The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that U.S. airlines carried 642 million scheduled service passengers in 2013. wsj.com reports that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) found 1,813 firearms in carry-on baggage that same year. That’s a very small percentage, right? You know what’s even smaller? The number of terrorist attacks on or using airplanes in 2013. Now you could say that the TSA’s ballistic intervention is somewhat, partially, maybe even just a little bit responsible for that lack of in-fight terrorist activity. Or you could think . . .
the whole thing – the document checking and groping and warrantless searching – is nothing more than security theater – as not one of the “gun smugglers” was arrested for terrorism.
I know we’ve discussed this before, but I’d like to point out that the Wall Street Journal doesn’t put any of these “guns confiscated at airports numbers” into context. Save the idea that 2014 is on the way to becoming a banner year for TSA gun finds (“As of the end of June 2014, the TSA has already found 1,025 guns”). I’d also like to defend my position – that Americans should be allowed to carry on airplanes – using an argument from a 2012 americablog.com post.
It really is f’g twisted.
We all have to remove our shoes every time we board an airplane, because one guy, one time, tried (and FAILED) to set off a small explosion in his shoe.
We all have to turn in our beverages at airport security because, blah blah something something hypothetical about liquids and explosives. Something, again, that has never happened because a passenger carried a drinking beverage onto the flight. But we all have to do it. Because the authorities decided.
Meanwhile weapons that are designed to kill other humans instantly, from a distance, are legal and in the hands of all kinds of people (some well adjusted, some insane, some kinda in between). All kinds of people, all owning guns, all around us. And tragic murders from gun violence happen every day.
It’s also interesting to note that we trust all these people to have guns everywhere else, but not on planes. Why not? Wouldn’t we all be safer if everyone on a plane was armed? (I haven’t googled it, but I’ll bet the gun nuts have already argued this very point.)
See what he’s done there? He’s bitched about unnecessary TSA searches and then pointed out that TSA gun searches are also surplus to requirements, because we allow the general public to carry firearms elsewhere. OK, John Aravosis was being ironic. But I agree!
Legally armed Americans should be allowed to carry on planes, buses, the halls of Congress, schools, factories, anywhere and everywhere. Yup, guns everywhere. That’s my policy. Sure, someone with a firearm might “try something.” But as we’ve learned – as we continue to learn – that’s true anyway. And then good people have to wait (i.e. get wounded and/or die) until the good guys with guns show up (e.g., Newtown).
I reckon that crediting the lack of terrorist attacks aboard airplanes to TSA screening is a great landing at the wrong airport. I bet the more-than-welcome dearth of in-flight terrorist attacks has more to do with making cockpit doors impregnable and establishing a protocol for pilots to leave the cabin. Am I wrong?