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.
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.
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.
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.
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.