Debate Magazine

Guns Found in Carry-On Bags at Airports

Posted on the 16 November 2011 by Mikeb302000
The New York Times ran a piece in the Business Section about the increasing numbers of guns being confiscated at airports in carry-on baggage.
Two other things seem to be at work here, and neither involves terrorism. The first I’ll call the knucklehead factor. A majority of passengers found with firearms in their carry-ons explain sheepishly that they simply forgot they had them in their bags. This seems plausible since many states have been steadily relaxing laws regulating the possession and carrying of firearms.
The other factor is more serious. A small percentage of firearms detected at checkpoints have been “artfully concealed,” as the T.S.A. puts it. That is, the traveler made an obvious attempt to hide the guns as they passed through metal detectors or as screeners inspected bags. The agency won’t speculate on this, but I’m guessing that certain misguided people are determined to have their weapons with them, even if it means risking arrest.
Granted the percentages are low, so many people fly every day and so few are caught with guns. But the fact that there are ANY is amazing to me. What's wrong with these people?
It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that I blame the gun-rights movement itself. All the talk about needing a gun, about how normal and natural it is to have one, all the justifications and rationalizations they keep bouncing off each other, that's what's to blame in my opinion.
The TSA head, John S. Pistole (terrific name for a story like this) left out one thing. He didn't allow for the fact that some guns get through the system. If they catch so many hundreds of guns every year, imagine how many they don't catch, what with the average competence factor of your TSA workers and the ingenuity of gun owners in "artfully" concealing their weapons?
Indeed, the problem is much bigger that it seems.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

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