According to the TSA, a 76-year-old man walked into the Detroit DTW Airport this past Saturday with something special strapped to his person. As he was being screened using the imaging technology at the TSA checkpoint (you know, the one that looks through your clothes) TSA agents discovered that the man was wearing a loaded Ruger LCP pistol in an ankle holster  . . .

When asked about the firearm, the man reportedly replied that he forgot it was there. Forgetting a live round or a stray firearm in your carry-on is somewhat understandable (yet still illegal and dumb), but forgetting you have a loaded firearm — a deadly weapon — strapped to your person is downright irresponsible.

That said, the old fogey’s forgotten armed anklet highlights the fact that it’s entirely possible to carry so comfortably that you forget you’re strapped (literally). And as easy as it is to condemn inadvertent gun ban transgressions (see: above), it’s important to note that a responsible gun owner carries a gun.

There are a lot of excuses for not carrying, including the one illustrated here (i.e. when it is illegal to do so). Comfort isn’t one of them. It’s difficult to find the right balance or convenience, caliber and comfort, but not impossible. Remember: Jeff Cooper said a gun should be comforting not comfortable back when Howdy Doody was a major TV star, before the invention of Kydex, polymer pistols and reliable pocket nines.

Carrying a gun helps fulfill your obligation to yourself (if no one else) to protect your life, your family’s lives and (perhaps) other innocent lives. Just remember that situation awareness is key to survival—and avoiding felonies.

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10 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Unidentified 76 Year Old Man

  1. I’m astounded by the number of people who enter airports with a gun. How can you not know where a gun you own is located?

    With all the stories about airport screening in the last year or so, you would think awareness would be increased, but obviously not. Makes me wonder how casual people are about a “stray round” or weapon left in a bag. When you get to the point of handling your weapon and ammunition as though it was a blender or a can opener, you might want to step back and take a deep breath. No matter what analogies are used about your handgun being a tool, don’t buy into it. All analogies fail at a certain point, in this case that point is when you forget that your weapon was designed to kill. It doesn’t kill as a side effect like a table saw, but it is it’s primary purpose. The same with the ammo. Treat these items seriously and never become “casual” in your thinking about weapons.

  2. If I am not mistaken… its actually not illegal… if he can effectively convey to them that he did indeed forget about it and that he did not knowingly bring the gun through the check point he should be fine.

    *Not a lawyer; dont take my words as legal advise.

    • So you’ve *never* had a situation where you couldn’t consciously remember whether or not you were carrying?

      Perhaps you don’t have a good enough holster/belt combination, or you just don’t carry enough.

  3. Next up on the News Release that Will Never Happen, a 32 year old man unintentionally evades the TSA and concealed carries his handgun on a flight!

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