Last week the Transportation Safety Administration celebrated its return to normalcy with the publication of an annual report on how many guns were picked up at the airports where TSA staff monitor security check-ins prior to flights. The report was issued the day after a Republican member of Congress, Matt Gaetz, may have made the single, dumbest, brain-dead comment ever made by anyone who has ever held a Congressional seat, when he told the parents of two children killed at Parkland that their concerns about protecting the country from gun violence didn’t come close to his concern about protecting the country from all those terrorists and criminals who come from Mexico because we don’t have a wall.
The TSA report, on the other hand, doesn’t represent a loony opinion on threats to public safety, rather, it’s a compilation of hard data on how many guns were taken from passengers who were in the process of boarding commercial flights anywhere within the United States. Next time you go through a TSA security checkpoint, count the number of times you see a sign telling you not to be in possession of a gun. Maybe three times? Maybe four? And yet in 2018, more than 4,200 passengers attempted to board aircraft holding carry-on bags that contained guns, of which 80% of the guns were loaded as well.
You have to be as dumb as a rock, maybe even as dumb as Matt Gaetz, to bring a gun onto a plane in a carry-on bag. Want to have a gun with you when you fly to Florida to visit Grandma in a nursing home? Pay the extra bucks, check a piece of luggage, declare that your suitcase contains a gun and you’re good to go. When you land in Miami or wherever the old lady has been stashed, an airline employee will even come up to you and hand-deliver your suitcase.
Of course the whole point of carrying a gun is to be ready, at an instant’s notice, to defend yourself and everyone else from one of those ‘street thugs’ who endlessly prowl around. There’s always a member of MS-13 just about to steal your car or break into your home. You can never tell when ISIS may choose to land an invasion force on the streets of your suburban town. The threats to life, liberty and the pursuit of a gallon of gasoline which costs less than two bucks are all around.
On a plane? Remember back in 2008 when David Sedaris had to choose between chicken versus dog-shit with cut glass as the entree for his in-flight meal? I’m sure our friend David ended up with the chicken, but what if the cabin attendant had screwed up and handed him the dog-shit with cut glass? Wouldn’t that have represented a clear threat to David’s life and limb which could only have been thwarted by the use of a gun?
Now let’s not go overboard about this problem, because the same group of TSA inspectors who found 4,239 guns at airport check-in lines also waved through more than 800 million passengers and crew who weren’t carrying guns. That’s an awful lot of people flying the friendly skies who didn’t need to have a gun in their carry-on bags.
The question I have, however, is this: If I have a gun in my carry-on and the gun is discovered and taken away prior to my flight, isn’t this a violation of my 2nd-Amendment ‘rights?’ After all, the Constitution doesn’t say anything about my gun-rights being abridged just because airplanes didn’t exist in 1788. So why should I ever find myself in a life-threatening circumstance just because some noodle-head bureaucrat in some federal agency thinks that I shouldn’t be able to protect myself on a flight?
Know what? I’m going to write a letter to Matt Gaetz and tell him to put together legislation, get it co-sponsored by the Freedom Caucus, that will definitively extend my Constitutional ‘right’ to protect myself with a gun to any and all commercial flights. And if he wants, I’ll go to the trouble of putting up a Facebook group which we’ll call ‘Americans for Freedom in the Skies.’
I mean, what else should I be doing since right now it’s too cold and wet to play golf?