Decades ago, I got stranded overnight at Las Vegas’s McCarron International Airport. I had a night to kill in Sin City, and didn’t even have the brass in my pocket for a cab ride to the Strip and back. In the middle of a nearly-sleepless night listening to Steve Lawrence and some jackhole named Bernaducci reminding me to ‘Walk on the Left, Stand on the Right’ on the airport’s many moving walkways, I found myself wishing that a fully loaded KC-135 from nearby Nellis AFB would crash into the terminal and put me out of my misery . . .
Travel is kind of a pain in the ass, nowadays. In America (the largest developed nation without reliable, efficient passenger train service) you’ve got three choices – automobile, bus, and airplane. And for all it’s speed, convenience, and relative low-cost, flying has gotten to be the biggest pain of all, thanks to the legacy of the late, un-lamented Osama Bin Laden. I’m all for our government trying to make air travel safe(r). But I just wish they’d find a way to do it without either making me feel LESS safe, or giving me a headache from all the convoluted logic they use to do their job. Case in point, my trip home from the NRA confab…
I love the concept of “tactical” just about anything (although that flashlight gun has to be an accident waiting to happen). So when manufacturers started making tactical pens, I thought “hey…cool…something I can I can carry on the plane since I can’t take my gun!” Um. Maybe. Maybe not. Continue Reading
What you see before you is an example of the no longer mythical “pen gun,” a device designed to fire a single .22LR cartridge at…well…someone. Now before we get all Our Man Flint here, let’s note a couple of things. There are no sights (laser or otherwise). It’s a single shot, meaning is half as useful as a derringer. And it ain’t cheap. Apparently, this little jewel goes for somewhere around two and a half Benjamins. Oh, and you can shoot your mouth off with this. Literally. And inadvertently.
Okay campers, it’s time for the ‘red meat’ portion of the interview. Fasten your seat belts…it’s gonna be a bumpy flight, as we tackle Gabe Suarez, flying with guns, and self-defense products versus the TSA. If you’ve not caught the other parts of the series, do yourself a favor, and start at the beginning. Or if you missed Part II, click here, or Part III, here. And now, back to the questions from TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia…
All the results are in. The science is settled. No bout a-doubt it. What am I talking about? Global Warming? Nope. The Rise of Socialism? Not a chance. My being footloose and fiancé-free? Well, true, but not what’s on the plate here. No, fellow-TTAGers, I’m speaking of us living in the Age of Uncertainty. Well, to be completely accurate AN Age of Uncertainty, since these things seem to come about once every generation or so. You know…integrate…disintegrate…integrate…you get the picture. At this point in our history, it seems that there’s less we can count on (aside from death and taxes), but even those hallowed institutions seem fraught with Heisenberg’s best. (Death panels and sunsetting tax breaks anyone?) Nowhere is this more apparent than in the realm of firearms. And why wouldn’t it be?
While all our lonely eyes are turned toward the TSA and their desire to either give us cancer or feel us up, there’s another set of regulations that the government has foisted upon us that might bear a little scrutiny. That is if you like the 2nd Amendment, in practice as well as abstract theory. I speak of the laws that govern the transfer of firearms betwixt a customer and some other entity, be it dealer, private seller, or manufacturer.
Yep. That’s right. You can thank those “As Seen on TV” folks for the reason the Transportation Safety Administration is spending gajillions of your tax dollars (okay, $300 Million, but it’s still a butt-load of money). Sound nuts? Not so much. You see, any ceramic knife is completely undetectable by conventional magnetometers (the walk-through gadgets at most airports). Heretofore, ceramic knives were pretty rare. Not anymore. Thanks to an obscure company known as the IdeaVillage Products Corporation, $20 at any Walmart will get you a knife that you can effectively smuggle on just about any flight from any airport that doesn’t already use full body scanners to screen passengers. (But wait…you also get a plastic sheath – at least in the one that you get at Walmart.) I presume most terrorists will throw away the vegetable peeler (unless they have some kind of bizarre plan to skin the passengers, I suppose). Continue Reading
I’ve been in a lot of airports lately. Airports are the original “gun-free zones” and with good reason, I might add. As long as the TSA and airport police are armed (they are, aren’t they?) and ready to use their weapons if needed (ditto), then I’m actually okay with being weapons-free. Mostly. While I’m cool with not carrying a gun into an airport or onto an airplane, I’m not nearly as happy with having to divest myself of anything else the TSA has deemed to be contraband. Case in point, my tactical flashlight and knife.
Now before you decide that I’m some sort of idiot for wanting to be able to carry a knife on a plane, hear me out… Continue Reading
I used to fly a lot. I don’t now, largely because my business doesn’t require a lot of travel. But I spend a disproportionately large amount of time at the airport, for someone who doesn’t fly much. You see, I am a member of a species expanding exponentially across America: Abruptio Abbas (Latin: “Divorced Dad”). I find myself going through airport security with an escort pass on a regular basis, to pick up or drop off my 12-year-old daughter at the gate. Going through the gauntlet of airport “security” has been much on my mind lately, since I have a concealed handgun license. Now I’ve never come close to having a handgun pop-up in my luggage, mistakenly attempt to carry a pistol through an X-Ray machine, or any of the myriad of things the rich and famous do on a regular basis. Nope. As a card-carrying member of the Great Unwashed, it is my lot in life to be the guy they would arrest in order to use as an example to all the other poor schlubs. So I tend towards the overcautious side of things when it comes to the Transportation Safety Authority. Or so I thought. Continue Reading