Oh, now that's a good idea....

>> Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Some freaking genius thinks guns and airports are a good mix.

Because, you know, when I think "Hey, what would make me feel safer in an airport?" the first thing that leaps to mind is "Wouldn't it be awesome if some random person around here, of unknown competence and mental health, had a gun?"

Look, I respect the Second Amendment. If nothing else, it needs to stay in place just so nobody tries to tinker with the Amendments I really care about, like the Fourth or the First or the Eighth. That probably sounds like damning with faint praise, allow me to be clearer: I have family members for whom having a gun and a hunting license has made some difference in how much food is in the freezer. I am fully in favor of hunting, and I will be happy if some venison makes it's way south from Maryland again sometime soon (I made some awesome chili a few years ago with some venison that came down with my Mom from a trip home; being a city boy, I'm not going to procure it for myself). That being said, the original rationale for the Amendment--to protect the right of citizens to rise against the government--is utterly ludicrous at this late date. Leaving aside the fact that most of the people who seem to be most fond of owning firearms also appear to be the ones most fond of agreeing with whatever the government tells them (this is called irony), the fact remains that if a group of citizens ever took up their small arms against the government and the government responded the way a tinhorn dictatorship might, with the gloves off, an airstrike would end the revolution in under fifteen minutes and only the mechanics would get their hands dirty.

And self-defense is barely better as a rationale. Honestly, you could get the same results with a baseball bat under the bed, and it's unlikely anyone's going to steal your bat and sell it to a drug dealer when you're not home or that your kid's going to accidentally beat his best friend's brains out with it because you didn't keep it locked up. And I honestly wonder how many people have the 'nads to murder a housebreaker--yes, folks, it's called "murder" even if the DA decides not to prosecute or a jury acquits you after your trial.

No, hunting is great and results in tasty victuals, and so we might say guns are good in the hands of people who shoot the wild game. Very good. Awesome, matter of fact.

But in the hands of idiots? Idiots in airports?

I mean, look, let me try putting it like this: I may not love guns, but I certainly love porn. (Sorry if this disappoints anyone, but I don't see any reason to lie about it.) And I have a Constitutional right to enjoy porn. But do you see me pulling out a copy of Playboy while I'm sitting around the airport? No. No, you do not. Do you know why you don't see me sitting around with the latest issue of Playboy in an airport? Because I am cognizant of the fact that it might make people uncomfortable and even be offensive to other people. And nobody ever got killed by a Playboy, mind you (at least not that I know of). Nobody ever said "I have a Playboy, and I'm taking this plane to Cuba!" Nobody ever went on a wild killing spree armed with a loaded Playboy, and the idea of someone claiming to have a Playboy so they can take control of a cockpit (heh) and crash a plane into a building is silly. Nonetheless, I am happy to leave my Playboy at home (or safely check it in with my baggage), because my parents raised me with a modicum of common sense and I have some sense of respect for the anxieties of other people.

This is where the gun lobby loses me. I have no problem with people wanting guns and possessing them in a lawful and (most importantly) safe manner. I have no problem with people using them recreationally on the range or in the woods (especially if they will share succulent venison with me--did I mention that already?). But show some freaking common sense, people! You don't need your damn gun at the airport! You just don't! Get over it! Sheesh!


Jeri Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 11:59:00 AM EDT  

I have a friend who is a member of the very small gay, conservative, right wing, Christian, gun-nut special interest group. (He laughs as he self-identifies himself as such.)

He always takes his handgun & concealed carry permit with him when he travels (I think they're state specific, aren't they?). He checks the gun, and is oh-so-annoyed when the the gate agents are irritated with HIM for all the regulatory hassle that it entails.

Yes, he has a constitutional right to be armed. But really, does he have a right to inconvenience and endanger everyone else around him wherever he goes, regardless of the circumstance? If I were a gate agent I'd be pretty darned huffy too.

Nathan Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 12:02:00 PM EDT  

The article was a little confusing. It seems to say that the parking lot is off limits to guns. It sounds like they're protesting not being able to take your gun into the terminal, but not caring that they can't park first?

And dude, if you spotted an Islamo-fascist terrorist in the terminal, flashing porn at him would totally defeat his evil plans.

Eric Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 1:54:00 PM EDT  

It does seem to say that. One suspects that the real issue to the protesters/litigants isn't their Second Amendment rights, but that they don't like being told what to do even if it otherwise makes sense. ("Hey, your house is on fire, call 911!" "Make me." "It's on fire!" "My house, you can't boss me around." "But it's... completely burned to the ground now. Never mind.")

So when they heard, "You can't bring your gun to the airport," they said, "But we just made it legal to carry guns on public transportation and you can't stop us, neener neener," and they never bothered to figure out that it might be hard to actually get their guns inside the airport to prove their supposed "point" if they technically can't take the weapons into the parking lot, which they may have to pass through to get to the gates.

Anyway, the more important thing is that Nathan's given me a good idea for dealing with Iran: we bomb them... with old issues of Hustler. Hey, it's a better idea than what the Bush Administration appears to be pursuing.

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