Lauren Tannehill, the wife of Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, left behind an AR-15 rifle in the back seat of a Nissan Rouge earlier this month. The rifle was discovered by the next people to rent the vehicle, Judith Fleissig and her daughter, who were visiting Florida from Rochester, New York. The mother and daughter were shocked to see the rifle in the vehicle and they notified police who removed the firearm from the back seat.
Broward County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Keyla Concepcion noted that leaving the gun behind in the rental vehicle was not a crime. She stated:
Though dangerous if it would have landed in the wrong hands, it’s not criminal. They simply forgot it.
She simply forgot that she left a 2000 dollar semi-automatic rifle capable of firing off thirty rounds in rapid succession, because well that is what responsible gun owners do. Ho hum. She forgot an expensive deadly weapon and left it behind like it was a pocket comb or a toothbrush. However, there is no need to worry, because as the NRA is fond of reminding us, these same absent-minded people who cannot be trusted to remember where they left their AR-15 are going to stop the next movie theater shooter. Well maybe the next drive-in movie shooter at least.
While Lauren Tannehill’s careless act is not criminal in the state of Florida, it is irresponsible. While she and her husband may view guns as toys to fire off at a shooting range for fun, they must remember that part of responsible gun ownership is keeping track of where your gun is at all times and making sure it is secured if it is not in use. Gun sense requires common sense. Fortunately, the people who rented the vehicle after Tannehill were able to have the rifle removed without incident, but gun owners should not count on others to clean up after them. Responsible gun ownership requires attentiveness and personal responsibility. Carelessly leaving a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle in the back of a rental car is neither responsible nor attentive.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.