Holy Moses, will the media please give this one a rest? According the TSA (Toss the Second Amendment), a steady perhaps even daily stream of Americans accidentally or ignorantly attempts to board an airplane with some form of deadly weapon: a gun, knife, flare gun, sword cane, box cutter, nail scissor or a copy of a Barbara Taylor Bradford novel. Two days before Christmas, the TSA blog reported that the extraneous federal agency confiscated some 26 firearms in one week. That’s more than three a day people. Since then, however, the blog’s gone quiet. I wonder why that is? Actually I have a pretty good idea . . .
Perhaps the TSA wants the media to think that Americans attempting to fly with guns and knives and such is a rare occurrence, so they can get media and thus voter props by SLOWLY feeding the beast. I mean, if “smuggled” weapons are routine, that doesn’t make the TSA look quiete as good as the whole “we found a tactical needle in a haystack” meme.
For example, here’s a story on county10.com that made it into the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and newspaper and television reports throughout up-state New York. As the gentleman involved doesn’t appear to be more of a terrorist than, say, former U.S. Attorney Kevin Burke, is it really such a big deal?
A Riverton businessman has been charged with a class three felony in Big Flats, New York after attempting to board a commerical airline flight with a loaded gun [.38 caliber revolver] and two hunting knives [9″ hunting knife and a “utility” knife] in his carry on luggage.The charge of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree was lodged against Mike Rinehart, 53, owner of Diamond T Welding of Riverton and Boulder, Wyo. and Mansfield, Penn [above]. He is also a former publisher of The Advertiser and Wind River Voices newspapers here . . .
Rinehart is being charged under New York Penal Code 265.03 03. In New York, a person appears for an initial hearing, and the case is then turned over to a Grand Jury. If an indictment is made, the person charged would then have a preliminary hearing on the charge.
Just to be clear, Rinehart is in deep s4it. new-york-lawyers.org:
Ask any New York criminal defense lawyer from Manhattan or Brooklyn to Queens or Westchester County. There are few charges less forgiving and more aggressively enforced than Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law 265.03 (CPW 2). This crime is ruthless in its application and the potential impact is devastating. The law is very clear. If you are convicted of this offense there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 3.5 year in prison and a maximum term of 15 years in prison. What compounds this matter is that this sentence is applicable for those with no previous record.
The penalty is no joke but the TSA is: a bloated federal agency that specializes in security theater and nearasdammit sexual molestation. It’s Uncle Sam at its most bureaucratic, expensive and intrusive.
While you’ve got to be pretty dumb to carry weapons onto a flight, you’ve got to be even dumberer to throw the book at people who did so by accident. [Heads-up: intent matters.]
As presidential candidate Ron Paul asserts, law-abiding Americans should be able to carry concealed gun on airplanes. And whether they can or not, they certainly deserve to be treated with respect and discretion by the federal employee paid by the public to protect the public.
[FYI click here for the FAA (F Armed Americans) rules on flying with firearms. h/t to Jess Hinkle for the link.]