Why Can’t We Screen People for Guns like We Screen Them for Flights?


              All of a sudden, it seems, some of the more moderate, or responsible, or whatever you want to call the non-MAGA wing of the GOP, have begun quietly talking about the one issue which nobody in the GOP ever talked about until this year, which is the issue known as gun control.

              Oh…my…God! Republic(ans) supporting anything that would infringe upon our God-given ‘right’ to own guns? No. Not possible. And yet, such blasphemy is beginning to occur.

              I’m referring today to an op-ed in The Hill where the writer, identified as a Professor of Computer Science and expert in data-driven, risk-based decision-making argues that what we need to do to reduce gun violence is to pay the costs of reducing the risk of guns getting into the wrong hands.

              How are we going to do this? By implementing for gun owners a strategy and program to weed out the bad guys similar to the TSA Pre-Check program used to keep the nuts off of plane flights. The program would require that every gun owner engage in some sort of continuous vetting procedure which would be renewed on a regular basis and would be required for anyone looking to buy or sell a gun.

              This guy’s brilliant idea is actually just a riff on the whole idea of universal background checks, which Gun-control Nation has been promoting for years. And it has always been assumed, without the slightest bit of evidence by the way, that forcing every gun owner to only transfer ownership of a gun after passing a background check wouldn’t eliminate gun violence but would at least reduce the annual carnage down to more ‘acceptable’ levels.

              What the editorial in The Hill does is stretch the background-check strategy to cover not only every gun transfer, but to cover the behavior and mental status of gun owners, whether they are or are not buying or selling a gun.  Which is what the TSA Pre-Check program is all about because your ability to be enrolled in the program has to be renewed whether you are taking a flight somewhere or not.

              Yea, yea, I know about all those times that some drunk asshole made an idiot of himself on a flight by trying to slap around a stew who didn’t sell him another drink or punched another passenger who had just told him to shut the f*ck up.

              As Aunt Florence used to say, I got news for you. Passengers abusing other passengers on public conveyances has been going on since the days of the Pony Express.  The reason we are more aware of it today is because everyone sitting on an airplane has a droid with a video feed. And when the nightly news has nothing better to talk about, they’ll show a video that some passenger on a United Airlines flight sold the station when he got off the plane.

              But the real issue of safety in air travel has nothing whatsoever to do with the behavior of the passengers while the plane is in flight. It has to do with the fact that every commercial airline operating in the U.S. needs to be equipped with GPS, which it only took the TSA twenty years to implement. That’s not bad timing to get a government program running, right?

              The problem with using background checks to weed out the people who shouldn’t have guns is that nearly all the 100,000+ yearly events where someone uses a gun to shoot someone else are committed by individuals who could never qualify to purchase, own, or carry a legal gun.

So, what would a screening program like the one being advocated in this editorial accomplish to reduce gun violence to any significant degree? Not one, goddamn thing.

I am still waiting for my friends who do research on gun violence for Gun-control Nation to come up with the first research project which actually tells us how many gun assaults are committed each year by individuals who have no legal permission to own a gun, or how many such individuals are walking around with guns they shouldn’t be allowed to own.

When that research is actually accomplished, maybe just maybe we’ll be able to figure out how to create and manage gun-control regulations which actually work.

Remember, it only took us twenty years to figure out how airline accidents could be almost entirely eliminated by using GPS.

Fly The Friendly Skies With Your Gun.


Last week the Transportation Safety Administration celebrated its return to normalcy with the publication of an annual report on how many guns were picked up at the airports where TSA staff monitor security check-ins prior to flights. The report was issued the day after a Republican member of Congress, Matt Gaetz, may have made the single, dumbest, brain-dead comment ever made by anyone who has ever held a Congressional seat, when he told the parents of two children killed at Parkland that their concerns about protecting the country from gun violence didn’t come close to his concern about protecting the country from all those terrorists and criminals who come from Mexico because we don’t have a wall.

The TSA report, on the other hand, doesn’t represent a loony opinion on threats to public safety, rather, it’s a compilation of hard data on how many guns were taken from passengers who were in the process of boarding commercial flights anywhere within the United States. Next time you go through a TSA security checkpoint, count the number of times you see a sign telling you not to be in possession of a gun. Maybe three times? Maybe four? And yet in 2018, more than 4,200 passengers attempted to board aircraft holding carry-on bags that contained guns, of which 80% of the guns were loaded as well.

You have to be as dumb as a rock, maybe even as dumb as Matt Gaetz, to bring a gun onto a plane in a carry-on bag. Want to have a gun with you when you fly to Florida to visit Grandma in a nursing home? Pay the extra bucks, check a piece of luggage, declare that your suitcase contains a gun and you’re good to go. When you land in Miami or wherever the old lady has been stashed, an airline employee will even come up to you and hand-deliver your suitcase.

Of course the whole point of carrying a gun is to be ready, at an instant’s notice, to defend yourself and everyone else from one of those ‘street thugs’ who endlessly prowl around. There’s always a member of MS-13 just about to steal your car or break into your home. You can never tell when ISIS may choose to land an invasion force on the streets of your suburban town. The threats to life, liberty and the pursuit of a gallon of gasoline which costs less than two bucks are all around.

On a plane? Remember back in 2008 when David Sedaris had to choose between chicken versus dog-shit with cut glass as the entree for his in-flight meal? I’m sure our friend David ended up with the chicken, but what if the cabin attendant had screwed up and handed him the dog-shit with cut glass? Wouldn’t that have represented a clear threat to David’s life and limb which could only have been thwarted by the use of a gun?

Now let’s not go overboard about this problem, because the same group of TSA inspectors who found 4,239 guns at airport check-in lines also waved through more than 800 million passengers and crew who weren’t carrying guns. That’s an awful lot of people flying the friendly skies who didn’t need to have a gun in their carry-on bags.

The question I have, however, is this: If I have a gun in my carry-on and the gun is discovered and taken away prior to my flight, isn’t this a violation of my 2nd-Amendment ‘rights?’ After all, the Constitution doesn’t say anything about my gun-rights being abridged just because airplanes didn’t exist in 1788. So why should I ever find myself in a life-threatening circumstance just because some noodle-head bureaucrat in some federal agency thinks that I shouldn’t be able to protect myself on a flight?

Know what? I’m going to write a letter to Matt Gaetz and tell him to put together legislation, get it co-sponsored by the Freedom Caucus, that will definitively extend my Constitutional ‘right’ to protect myself with a gun to any and all commercial flights. And if he wants, I’ll go to the trouble of putting up a Facebook group which we’ll call ‘Americans for Freedom in the Skies.’

I mean, what else should I be doing since right now it’s too cold and wet to play golf?

Obama’s Putting Together an Arsenal Thanks To The TSA

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There’s been a rumor floating around (thank you Glenn Beck) that Obama has been putting together a secret army that will surround the White House and protect him when the real Americans – the 3 percenters and all the other patriots – finally rise up, take our country back and preserve our God-given, constitutional rights. So I’m here to announce that I have found Obama’s arsenal, and if you don’t believe me, just ask the TSA.

English: A TSA officer screens a piece of luggage.

English: A TSA officer screens a piece of luggage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You see, the TSA is responsible for security at all the airports, and even though there are warnings and signs all over the place telling passengers to stow their weapons in checked luggage, the folks who screen carry-on bags before passengers go to their gates just keep finding more and more guns.  In 2011 the TSA found more than 1,200 guns, in 2012 the number was over 1,500.  If the 2013 rate continues, by the end of the year the number will exceed 2,000.  That’s nearly 4,000 guns in three years.  Not a bad haul.

Of course some of the guns don’t look like they would be carried by any kind of army, unless it’s an army that has a special need for really small-caliber weapons.  In the three weeks from September 27 through October 17, for example, TSA confiscated 99 guns, of which 6 were 22 or 25 caliber, but there were also 27 pistols that were 9mm, 40 or 45-caliber, and that’s plenty of firepower for any army, whether in the pay of the President or not.  And the good news is that most of the guns were loaded, 84 of the 99 found over those three weeks, which means that the Presidential militia doesn’t even need to stop off at Dick’s Sporting Goods or Cabela’s to get ready to rumble because gun-toting Americans have made sure that the guns they’re taking on airplanes are ready to go.

Unfortunately for the President, his arsenal seems to be mainly handguns; after all, it’s not all that easy to stash an assault rifle (oops – a modern sporting rifle) into your carry-on before getting on a plane.  But Americans have always been an ingenious lot, so while the Presidential militia may be short on long guns, they’ll have enough explosives to help them carry the day.  In the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport someone walked through the line with a live, 40mm grenade; in Grand Junction there was 6 lbs. of black powder, detonation cords and a timing fuse; and a live blasting cap was found on a passenger in Richmond, Virginia.  I know, I know, they all just ‘forgot’ that they were carrying explosives onto a plane.  When was the last time you forgot that you were carrying explosives? When was the last time you carried explosives anywhere?

Getting back to the would-be passengers whose guns were taken away – know what?  It was clearly a violation of their 2nd Amendment rights.  And worse, they just wanted to bring their Glock into a ‘gun-free zone’ so that the rest of us would be protected from the nuts who figure they can shoot the place up because nobody’s got a gun.  In the light of District of Columbia versus Heller we really need to re-think our policy about allowing guns on planes.  And Obama needs to stop using the TSA to build his secret weapons cache.

Four thousand guns in three years? By the time Obama leaves office the TSA will probably be sitting on 10,000 guns.  Any chance that the TSA will let me buy the whole pile to increase the used gun inventory in my store?

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