A while back, I was watching a video where the person on it claimed he knew which vehicles were most likely to have a firearm in them. How? Easy. They were the ones with an NRA sticker on the back.
Now, this wasn’t an anti-gun activist or someone like that. This was a firearms trainer who was conducting a class. His point was that thieves see the NRA sticker and figure you’ve got a gun and there’s a chance you left it in the car.
That’s what went through my mind as I read this report out of my home state.
Here is a puzzling case out of Fayette County where investigators say thieves broke the window of a man’s pickup truck while at the gas pumps. We’ve heard of cases of thieves opening unlocked doors and sliding into the car. But this time they actually broke the glass to get inside.
Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb says the victim’s nice truck and especially the Georgia Wildlife license plate maybe why thieves targeted the driver at Quick Trip store on State Road 85.
Thieves looking for firearms are keying in on pickups with hunting or even patriotic stickers or emblems.
“It may say I’m a sportsman and there may be a weapon in that center console,” said Sheriff Barry. “It is something we deal with on a regular basis.”
Now, I’ve seen some folks be somewhat skeptical over this. After all, Fayette County is part of the Atlanta Metro Area. They are of the belief that this is really about trying to keep people from showing their patriotism or interest in hunting to isolate other patriotic folks, to make them feel alone.
Yet, that’s not likely. Sheriff Babb has been in office since 2013. That’s the same year one story about the area referred to him as a member of the Tea Party. I’m going to guess that he’s not a progressive nutjob here.
Plus, it’s not the first time I’ve ever heard of people targeting vehicles because stickers suggest that the vehicle might have a gun inside.
Look, for the thief, it’s a calculated risk. Even if there’s not a firearm, there may well be something else of value so he’s efforts won’t be wasted. Depending on the time he has, that could include the car’s stereo or other electronics that can then be fenced.
Yet all it takes is just one firearm find to make his week.
So this means you have two options if you want to avoid this kind of thing. One is to become a gray man, to be invisible to others as much as possible. A nondescript car with nothing particularly suggesting it as a good target should be pretty safe.
The alternative is simple. Don’t leave guns in your car. Yeah, yours might get broken into, but if everyone takes their guns out of the vehicle, eventually they’ll stop looking for one.
This isn’t rocket science, folks. They’re breaking into vehicles because you’re advertising to them.
Of course, you shouldn’t have to hide your affiliations or interests. If you want to do that, go for it. You should if you so desire.
Just make sure you’re not leaving them anything worth taking.