No questions asked: 5 one-way flights with a gun – just like airport shooter Esteban Santiago the headline at orlandosentinel.com proclaims. Well, I have a question . . .
Did airline officials ask Contact Reporter David Hyde the usual questions posited to Americans flying with a firearm or firearms in their checked luggage? They did! “The ticket agent matter-of-factly asked for identification and typed on her computer.” She asked for ID! And Mr. Hyde had to fill out a form!
“May 10th already — where’s the time gone?” the ticket agent at American Airlines said as she wrote on a form for me to sign stating that the gun was unloaded and separated from the small box of ammunition in the locked case.
I consider the form a form of a question, don’t you? I guess willful ignorance is bliss when you’re trying to make mountain out of a flat piece of earth. Ignorance too. Like this . . .
And that was that. Four minutes and I was off. The same as checking any bag. The luggage was sent to the TSA checkpoint, which would inspect the bag, assure that the hard case and two padlocks were legal and scan it to guarantee that the gun was unloaded.
Uh, the TSA don’t scan your gun case to see if your gun is unloaded. A fact that Mr. Hyde could have easily ascertained if he’d Googled “why do airlines scan gun cases.” The third result: the latimes.com article Loaded Guns in checked bags aren’t on the TSA’s radar. In fact, the TSA test cases with guns in them for explosives.
Speaking of fake news, here are two bullet points [sic] from Mr. Hyde’s article:
* No one questioned that I was flying on only one-way tickets with only a gun, just as no one questioned Esteban Santiago.
* Although I was traveling with a concealed-carry permit, no one asked to see it.
Traveling with a gun — and only a gun — is legal. Should it be illegal? Should it be a cause for further investigation? I’m thinking no. And traveling with a gun without a carry permit is also legal, as you’re not carrying the gun.
You may have notice the reference to Esteban Santiago, the man who picked up his gun after his flight to Orlando and shot passengers in the baggage claim area. That event is what “inspired” this gun rights hit piece. Which is kinda strange considering how American airlines treated Mr. Hyde’s firearm.
One by one, the other passengers picked up their luggage. The conveyor belt was empty, and I had no bag. Was it lost? Had I done something wrong? I went to American Airlines’ baggage-claim office.
“Oh, it’s special handling,” the agent said after looking up my baggage-claim number. “Just a minute.” . . .
The American agent appeared with my bag after a few minutes, checked my driver’s license for identification and then handed over the luggage.
How on God’s green earth does that qualify as “no questions asked?” It doesn’t — unless you’re an agenda driven anti-gun rights writer. Newspaper? Whatever.
The rest of the article is a chronology of similar interrogations, procedures and a whole lot of nothingburger.
As we pointed out after the Santiago shooting, the possibility that a killer could retrieve his gun from his luggage and use it is unavoidable as long as people fly with guns. And even if they don’t. Baggage claim areas are unsecured — and largely unpatrolled — in both directions.
Make no mistake, the Sentinel are a coven of firearms fear mongers who hate gun rights, full stop. Need more evidence? How about this italicized “explanation” after Mr. Hyde’s polemic.
The trip involved three months of preparation and research into gun laws and airline policies to ensure that we followed all laws.
The trip involved three months of preparation and research into gun laws and airline policies to ensure that we followed all laws. Our reporter, who had never owned a gun, bought one legally at a gun shop, completed training for a concealed-carry permit, locked the unloaded gun in a case and checked the case properly for all flights.
We packed ammunition in the case, as allowed by law — and as Santiago did — but we packed shotgun shells that did not fit the handgun. If something went wrong, the gun could not be fired.
The trip included five airlines and five airports around the country, in order to explore whether the region or airline made a difference. On the advice of our attorneys, we avoided states with particularly tough handgun laws, including New York and California.
With the trip completed, the Sun Sentinel plans to donate the 9 mm handgun to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
Donate? They couldn’t wait to get rid of the evil [/sarc] thing. Just as I can’t wait to see these anti-gun publications continue their fall from grace into complete obscurity.