Pack Your Heat When You Pack For Home

Original photo by Damir Bosnjak

A timely reminder from the part of Florida known as the “Redneck Riviera:” When traveling over the summer, remember to take your gun home with you.

Travelers often leave behind personal items when they check out of an Airbnb or other vacation rental, but police in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. have noticed a particular absentmindedness on the part of those who just can’t be without their guns. They remember to bring them to their relaxing getaway on the shores of the Gulf, but they forget to take them home.

…according to Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Corey Dobridnia…a total of 20 guns have been turned in since Memorial Day. Ninety percent came from vacation homes.

Since the guns are either reunited with owners through the diligent efforts of the property owners or used for police training, what’s the harm, you might ask?

“Say the housekeeper didn’t find it, and it’s left in a drawer, and another family checks in that has kids and the gun’s loaded and the kids find it?” Dobridnia said. “And second, what if it ends up in the wrong hands? A crime can be committed and that gun is impossible to trace.”

By treating guns they claim are vital to their safety as if they were leftover tubes of toothpaste or half-used bottles of ketchup, careless gun owners are endangering the rest of us. But that’s not new, is it?

Guns have become so ubiquitous in some people’s lives that they have lost the sense of personal responsibility that used to accompany carrying a loaded weapon.

“We’ve gotten phone calls from guests that have left guns behind,” [one property manager] said. “They called and they’re like, ‘Hey, I stayed in Grayton Beach and I left my handgun underneath the bed.’ We’ll send someone out there and, sure enough, there’s a handgun wedged up underneath the bed.”

Come on people. If you’re packing heat, do as they say in state parks: “Pack it in, pack it out.”

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