just given a gun paid for by someone else and not their sole responsibility). MDA and Bloombergs twerps have their filthy hands all over this because people of their ilk would happily see a child get injured or killed to further their demented agenda.

    • Jeez, take off the tinfoil hat. The surveillance video shows a black guy as the suspect, and the “registered” owner is a black woman. Therefore, this is a criminal type who used a straw purchaser(the woman) to buy for him or his gang.

      He ditched his illegally carried handgun because the cops were nearby and he has warrants.

      He may have thought he’d come back for it at a later date.

      Not hard to figure this one out.

      • Nothing tinfoil hat about anti-gun groups using false flags, they’ve done it routinely. No one stashes *anything* in a public store, out in the open where it can be readily seen and accessed. “Come back for it later” really? When it’s set up to be readily found by anyone you in your “wisdom” think he’s stashing it, out in the open, to come back for it later… in a bloody department store full of cameras? Right Sherlock.

      • Jean LeClerc says: “Not hard to figure this one out.”

        Also not hard to bury it in a stack of towels or bedspreads in the home department, where it is far less likely to be seen or found, and more likely that it will still be there when you come back for it later.

        Leaving it out in the toy aisle means someone WANTED it to be found.

        I just hope the cops:

        – catch the perp who left it there, and

        – get him to take full immunity to get the full story of who/what/where/when/why/how.

        If he is truly a scumbag, there will be other chances later to arrest and jail him. We need the details on this, and where it might lead, more than we need a conviction of the drone.

        • Or, you know, he could just be a dirtbag with warrants who was avoiding the cops and ditched the gun when it was most convenient.

          Again—perp is a black guy, last known owner is a black woman(not the usual purchaser of a big, heavy Hi Point)—-this equals criminal who shouldn’t own a gun, not anti-gun activist.

          Yes, I did specify the race of the two involved, because it sheds light on the incident. This wasn’t some forgetful CCW holder. This wasn’t a plot by Shannon Watts or Mike Bloomberg,.

          This is what I stated—a dirtbag criminal, who likely had warrants, ditching his gun where he could. Of course, he’s also a sociopath who didn’t care that he put it on a shelf in the toy department. “Wanted someone to find it”? Reports are he put it in a superhero action figure box. That says he wanted to come back for it at a later date. He was just too stupid to hide it in a ziploc bag in a toilet tank….

        • The report I read said the pistol was found ON TOP of a toy box:

          “The gun was in plain view on top of a superhero Playskool toy box when the worker found it; he thought it was a toy. He realized it was real after seeing it was loaded with live ammo.”

          Story was at this link:

          If true, it makes a big difference. Any attempt to hide the pistol would mean the perp might have just been trying to ditch it, as you said. However, you don’t ditch something by leaving it in plain view. Heck, he could have tossed or stuck it onto almost any top shelf, or any other raised location to hide it. If it was deliberately left out on top of an item in the toy aisle, the ditching explanation becomes less likely, and another explanation simultaneously becomes MORE likely.

          In my experience, panic-caused ditching means stuffing it high, low, under something, or IN something. Leaving it exposed on top of something just doesn’t fit with ditching, period.

        • I think you may be crediting the gentleman with an over-abundance of intelligence.

        • No, I’m just saying that way it was positioned is not consistent with “ditching” an item that a person doesn’t want to get caught possessing, for a person of ANY education or stress level.

          And that leaves wide open the question of what other reason(s) there would be for leaving it placed in the way it was found.

      • Almost every single one of these mass shootings has been a false flag. An anti gun dem loses it and decides to prove they are right by acting like they portray gun rights activists. I can’t recall a single shooter that wasn’t a liberal. Maybe the Giffords shooter? I forget, that one was an extreme outlier in so many ways.

        • No. The fact that they almost all leaned left doesn’t make it a false flag. They were simply out of their ever-lovin’ minds. I don’t think for a single second that any of the major shooters were trying to “prove something” about guns, or gun availability, or gun rights, or anything in that area. They were virtually all trying to prove simply that they were not the weak-minded, pathetic individuals that the world saw them as. They were losers, either because the world saw them that way or they saw themselves that way (or both), and they were out to prove otherwise, by whatever means necessary. So I don’t believe you can call any of them “false flags” in the gun sense, though if you said that their left-leaning ideals left them more vulnerable to feelings of insecurity and not measuring up, I’d get behind that.

      • “He ditched his illegally carried handgun because the cops were nearby and he has warrants”

        Is so, wouldn’t you leave it behind the stack of “Hard Choices” or “Dreams from my Father”. Sure to be undisturbed on you return not likely anyone going to buy those books. In the open in the toy aisle???

  7. In reality, the kid did the “right” thing, and the kid’s mom should get the suspension.

    Look, I’m glad (relatively) cooler heads prevailed on this one, but in a sane, rational world the school employees’ response would have been to chuckle, keep the toy gun in a desk drawer until dismissal time, and remind little Johnny not to bring toys to school. There’s no excuse, really not even any believable explanation, for the level of pearl-clutching that seems to happen in schools these days. There’s another story like this one every week, to the point where at least one state had to address it by legislation.

    You want to talk conspiracy theories, let’s talk about how kids in school these days are being trained in so many ways to live in a police state. The civics teacher talks about the fourth amendment, but then cops come and randomly search lockers. They talk about the first amendment, but kids are forced to turn t-shirts inside blatantly over politics. Then a kid goes to college and there are anonymous accusations and star chamber trials. No wonder so many people think the Constitution is ancient history–it’s been their practical experience since kindergarten.

    • Hippies took over the school system in the 70’s. Those 20 somethings are now in their 60’s and are well into implementing their weather underground reeducation program. They played the long game and systematically destroyed the family unit to get rid of competition for children’s hearts and minds. And they are raising young Americans to be smug, superior acting morons who can’t read the news ticker at the bottom of the tv before it zips off screen and believe government is god and will protect them.

      • I’m in the military, I regularly see new recruits just out of high school that are barely literate. Its insane watching the decline in education just over the past decade.

    • Spot on, the appropriate response to children having brought their toys where the shouldn’t have is to temporarily confiscate said toys and return them at an appropriate time.

      The parallel to this would be little Johnny bringing his toy truck to the dinner table in violation of the no toys at the table rule, and rather than taking the truck, disowning Johnny and sending him to an orphanage.

      Proportionality of response is a basic principle of due process and of common sense. I believe their is an argument here for emotional abuse of a child and unjust denial of his right to an education. In any event there is nothing here that appears to be sensible, just, reasonable or even sane.

    • Actually, the kid should have been praised and acknowledged for doing the right thing vice giving into the temptation to just keep it hidden and his mouth shut. Next kid isn’t going to ‘fess up– school has taught them that doing the right thing will cost them (well, unless they want to get suspended for just a couple of days…)

  8. Matt,
    You need to stop drinking the globalist provided Kool-Aid nonsense about conspiracy theories. Sooner or later, those so-called “theories” wind up becoming fact and all you will have accomplished is getting yourself behind the informational eight ball.

    This is the age of propaganda. 9/11 had us all believe that our government had nothing but good intentions, yet what we are now finding out is that the Conspiracy Theorists (CTs) were on the right track track all along. They were right about Chem Trails, they were right about GMOs, and they were right about the government doing illegal chemical, biological and radiation experiments on unwary citizens and soldiers.

    I’m not saying that you should swallow every theory that comes down the pike, but we should all be questioning everything nowadays since we can’t trust ANYONE in the government. If you keep denying even the sporadic validity of the CTs, that’s a good barometer that the government’s Kool-Aid is working. Question everything.

    • Found the crazy conspiracy theorist. Better put the tinfoil back on your head, the government has been reading your thoughts while you shower.

        • He lost me at chem trails. But I agree with the sentiment of not taking the government at face value for anything they claim.

    • I was having a really hard time determining if this comment was for real or not (see: Poe’s Law), but chemtrails pushed me well into parody land. You were doing well, but took it just a little too far.

      If I’m mistaken, and you are serious, then you should know that your use of chemtrails as an example completely discredits whatever validity the rest of your argument may have had.

  9. Also convenient that it was one of the cheapest handguns available, Not some $1000+ 1911.

      • Not at the pawnshops around here. Even rusty garbage that’s only good for a gun “buyback” costs more than a Hi-Point at any of the pawnshops I’ve been to.

    • Gangsta types LOVE the Hi-Point because it’s cheap and fires a major caliber. Of course, it’s also easily melted down on a gas grill.

      This is not a conspiracy. This is a dirtbag criminal who was illegally carrying a gun and dumped it.

  10. If I was to guess, it was left on purpose by a criminal who was probably there shop-lifting, was in illegal possession of a firearm, felt the heat or that something was going on and dumped the gun.
    He’s probably pissed that he left a perfectly good piece in the toy section of Target, which I NEVER shop at. But if they start having firearms laying around, I may change my mind.
    If Shannon Twatts come to one near me, I will be sure to show up and be a douche bag.
    Oh hell no Shannon, I don’t have guns, I just don’t like what you do!

    • You know Mark; You saying “Shannon Twatts” is rude, uncalled for and just shows you to be a sexist pig.

      What Shannon Watts is a liar, an arrogant elitist, a statist, a wanna be tyrant that believes that she is special and deserves armed protection and that we as the “Great Unwashed” don’t. She revels in having power, she dreams of having absolute power of life and death over those that “obviously” can’t manage their own lives. This is what she is, as a person.

      But calling her sexist and demeaning names that degrade her as a woman is uncalled for.

  11. Not into conspiracy theories? That’s all right because so many of the old theories have morphed into fact that the term doesn’t apply in all places. I’m always surprised at how hard people come down in here on those who are open to alternate possibilities. It borders on inflexible close-mindedness at times. I don’t believe every theory that comes down the pike, but damn if this whole crap show isn’t turning into a matter of truth being stranger (and more malevolent) than fiction.

    • Problem is people equate “conspiracy theory” to people who think aliens are beaming space rays into our minds, rather than the very plausible notion that governmental and private groups (MDA) are actively engaging in deceptive measures to discredit their opposition. I really fail to see what’s so implausible about the latter.

      The only thing that limits people from engaging in heinous, treacherous acts is a sense of honor or decency, and as we all know, those who are anti-2A possess neither.

      • For the liberal/progressive; as one that grew up in the snake pit that is this paradigm; they are convinced that they are on the side of all that is good, just and right. For them, “the ends justify the means”; Including lying, cheating, stealing and even mass murder. You think Hitler and the Nazi’s thought they were the bad guys?

        You think I exaggerate? This is the basis of all communist/socialist based belief; which is the root of the liberal/progressive. If a person can rationalize the “right” to murder an unborn child; they can justify any evil.

  12. I’m not a conspiracy guy, but this one is just too much of a coincidence. IIRC Blofeld…I mean Bloomberg used NY state LEOs to straw purchase guns at guns shows in other states to demonstrate the gun show “loop hole”.

    Shannon might be “above” such tactics, but Bloomie isn’t.

  13. If there was ever any group evil and despicable enough to use dangerous, potentially deadly false flags to further their sick agenda, MDA is it. Factor in that their entire goal is to crush a basic human right and endanger the lives of millions and, seriously, how is MDA not a villain group? They even fit the much dandied about “domestic terrorist” tag.

  14. I’m not sure I buy into the conspiracy theory. If it really was an MDA plant, there would not have been a guy loitering around acting suspicious. MDA would have planted the gun and got the hell out. I also don’t buy the “gang banger with a rap sheet trying to avoid getting picked up by cops while holding gun” explanation. If this were the case, he would have concealed the gun someplace so he could come back for it.

    My take is “sicko who wanted to see a kid get shot”. That would explain leaving the gun in plain view in the toy department as well as his hanging around afterward waiting to see what would happen. There are a lot of sick people out there. Some drop the hammer on first graders in a school while others set kids up to shoot each other.

    As to the 320, before you “pull the trigger” so to speak, I’d suggest pulling the trigger a few times on the gun. I liked the overall feel of the gun, but compared to my M&P with an Apex trigger or even my Glock 42, I just found the trigger feel to be off.

  15. To the Target gun find, it seems unlikely to me that this was any sort of conspiracy, it’s too poorly played and a bit outrageous (though neither rules it out entirely). Ockham’s razor suggests that the more elegant of two possible solutions is the more likely correct one and conspiracy virtually always being more complex than not it isn’t usually a very likely explanation of anything at all. A cheap gun ditched by a suspicious acting man suggests someone unlawfully carrying who panicked and disposed of the weapon. His poor choice in armament, the evidence that it may not have belonged to him, his suspicious behavior and the utter disregard with where he left it tell a story. I would venture that somewhere near the gun was also a collection of valuable and concealable merchandise that didn’t belong in that area of the store. Elementary; armed shoplifter either panics or else observes something that suggests he’s under suspicion, dumps the merchandise, then agonizes over whether he’ll be stopped trying to leave anyway and the gun discovered and errs on the side of caution (for himself at least) and disposes of the gun. Just because it plays out like something a guilty child might do doesn’t mean it’s not the case. There is no rule that states criminals must be smart, conscientious or even rational, in fact the case is generally that at least one of those factors is missing.

    • While most of your statements are well-reasoned, in my experience, if a shoplifter is armed, there is a reason for it, and “ditching” the weapon is not in-line with that reason (to threaten/shoot someone who is preventing his escape from the premises with stolen goods).

      And I still say that the way the pistol was positioned when found was not consistent with “ditching” an item that a person doesn’t want to get caught possessing, for a person of ANY education or stress level (see linked article, above, that described pistol being left in plain view on top of a toy box).

      And that leaves wide open the question of what other reason(s) there would be for leaving it placed in the way it was found. Up until now, I’ve never embraced conspiracies of any type, but due to the otherwise rather inexplicable circumstances, I find this one far more attractive than most.

  16. They sent guns to Mexico as a lead in for more restrictions so it’s possible the gun was planted for similar reason.

  17. Does anyone really think that, if all the stars were aligned and this turned out to be a verifiable false flag Obama supporter who wanted to make a gun control point, we wouldn’t be blamed anyway? Dorner freaking wrote an anti conservative MANIFESTO advocating for gun control, and his atrocities are still blamed on us.

    • Is anyone really using the Dorner incident in that way? It’s been my experience that, as soon as he was killed, the whole thing was flushed down the memory hole. There’s a lot about that incident that the powers-that-be don’t want discussed, from Dorner’s political beliefs, to his use of the LEO carve-outs in California law to equip himself for his killing spree, to the ridiculous law enforcement overreaction. I can’t recall reading or hearing anything about Dorner in the media (even/especially from anti-gunners) since about a week after the manhunt ended.

  18. The more I read and see about the Sig P320 the more I think it’s gonna be huge! The fact it checks off sooooo many boxes… Sig Sauer-engineered and made (hate it or love it, but Sig Sauer makes some sweet-a$$ shooters, boy!) ; Polymer-framed; Striker-fired; and the interchangeable modular design, with the “guts’ being serialized and then you can switch frames and sizes to make your shooter the size you want when you want it… that is amazing. I recently bought a full-size Sig in my new MK25, but I really need a subcompact for every-day concealed carry… Under my normal school of thought I would be looking for a Glock 27 to compliment my G23 and because it’s reasonably priced, excellent quality and great sized . BUT, if I could get this Sig and have the ability to have a Full- Sized gun and a Subcompact carry gun, and have it with Glock reliability, Sig quality, and say Walther’s reputation for trigger and accuracy, the P320 looks better and better.

  19. Never ascribe duplicity to that which can readily be explained by stupidity. Or something like that. I can easily believe this was the act of a criminal. Few are geniuses.

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