Airport Killings Strike Nerve
The vile and viral debates over guns and gun control since the airport shooting in Ft. Lauderdale pretty much covers the tone and tenor of the gun debate today in America and is why nothing is likely to change anytime soon on this matter. Everyone is dug in on each side of the line and there appears to be little chance that those opinions are going to change easily, if at all. Everybody is so damned convinced that they are right and everybody else is wrong that there is no room for a conversation.
I however do have some different ideas and at the risk of offending and irritating many I am going to put it on the record anyway. We must have the tough talk about guns and how we can limit their misuse by criminals.
Let me begin with this; I have flown ten of thousands of miles to numerous states and foreign countries traveling with firearms. I have been through the ringer with agents that have absolutely no idea what they are doing or talking about when it comes to the legal transport of firearms. That is a problem. When the TSA and gate agents for various airlines are confused or not well versed on the law and the rules that apply to transporting guns it becomes even more disruptive. Comprehensive education would be a very good idea when it comes to gun laws for anyone working for TSA or an airline that is likely to come into contact with a passenger transporting firearms. That is a good step but I think we need to consider other options as well.
I think universal firearm education would be a very good idea for all Americans. That will be a discussion for a different day but it’s coming. I have been around guns my entire life and am comfortable with them. I understand their use and the debate surrounding them in the country today. I consider myself very well versed on guns and qualified to discuss them in nearly all aspects.
I am an active member of the NRA and yet I can find some room for compromise when it comes to gun control. This will not win me many friends but I will write it anyway. I think any gun sold or transferred in America should have a yellow sheet that is filled out and goes with it. (that’s a background check for you that don't know) The so called gun show loophole however is a lie as nearly every single person selling guns at gun shows in the nation are already licensed dealers and required by law to get a yellow sheet for every sale and a background check. The battle cry surrounding the alleged loophole is nothing more than political banter designed to get airtime and headlines and it works. That’s why the left returns to this refrain over and over again.
However, it is legal to sell guns privately, rifles and shotguns specifically, with no background checks. Guns can also be acquired legally by way of inheritance. The concern is simple and straightforward. Anyone can jump on the Internet and find long guns to buy legally. Most of the time that is going to be okay but what if your neighbor is planning to kill his wife or the kid across town has been spending his time on radical Islam websites and has real plans for your used guns? They may still be able to get the guns at a store but it may also slow down the plan or derail it altogether. And if the neighbor was just put under a restraining order you’d have no way to know that without an actual background check.
I would simply suggest that everyone must fill out the background check. Take the form to the local police or sheriff’s department and you’re good to go. I did it recently and I don't think it’s too difficult to have it done every time you buy or sell a gun. It doesn't mean the government needs to keep lists but lets face it, they probably do anyway. So the idea that the government has no business keeping track of your guns, I agree but lets be serious. Do you really think the government doesn’t already have a pretty good idea of who is buying what kind of gun and where? If you don't believe it, you must be kidding yourself.
Concerning the ammo, it has to fly separately of the gun already but that didn't work in this case. Maybe there is a more secure way to get it done. Maybe locked ammo containers that cannot be opened until you have them opened by TSA would do the trick. We check in firearms when we board flights. The ammo is also routinely looked at before you sign the red card and the bags are zipped up for takeoff. Why not have the TSA open them up upon arrival for a cursury glance as well? Seems like a pretty easy step to stop this kind of airport attack in the future.
I realize this will hit a nerve with many that will angrily disagree with me but I am willing to take the heat. You see, I believe that if we don’t figure out how to pare down this kind of horrendous incident there is more likely to come a day when actual confiscation does take place of our firearms. I am open to your ideas as well.
What do you think?