NYT Joe Sharkey Backpedals on Guns-on-Planes. Ish.

Back in November, Club Class passenger and New York Times columnist Joe Sharkey [above right] wrote a piece about guns-on-planes called Knuckleheads and Worse, Bringing Guns in Carry-ons. Needless to say, TTAG took him to task for participating in the Gray Lady’s anti-gun jihad. After I emailed the scribe the link to my post Gun Owners Am Stupid, we spoke on the ‘phone about the issue. A month later—a blink of an eye in New York Times time—Sharkey’s backpedalled and penned a semi-mea culpa: Owners Argue Merits of Firearms on Airplanes. “The subject of guns is complex and emotional,” Sharkey writes. Translation: maybe I shouldn’t have characterized gun owners as stupid, idiots and stupid idiots. But wait! There’s more! Or less. More or less . . .

“Look at how many guns already get through,” said Kurt Amesbury, a director of a gun owners group called Keep and Bear Arms. Mr. Amesbury was one of the activists who objected to my column about more guns turning up at airport checkpoints. (Guns can be legally transported in checked bags after a passenger declares them.)

Mr. Amesbury and some other gun rights supporters I spoke with say they believe that airline security can be enhanced if more passengers were armed. I don’t agree, but their positions deserve to be understood.

In essence, they say that gun owners with appropriate licenses should be able to carry weapons after making themselves known to security officials and the captain. Federal air marshals on board would also know which passengers are armed. “I present my permit and say that I’m carrying,” Mr. Amesbury said. “Why wouldn’t that work?”

Of course, there are other implications, including dangerous felons circumventing permit procedures and legally carrying weapons.

And he was doing so well! Even when they get it, the anti-gun guys don’t get it—despite our Bruce Krafft’s detailed and data-driven destruction of their deeply flawed logic. Assuming a “dangerous felon” is also a convicted felon (right?), they can’t legally buy, possess or carry a firearm. If they circumvent the law, it’s still illegal.

Truth be told, gun laws don’t do anything to stop lawless people. Ipso friggin’ facto. As we’ve learned time and time again (or not) a “gun free zone” is a killing field for madmen whose lack of respect for the law is only matched by their lack of concern for the sanctity of human life.

Disarming Americans in the name of protecting them against black swan terrorist attacks does little more than create a false sense of safety (a.k.a, security theater). Worse, the TSA and their ilk perpetuate the culture of dependency that undermines this nation’s greatest strength: a collective belief in individual responsibility.

Legal concealed carry on planes would create a balance of power between legally armed passengers and terrorists, with all they “Hey we didn’t have nuclear war after all!” deterrence that implies. Or, more to the point, it would have created a “Put down that box cutter or I will kill you before you kill 2,752 people” scenario.

It’s worth thinking about. I mean really thinking about; not lip service. Which is Sharkey’s m.o. here, witnessed by the fact that he goes for the common sense, common ground close.

Still, I’m happy to say that even as I was being denounced on gun rights Web sites as participating in a “jihad” against the Second Amendment [NB: TTAG], at least some agreement was achieved on the subject of “knuckleheads,” which is how I referred to those who claim they simply forgot they had a gun in their bags. Some supporters of gun rights who objected generally to the column did agree that a right to carry arms probably also includes a responsibility to remember where your gun is.

Asked about this at the gun show, Mr. Schechter handed me a Citizens Defense League refrigerator magnet and pointed to rule No. 5, which stated: “Always maintain control of your defensive tools.”

Probably? Let it go, Joe. Show a little respect to Americans who carry guns lawfully, protecting your ass, even if they screw up at the airport. You knucklehead.

comments

  1. avatar GS650G says:

    “Of course, there are other implications, including dangerous felons circumventing permit procedures and legally carrying weapons.”
    Presenting bullshit as fact always starts with Of Course. I like the contradiction right there with dangerous felons legally carrying weapons. I guess cats bark too.
    The worst part of flying is being disarmed and subjected to the evil will of airport personnel, drunk unruly passengers along with people just not raised properly.
    Into that class I would have to include people like Joe who look down on the rest of us because we don’t work in NYC and get published in the Times.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      NYC isn’t the center of the civilized Universe?

    2. avatar TR says:

      “i guess cats bark too.” Actually,….

  2. avatar KYgunner says:

    Great article and good job for calling this “anti” on his BS and helping to change his opinion slightly (even if he was too thick skulled to get the full effect). Proof positive that TTAG is a great tool to bring about change.

  3. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

    “Assuming a “dangerous felon” is also a convicted felon (right?), they can’t legally buy, possess or carry a firearm. If they circumvent the law, it’s still illegal.”

    I have a bit of difficulty with this. Is there a difference between a dangerous and a convicted felon? No. You’re either a felon or you’re not. You must agree with that, right? Therefore we have only two categories, felons and non-felons, or bad guys and good guys, right?

    Wrong.

    Hidden among the non-felons, otherwise known as the good guys, you’ve got the hidden criminals. I’ve expounded upon them plenty to not have to belabor the point here. The point is the obvious one. The more liberty and freedom we grant the “good guys” as far as lax gun laws go, the more liberty and freedom the hidden criminals enjoy. And they’re every bit as dangerous as their already-convicted buddies.

    That’s why you “good guys,” in order to be truly good guys, have to submit to common sense and reasonable gun control regulations.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Thanks for all your help, mikey. Without you as our moral compass, I just don’t know what we’d do. We must all submit to your utter brilliance. And since we’re not worthy, can you please peddle your bullsh!t elsewhere?

    2. avatar KYgunner says:

      I don’t know about you but that’s a chance I’m willing to take. Freedom for all or restriction of rights based on the argument that someone may slip through the cracks… It’s a no-brainer. And if that one “bad guy” slips through and meets up with me, I’ll be aweful glad I have my trusty handgun to defend myself and my family.

    3. avatar ST says:

      Hidden among the non-felons, otherwise known as the good guys, you’ve got the hidden criminals. I’ve expounded upon them plenty to not have to belabor the point here. The point is the obvious one. The more liberty and freedom we grant the “good guys” as far as lax gun laws go, the more liberty and freedom the hidden criminals enjoy. And they’re every bit as dangerous as their already-convicted buddies.

      That’s why you “good guys,” in order to be truly good guys, have to submit to common sense and reasonable gun control regulations.

      ****************************************************************

      If everyone is a potential felon, then to ensure security the government must treat everyone like a felon. Including you.

      Either all citizens get the benefit of the doubt, or all citizens get the gulag. No government on the face of the planet has ever possessed the power to prevent crime.Whats the difference between a man who intends to kill and a man who doesn’t ? Nada. I personally witnessed a 20 year Reverend attempt to commit assault with a beer bottle. Until that guy lost it I never would believe him capable of the crime of assault-and neither would any government agency.

      That ability to prevent crime lies exclusively with the intended victim. The only people on September 11th who were in a position to prevent the perpetration of a terrorist act were the passengers on the aircraft.Not the FBI, CIA,NSA,DoD, Secret Service, ATF, FAA, USCG,nada.

      What you propose, Mikeb, has been tried already. The consequences can be seen in the history books discussing life in the Third Reich, the Soviet Union, and the French Revolution to select a few examples of governments which tried to predict crime.

    4. avatar DaveL says:

      The more liberty and freedom we grant the “good guys” as far as lax gun laws go, the more liberty and freedom the hidden criminals enjoy. And they’re every bit as dangerous as their already-convicted buddies.

      You do know this is exactly the same argument used against the right to have counsel present for questioning, the need for search warrants, the presumption of innocence, the double-jeopardy rule, the right to a public trial by jury, etc. – right?

    5. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      you are so right mikeb. You are the violent stockingmask rapist everyone is looking for – the one who has raped over 100 women and beaten or killed all of them senseless. You have also preyed upon and molested dozens of children and are responsible for untold horrors inflicted upon them. Please do the right thing and surrender or TTAG will have to use your IP address to out you. #dumbass

      You do realize Tom Cruise already made your premise into a movie, right? Everyone is a criminal who just has not been caught. Classy. Let’s see you testify to that in front of congress and a tv audience.

    6. avatar Bill Fletcher says:

      Applying Mike’s rationale, perhaps the the license to drive should be revoked. This would help eliminate all the habitual drunk drivers who haven’t been caught and convicted yet.

    7. avatar Tio Volatito says:

      To be fair, let’s take mike’s point that his gun control suggestions would keep guns away from the hidden felons. Now, any law against hidden bad guys would have to rely on a bad guy being caught and successfully prosecuted. So:

      1: licensing and criminal background checks
      — wouldn’t work because the hidden bad guy isn’t in the system, and may never be in the system if he or she isn’t caught

      2. registration of all guns bought
      –registration would not stop a registrant from using his/her legal gun to commit a crime. To the point that it would help track down the criminal after the fact assumes that the gun would be found by police, and the registration number be tracked to the registrant/criminal. Also, if the gun were brandished during a crime, there would be almost no evidence to identify the criminal through the gun. Finally, illegally imported guns would not be registered.

      3. No transfers without background check, i.e. close gun show “loophole”
      Again, no background check would identify someone who has not already been caught and prosecuted. Even if the check factored in criminal charges (conviction no required), it would assume that the person has already been formally accused once already.

      Sorry, but your big 3 wouldn’t do much. What else you got?

      1. avatar RuffRidr says:

        Good points. Mike, do you have a non-generic retort to Tito’s very specific responses?

        1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          *crickets*

      2. avatar CarlosT says:

        The Department of PreCrime. How else can you get people who are felons but who have yet to either commit or be convicted of their felonies?

    8. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      Mike, you’ve got the wrong idea. Again. You cannot, with any degree of certainty, determine who will be a criminal before they become one. You also cannot take liberties away from your so-called “hidden criminals” without taking away mine. Let’s try part of your post, but substitute verbiage related to the first amendment in stead of the second:

      “Hidden among the non-felons, otherwise known as the good guys, you’ve got the hidden criminals. I’ve expounded upon them plenty to not have to belabor the point here. The point is the obvious one. The more liberty and freedom we grant the “good guys” as far as lax speech laws go, the more liberty and freedom the hidden criminals enjoy. And they’re every bit as dangerous as their already-convicted buddies.

      That’s why you “good guys,” in order to be truly good guys, have to submit to common sense and reasonable speech control regulations.”

      Sounds ridiculous, huh? Your “hidden criminals” gig is becoming tiresome. There are only two types of gun owners: criminal and non-criminal. Any attempt to say otherwise is just a thinly-veiled attempt to restrict EVERYONE’S ability to own a gun.

      1. avatar Big John says:

        I just teared-up a little reading your response, moonshine – so beautiful!

    9. avatar GS650G says:

      Ah, so we are all bad guys at heart, just not yet labeled and discovered as such. Except for the liberals, they are the chosen ones.

      How about you kneel before Zod ?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFyHTU8tg_0

    10. avatar FrankInFL says:

      Did you just say that I can’t have any rights a criminal might abuse?

      That’s what it sounded like.

    11. avatar Jake says:

      And people like you think people who like guns are paranoid. I pity people who walk around seeing every human being they encounter as a possible ticking gun nut. Sad, considering they are statistically less likely to commit crime than any other demographic you could think of besides perhaps people in persistent vegetative states.

  4. avatar Roadrunner says:

    One freedom the hidden criminals enjoy when the good guys have guns is the freedom to be shot when they’re committing crimes against the good guys.

  5. avatar Gene Hoffman says:

    MikeB,

    How many pilots are hidden felons? I mean it must be the same recidivism rate, right? Keep flying the future felon driven skys!

    Robert et. al. – we really should be careful equating all gun free zones. On a pure logic level, the secured area of an airport is safer than the average “gun free zone” in that only the very serious are able to get a weapon in. That doesn’t cut against the core point that we certainly could come up with a super license that those of us with carry licenses could add 8 hours of federal training on top of to become qualified to carry on board instead of checking. Now we would need this little thing called HR-822 first….

    -Gene

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