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Can you keep a secret?

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Gun Sense #25, Can you keep a secret?

Outside of your immediate family and/or a trusted close circle of good like-minded friends, in this day and ‘enlightened’/frightened age, don’t tell people what you have when it comes to firearms. I know that sometimes people may ask you if you own guns, the question, on the surface, may be quite innocent but it can sometimes lead to bad consequences. In this state, and time in history, it is an inappropriate question and you should politely decline to discuss your personal business with someone that does not have a ‘need to know‘ that information.

Your like-minded friends should/will all be on the same page with you concerning their, and your firearm information. Simply put, it is a matter of security. I know instances where a firearm(s) have been taken because of ’loose lips’. In one case the home owner in question was big on cook-outs and inviting large crowds of ‘friends’ over. These ‘friends’ would sometimes come with people that the home owner did not know. We will call the home owner Willy, now Willy had quite a nice collection of guns and was very proud of them. He would make sure that everyone had a chance to admire them by bringing people into his house and showing the guns off. They were great ‘show and tell’ material. This went on for a few summers, I had long since given up trying to convince Willy that ‘show and tell’ was a bad practice. One day Willy came home to find that he had been burglarized and 21 various firearms had been taken. I think that more would have been taken but the crooks probably ran out of ‘hands’ to carry them. So far only four have been recovered, that was more than ten years ago.

’Associates’ that you really don’t know very well, can innocently mention to someone you don’t know at all, that you are a gun owner, they in turn can casually pass that information on, it only takes one ‘bad apple’ in that chain of people to use that information against you.

Someone who had taken my class a few years ago called me recently and told me a thief had broken into his car and taken a handgun that was secured with a cable lock, in a locked box out of sight under the seat. He said that he only occasionally left it in the car for reasons I will not mention. I asked him if he had any other valuables in the car that were taken? He said that his GPS was not touched, or anything else, just the gun. Obviously he was specifically targeted for that gun. Possibly someone he knew had knowledge of the hiding place, and brought the correct tool to steal it. I asked him to think hard about who he had talked to about the gun, to come up with a list of people. It probably was not a friend that took the gun, it was probably someone a friend had talked to about the gun, so he needs to talk to his circle of friends to narrow it down. I think it will lead him to that gun, or at least a good suspect.

The main point that runs through this article is this, don’t trust those you hardly know to protect your secrets from others. Keep your gun(s) as private as you reasonably can. Your gun(s) are not anyones business but your own. If a firearm is stolen from you report the theft to the police as soon as you find out. Keep a list of the serial numbers from each gun to aid the police in trying to recover your property. Don’t unwittingly become an accomplice in the theft of your own firearms.

Submitted: 12-31-2010, Mark Shean
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