Monday, November 21, 2011

Guns at the Airport

Raise your hand if you didn't know guns were forbidden on planes.

Anyone? Anyone?

So why are more and more passengers getting caught at airport security check-points with firearms in their carry-ons?

That's the alarming question posed by Joe Sharkey in his New York Times column last week, which he aptly titled "Knuckleheads or Worse, Bringing Guns in Carry Ons". 

Apparently, the number of passengers making this "mistake" is on the rise and the TSA is snagging 4 to 5 passengers each day who are trying to pack pistols. Some claim they forgot they had the gun in their bag, others have clearly tried to hide their guns from detection.

Both types of gunslingers are idiots.

The first because, as Sharkey rightly points out, not knowing where your guns are goes against basic gun safety protocol. And a good number of the guns confiscated are fully loaded!

The second type of passenger, the one who's trying to hide the gun, is more worrisome. Most probably aren't terrorists. Just the kind of jerks who feel they are above the law; or that the law governing guns on planes is wrong and should be flouted. After all, in the past decade, laws have changed in many communities allowing concealed weapons to be carried in restaurants, theaters and a number of other formerly off-limit places. Why should planes be any different?

I'm not going to get into the issue of gun control here. This is a travel column, after all. But I'd love for those who are on the NRA's side of this argument to take up the cause of public safety and remind their members that carrying guns on planes is not a safe or smart idea. Just the loss of cabin pressure, if one or more bullets were to pierce the plane's fuselage, could be very, very dangerous for passengers (read more on that here). The gun owners will listen to you, more than to me. Do this for all of our safety.


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  2. Why didn't you include the information that passengers can check their firearms?
    I agree that people are being stupid about their "forgotten" firearms - given how much trouble you can get into at the airport, why NOT scrutinize your carry-ons that one extra bit?
    By the way, it's a myth that a single bullet can depressurize the whole aircraft.

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