Why We’re Our Own Worst Enemy: Ep. 1 Airport Carry

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Some of the guns from last week's confiscatory efforts.

Some of the guns from last week’s confiscatory efforts.

We are our own worst enemy. Maybe that’s not true. Perhaps Hilary Clinton is our worst enemy, but she’s not done the damage we’ve done to ourselves this week.

Well-meaning gun owners. Americans who exercise their constitutional rights to keep and bear arms. We’re providing the proverbial ammunition to our enemies. When we have our rights infringed, will we still have the moral high-ground?

Perhaps you have read that the TSA confiscated 73 firearms from carry-on bags in American airports this past week. 73. If this number was down in the single digits, I would still be appalled. I’d make excuses. But I can’t make excuses when 73 idiots (assuming one gun per idiot) took guns to the airport.

Airport Safety

When opponents to Second Amendment rights point fingers at American gun owners, they often label us as “irresponsible.” So we slap gun locks on guns, lock them up in bedside boxes, and store them in lockers and residential security containers and educate our kids and keep watch over each other and then… then we head out to the airport with a pistol we’ve completely forgotten about tucked in our carry-on.

It isn’t just our safety that’s at risk. Despite what the voices say over the bathroom intercoms, those bags are not under the owner’s control at all times. And what happens when the bags are searched? I hope the guns aren’t loaded, and that the TSA screener who discovers the gun knows how to safely handle a loaded firearm. Of the 73 found last week, 68 were loaded.

Stupidity

Are these 73 idiots shills or plants? I wouldn’t doubt it. After two years of regularly reading Prepping 101 content, I feel a bit like Fox Mulder. Trust no one. If this is a conspiracy to make us look stupid, it is working incredibly well.

But what if we’re just stupid? Or some of us are just that stupid? Are we so casual with our habits that we forget we have guns with us? I doubt it is ignorance of the law. There are half a million pieces of signage and audio warnings that drone of the dangers of flammable underwear, and water bottles, and guns.

But how many rounds of .40 S&W will you need with you on that outbound flight from the Hays, Kansas Municipal Airport? If the photo below is any indication, this passenger was expecting more than just turbulence.

A box of 100, a box of 50, and six mags? Plenty of ammo for the short hop from Hays, Kansas to Wichita.

A box of 100, a box of 50, and five mags? Plenty of ammo for the short hop from Hays, Kansas to Wichita.

Testing

There has been flap recently about using federal funding to study gun violence. I’ve got a simple study that would be very easy to administer, and wouldn’t cost a dime. It is a simple question that each and every idiot caught with a gun in his or her carry-on bag would have to answer.

1. How long have you owned a gun?

That’s it. That’s the only question. My jaded suspicion is that most of these people are new gun owners. In fact, when I look for “rational” explanations, I come up with two options. I presume that these are inexperienced noobs or the opposite, that these are old-timers who have gotten extremely complacent in their attitudes. I realize there are other possibilities. Regardless, we have to understand the problem before we pose rational solutions.

Knives, too. I assume most of these were loaded.

Knives, too. I assume most of these were loaded. You never know when you might need a good throwing knife while cruising at 30,000 feet.

Prevention?

I do a lot of traveling, and I fly with guns. If I can carry where I’m going, I fly with my guns. I’ve got the checked baggage method down to a science. But I’m still nervous. I’m typically shooting wherever I go, and I have powder residue on my hands, my clothes, my boots. I often leave a range and drive straight to the airport. As such, I’m emptying pockets, double checking carry-ons, checking my list of prohibited items and anything new I’ve picked up on the way.

It isn’t easy, but I’ve yet to screw up. What’s the old adage? There but by the grace of God go I.

My favorite method is the pre-flight bag dump. Before I fly, I empty my carry-on completely. Every camera bag is emptied. My man purse is emptied. My backpack, etc. I feel inside every pocket–unzip every zipper–and repack everything one item at a time.

And now, for family travel, I have segregated my “gun-bags” from my “family travel bags.” I never take my family bags to the range, and I don’t let family members use my designated range bags for travel. I’ve grown fond of large totes and Pelican cases because they don’t have tricky hidden pockets where loose rounds can hide.

What’s the Takeaway?

If we’re going to stand a chance in this contemporary political environment, we have to wise up and unify. Look at the writing on the wall. There is a very important election coming. Trump has massive support from the unwashed masses. Cruz and Kasich are scheming to split the remaining primary contests, desperate for an open convention. Clinton has a clear road to the nomination.

As vocal as the Trump supporters are, my money’s on a Clinton win. There have never been two more polarizing politicians in the same race. And it isn’t the support for either Clinton or Trump that will decide this election. Instead, it will be the throngs of people who use their votes to keep a candidate they can’t stomach out of office. People who don’t love Clinton will vote for her because they think Trump is a joke. Trump will receive votes from Americans who simply hate Clinton.

What happens if she wins? Let’s assume, for this one moment, that she does. We, the gun owners of America, have to have our shit together. We have to come together. We have to stand together. We will no longer be our own worst enemy. Our constitutional rights will be in her crosshairs.

And if we continue to behave like this? Well, I think it is clear. She won’t have to lift a finger to prove that we’re incompetent. And incompetent people have no business owning guns.

 

{ 40 comments… add one }
  • srsquidizen May 9, 2016, 8:32 am

    Re the guy in Kansas: I doubt if there is much in the way of regular airline service to Hays. The town is too small. Sounds like it was some sort of small feeder/charter service. The ignoramus probably thought “major airport” rules did not apply in Hays but he was wrong. The ONLY flights you won’t get screened for are on strictly private planes. If it’s a commercial outfit that serves the general public, you get searched. That’s been in effect way before 911. I can remember getting a detector wand waved in the general vicinity of my body (I happened to know the guard) at my little 1-gate hometown airport in the 70’s. Ignorance of small airport rules, by people who are infrequent flyers, probably accounts for a lot of these weapon seizures.

  • Mal Cap May 8, 2016, 5:44 pm

    If you own a defensive firearm plus a concealed carry permit, why is your handgun in a bag? It should be on your person. If you are preparing to travel for a “shoot” for target purposes then you have a special lockbox under FAA Rules to allow you to bring your firearm. Long Arms for hunting as well will have procedures for traveling. Understandable that sometimes you do have to put handguns in a range bag for the range, but that’s a range bag and not a travel bag. Hillary will not probably be focusing so much on airports. Her hot “air” will be directed, like most Socialist alleged Libs on the so-called accidental and suicidal aspects of firearms ownership. She’ll thrown-in the school massacres for good measure. Agreed she doesn’t need any help but the Left Wingers will continue to make they’re most disfavored inanimate objects the object of their derision and the bogyman. That is what which we will be stuck.

  • grunt475 May 8, 2016, 3:05 am

    I fly armed as part of my job. i have to go through multiple safeguards to do so. please ensure you have nothing on you as you fly. if it helps you feel better, please know that almost every flight has AT LEAST ONE qualified, armed federal agent on board – and we don’t need anyone else with a gun in the way when we handle our business. we are aware of each other and if we don’t know you, you’ll be shot down like a terrorist.

  • Phil May 7, 2016, 4:37 pm

    Good, balanced article, in my opinion.
    We all make mistakes, but with guns, people’s lives and rights hang in the balance, usually our own. It’s easier to improve our safety standards outselves before D.C. forces it on us… or worse.

  • LexMorpheus May 7, 2016, 9:44 am

    Please consider a few things before jumping on the “idiots”…
    Consider…we have a strong and robust gun culture in this country, but the elitist MSM would like you to think otherwise, they would like you to believe it is a small percentage of right wing nut jobs who actually carry around guns. It’s not surprising at all that a small percentage of travelers were found with guns in their bags. Our reaction should be no different than “oh, look at that, I forgot to take that out before throwing my clothes in there”…and the Govt should say, no problem go check it or we’ll keep it here for you till you return, or if you like for 25$ we’ll ship it to your local FFL…just fill this out”. After all it was our Framers who told us it was “our duty to at all times be armed.” And just think, Govt actually creating commerce. But no, a police state is better, and they wouldn’t want you to get the idea that the Fed Govt was created by the states solely to protect your rights in the first place…that would be counter to their existence. Learn to really “read” the news. And next time you go to the airport consider open carry…or retreat and “may your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that Ye were our countrymen.”
    Consider airlines, those flights which get “handled” by TSA(frequently that’s literally “handled”, but that’s an egregious abuse of personal space for a later discussion) number about 30,000 DAILY….that’s flights, not travelers.
    Consider…The TSA would love everyone to know what a great job it’s doing. The truth is they suck at security. But they look like heros with the discussed press release. Question, in 15 years, who many terrorists have the TSA stopped? (Zero) What is their success rate of discovery when tested (with inert items…bombs,guns knives)? http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/01/politics/tsa-failed-undercover-airport-screening-tests/ Fact is they aren’t about security, they are about Govt control and welfare, using fear to promote their existence. So the “idiots” taking guns to airports is much likely a much greater number. I for one am overjoyed to learn our gun culture is stronger than I imagined.

  • George Hovey May 7, 2016, 8:11 am

    “Our constitutional rights will be in her crosshairs.”

    I don’t understand this claim. Constitutional rights are virtually unassailable because it would mean amending the Constitution, which requires the assent of 38 states. If the Second Amendment means what you think it means, HRC’s view doesn’t matter. And SCOTUS, and only SCOTUS, makes that determination.

    • LexMorpheus May 7, 2016, 9:48 am

      Wrong thinking that “ONLY SCOTUS” has the say. Slave.

    • NATE May 7, 2016, 4:44 pm

      Unassailable isn’t really a correct word either. In 1934, the govt tried to make the ownership of the items on the NFA list difficult to own. Knowing that they couldn’t infringe on our Right to have these items, they simply placed a tax upon them. In today’s money, that $200 tax stamp would cost $3000, with currency from 1934 to now equalized. The Hildebeest and the Bernasaurus Rex could simply push to create another tax, whether on ammo or weapons, and still “allow us to have the guns” but not “infringe” upon the right. It merely becomes cost prohibitive to the general masses.

      In other news, I don’t think Hildebeest needs to have a third term in office. She’ll spend more time in court than she will in the White House.

      • ghova May 7, 2016, 10:10 pm

        Then challenge it in the courts as interfering with 2nd Amendment rights — and abide by their decision. That is all the Constitution allows. All that other stuff, Hillary etc, is beside the point.

    • DAVID GIVENS May 7, 2016, 5:56 pm

      Remember the Second Amendment says what SCOTUS says it says. Four of the current Supremes are gun grabbers; four say the Second Amendment says what it says and the first thing President Hillary will do is appoint the ninth — there go your gun rights!

  • Robert May 6, 2016, 2:13 pm

    One way of telling if these offenders were democrat plants is looking at the statistics. Has there been a spike or no.
    It’s ironic to the highest degree that this, the most important election in US history is going to be an absolute circus. All bets are off. We have two of the mist absurd candidates running that we’ve ever had. May The Lord bless and guide us this election season.

    • ghova May 8, 2016, 12:31 pm

      Robert,
      I’ve pondered your spike theory, and offer my own modest enhancements.

      Scenario 1:
      A spike is generated by 2nd Amendment operatives.
      The idea is planted on forums like this one that the spike indicates Democrat machinations.

      Scenario 2:
      The Democrats actually are behind the spike with the intention of discrediting 2nd Amendment forces by spreading disinformation like Scenario 1.

      Just pointing out that you have not actually demonstrated that a spike implies Democrat perfidy. It might, for example, just indicate an escalation by the more enthusiastic members of the “carry any time, anywhere” movement to spread guns to the skies. Just saying.

  • Erick May 6, 2016, 11:51 am

    Gun owners should be responsible and NOT become complacent. I agree with that logic, but I disagree with the some of the other logic concerning this article. If all gun-owners were responsible and zero accidents occurred (which is impossible), anti-gunners would still tear away at the 2nd amendment. We can run through 1,000 hoops and hurdles; pay thousands of dollars in licensing, permits, etc; run 10 background checks every hour; require 300 hours of training every month; dance in front of a local, state, and federal agency once per week; etc. etc. and still, this would not be enough to appease Tyrants. We are fools to think so.

    Acting like a good little slave will not win your freedom from your masters…

    Outside of this, I like the other aspects of the article. We DO need to step up – to become better & smarter than the fools assuming power – without kneeling before them like whipped dogs.

    • fastguns May 6, 2016, 5:00 pm

      Amen

  • Charlie May 6, 2016, 10:56 am

    When you consider some 12-15 million people fly in the US each week, 73 seems low to me (1 in each 200,000). Regardless, good points, as even if you carry all the time or as much as a police officer, you know you have that gun with you. Should be zero or near it. However, there is no shortage of idiots in the world and the US has easily our fair (or unfair) share!

  • Rob62 May 6, 2016, 10:18 am

    Certainly that appears to be a LOT of guns that have been found at airport security checkpoints. And I agree that 99% of it is caused by the bags owners not checking their bags carefully enough for prohibited items.

    With that said. The number of CCW States and gun ownership in general has gone up so much since this Administration took over (Obama – Gun Salesman of the Century 😉 ) that it’s a simple basic mathematical issue. More guns in general circulation means more guns will be left or forgotten in places they should not be.

  • JON H. Pack May 6, 2016, 9:45 am

    I can’t help but think some of these STUPID acts are done on purpose by fire arm owners WHO are for more Gun Control. Over the years I have had a number of friends who own firearms, were members of the NRA, dropped out, because they were concerned about firearm violence. Yet they still retain their firearms. Are they making the rest of us look stupid? Just a thought

    • Dewey May 6, 2016, 10:17 am

      Paranoid much?

    • Pete May 6, 2016, 12:24 pm

      I wouldn’t be paranoid if it were not for the fact that everyone is out to get me!

  • Bisley May 6, 2016, 9:29 am

    The only thing here I can agree with is that Hillary is likely a greater threat to our rights than Trump. I despise Trump — he’s a lying, ignorant con-man with delusions of grandeur, and totally unfit to be president — a lifelong liberal Democrat (though, like Bloomberg, he found it more convenient to run for office as a Republican) with a history of anti-gun positions. But, if it comes down to a choice between him and Hillary (or Bernie, Joe, or whoever), he would probably do less damage to the country.

    Are we ever going to have a choice that doesn’t involve supporting the lesser of two evils, to keep the country from going to hell quite so fast? There isn’t anyone left in this contest fit to hold public office, but not voting will probably give us the worst of the lot (which we may get anyway).

  • joe May 6, 2016, 8:50 am

    Yeah, you idiots – forgetting to bow down and kiss the foot of the state. Remember where you live, not a free country. Embrace your masters!

  • ron May 6, 2016, 8:15 am

    Anyone who forgets he has a gun anywhere on his person at any time needs to reevaluate why he’s carrying. If he forgets he has the gun when he goes to the airport, he must not remember he has it with him when he’s carrying that bag elsewhere – what’s the point of having it? And presumably, since he forgets he has it, he might leave the bag somewhere where someone else could go through it and steal the gun!

    • Marstil May 7, 2016, 9:42 am

      Very true and well written. I cannot imagine not knowing or forgetting that I have my gun with me. I don’t travel much but I have a separate carry-on bag from all my other bags, i.e. suitcase, range bag, pistol case, etc. and none of my guns ever get anywhere near that carry-on bag. Bags are cheap; if you can afford a gun, you can afford to have a separate bag for it and a separate carry-on bag and, therefore, never have a need to ever put a gun into a bag that you ever intend to take to an airport.

    • Richie Rich May 8, 2016, 7:32 pm

      My problem, is that I’m so darn rich and have so many guns, that I never remember if I have a gun with me or not.

  • Hugo May 6, 2016, 7:29 am

    The unfortunate fact is that you can’t fix stupid. Every time I see an idiot texting while driving I’m constantly reminded of it. A lot of gun owners do not appreciate or respect their 2nd amendment rights and give the media all the stories they need to help liberal politicians move their agendas forward. The mother of the Sandy Hook whack job left him with unfettered access to her AR and pistol. You could practically smell the crazy on that kid but it never crossed her mind to keep the guns locked up and only allow him to use them supervised at the range? How many more stories do we have to hear about small children finding their parents’ loaded guns and killing a sibling or friend?

    Is more training the answer or will a bigger idiot evolve for whom it will make no difference?

    • Richie Rich May 8, 2016, 7:36 pm

      Uhhhhh, not correct. The investigation showed, that Lanza gained access to a locked safe, took guns, killed her, and then went to the school. It’s not like the guns were just all hanging on the walls.
      Thing is, he apparently found the key to the safe.
      Parents need to realize, that kids are smart and resourceful. They can figure out how to find keys.

  • Jay May 6, 2016, 6:46 am

    We are indeed our own worst enemy! If we just look a minute and see how many States allow carry of a firearm, then how many require proficiency testing, not only with the handling of that firearm but the use of that firearm in live fire drills! At last count about half do! That’s not only astonishing but haphazard at best, or like my son say’s trying to be funny, maybe it’s an underlying conspiracy to make all of us into real “gun nuts” so they can prove a point when we all shoot our on foot off or kill indiscriminately! I have been to gun ranges where is not only makes me worry but almost afraid to be on the street with some of the people who are suppose to have a carry license and see how they handle a firearm, simply amazing! If we are going to allow our 2nd amendment rights to be infringed upon, then we need to start talking about Nation wide training rules for everyone’s safety and a nation wide every States carry law to boot! Double edge sword of protection, people are trained and you can carry every where you go! Like it or not, I doubt very seriously we will ever see a reduction in firearms laws, our own apathy has lead us to where we are and it’s going to take some cold hard fighting to get our already trampled on rights back and we are going to have to be smart about it! How many times have you said or heard,”That won’t happen in America”? Yet here we are!

  • J D Sonice May 6, 2016, 6:33 am

    The easy way to avoid this is to have separate bags for your gear and travel. Never mix the two. Anyone caught with a gun at the airport is of course in serious trouble.

    We spend a lot of money on guns, ammo and other supplies. Why not spend a few bucks on a nice range bag. I got a very nice bag and it has made my day at the range so much more fun because everything is organized.

  • Dan Barnes May 6, 2016, 6:16 am

    Even if this is totally the result of plants, there are still plenty of irresponsible idiots who simply should NOT be allows to own guns.

    Example 1: My neighbor who, a few months back after a pistol of his had just been stolen out of his truck while it was parked in his driveway complained “this is the THIRD time!”. If that’s not reason enough, I walked past his house the other day and there’s a handgun on the truck’s front seat, in plain sight.

    Example 2: The number of cases each year where a child under 5 finds a loaded gun in their home and kills or injures someone.

  • WilliamDahl May 6, 2016, 6:16 am

    *Some* of us can remember when there weren’t metal detectors on planes and could carry firearms on them. Maybe some of you who are not that old can remember when it was no big deal to carry a pocket knife on a plane? That was back before a bunch of cowardly NYers allowed a couple of camel-shaggers to hijack some planes and crash them with nothing more than a couple of box cutters. 🙁

    • NATE May 7, 2016, 4:55 pm

      Amen! With a box cutter in hand, I’ll likely get a bit cut up by the bad guy, but I promise, I’ll make him sorry that he made the effort. A handful of rotten apples managed to control a hundred or more adults. I’d assume that statistically, 60% might have been male- probably bigger and stronger than those Arab fools. Yet, somehow there wasn’t a single person on those planes that had been in contact sports, military, LE, or other activities where you might get scuffed up a bit. If only ONE person had attacked a box cutter wielding moron, I bet several more would have followed. Thousands of lives then saved.

      • Richie Rich May 8, 2016, 7:46 pm

        Nobody, but nobody knows precisely the sequence of events on those planes, as to how those scum got access to the cockpits. We do know the box cutters played a big role
        But, according to the passenger phone calls, and cockpit voice recordings, it was far, far uglier than many of us imagine. The hijackers were horrible and brutal. They were likely told to get these planes at all costs. What is likely, is that they killed a couple passengers on each flight using the box cutters(think = throat) , and used the terror of this to keep other passengers back and away. And, they likely killed flight attendants, and threatened to kill more, if the cockpit door wasn’t opened.

        Too many people think the hijackers just danced up the aisle and said “Hey, open the door”. Didn’t go down that way at all. Even back in 2001, a plane wasn’t going to open that door, unless they thought that a passenger would be killed if they didn’t. But, it just never occurred to pilots back then, that a hijacker would use their plane like a suicide missile.

  • Larry May 6, 2016, 2:37 am

    Oh, if Hillary wins, she’ll be coming for our guns!
    Just like Obama did, right? As I type, I’m still in a hidden FEMA camp, deep within a closed WalMart (in Texas, of course), having had all of my guns confiscated and 666 tattooed onto my forehead.
    Oh, please – call a WAAAAAAAAAAAmbulance, you cry-babies!
    I have 11 Class III permits – and I don’t lose a wink of sleep.

    • Jay May 6, 2016, 9:04 am

      Oh, if Hillary wins, she’ll be coming for our guns, yes, she admits it and boast about even through her daughter!
      Just like Obama did, yes, 27 anti-gun laws already and still counting, it’s one step, one little piece at a time process so no one is suppose to notice, like you haven’t obviously!
      I have 11 Class III permits, thanks for the boasting, the jack boots know who’s door to knock down first when they come for you and your guns, because that puts you on obamas domestic terrorist list!

    • Dewey May 6, 2016, 10:25 am

      Run fer yer bunker! Thayz kummin fer the guns!
      Right on Larry. I’ve been hearing this fear-mongering paranoia for decades but luckily the NRA always beats “them” back (wink).
      Don’t forget about the immigrants that are coming for our jobs too. If an IQ eval were part of the requirements to get either a firearm or a permit (or a job) these guys would be screwed.

    • Richie Rich May 8, 2016, 7:49 pm

      Larry, you’re just another gun owner who is not paying attention at all to the slow, gradual, degrading of gun rights.
      There are many more federal gun laws now than in 2008.
      And in many states, such as CA, there are actually hundreds of new gun laws in the last decade.

      Just because you think guns are safe in your zip code, doesn’t mean you’re fine. Anti-gun fever spreads from county to county, and state to state.

  • Phil April 29, 2016, 7:31 am

    On the other hand when TSA confiscates toy cannons sold at the museum and confiscates GI Joe plastic I get indignant. Are they counting them too? TSA considers them guns!

  • Will Drider April 28, 2016, 10:43 am

    It would be interesting to know the exact make and model of the TSA confiscated firearms. We would know what ignorant people carry (but not any more).

  • Liberal G.(Gun owner for over 50 years April 27, 2016, 3:26 pm

    It’s no contest. My money is on “Complacent/stupid[because there”ain’t no cure for stupid”-You-all know that. I yself once flew to Paris with a bunch of 12 ga, rifled slug shells in my pockets for a boar hunt(which turned out well). TSA totally missed them!] I don’t recommend this.

  • chuck April 27, 2016, 1:01 pm

    Probably BS. TSA took a load of guns, took pics and claimed they were confiscated so they can stuff gun control down our throats. I wouldn’t expect less from our current DOJ.

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