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As I write this, I’m flying about 31,000 feet over Texas (and boy are my arms tired). I’m on an AirTrans flight first to Atlanta, then on to Charlotte, for the NRA confab. Here’s some bitter irony for you: like every other traveler, I’m completely, utterly disarmed on the flight. No tactical knife. No tactical flashlight. Not even so much as fingernail clippers. (Don’t tell the TSA that I’m trained to be able to disarm/maim an attacker with a standard rollerball pen.)

The ironies continue when I will (eventually) get to Charlotte. Carrying any kind of firearm is expressly forbidden in the Charlotte Convention Center; they’ve got the magnetometers to make sure you don’t try to sneak something in. Pause with me for a nanosecond, whilst we consider the bitter irony of a convention celebrating everything in the way of firearms, where nobody can go in locked and loaded. “Wayne, we’d like to go to Charlotte, what with the NASCAR thing and all. But their convention center won’t allow people to carry firearms.” “NASCAR? Frankly, Charlotte, I don’t give a damn.”

Now, mind you, I’m no raging gun nut. I understand the need to keep people safe. And I get that having a bunch of cowboys running around armed, shooting at anything that looks like a threat sounds like a pretty stupid idea.


Don’t you think that an NRA convention would be the absolutely safest place in the world to let people conceal carry? I mean, the NRA is all about gun safety, and promoting the responsible use of firearms.┬áStatistically speaking, NRA members are better trained, better informed and more responsible (on average) than the typical civilian – or typical gun owner.

Of course, they won’t make an exception for the NRA show. I get it. But having the NRA show in a “gun free zone” is not only ironic, it’s kind of . . . well . . .scary. I mean, one man’s “Gun-Free Zones” are another (deranged) man’s “Target-Rich Environment.” And I certainly have no desire to put THIS out into the universe, but can you imagine the headlines if something DID happen at an NRA convention?

Here’s to hoping those magnetometers are rockin’ and the security personnel are about a thousand times more alert (the world needs more ‘Lerts!) than the TSA guys.

More details later, as events warrant. Oh, and thanks to AirTrans for the free WiFi. Now if they’d only add free AC power outlets in the seats, I could REALLY get some work done.

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