“As we’re getting ready to fly out of town on Monday, I was just thinking about how limited my Second Amendment rights are by TSA in not being allowed to take guns onto airplanes.”
This was a tongue-in-cheek email received from someone who must remain anonymous. He added following the statement quoted above, “Don’t quote me by name – I don’t need the TSA coming after me!”
But, as asserted by the NRA and the tens of millions of gun owners across the nation, if we are guaranteed the right to bear arms by the Second Amendment, how can that right be taken away by the Transportation Security Administration?
There are, no doubt, people who seriously think that their personal rights (and/or dignity) are regularly being infringed by the TSA. Some of the kinder explanations of what TSA stands for are Totally Senseless Aggravation and Taxpayer Supported Assault.
Since everyone has to buy a ticket and is admitted to the boarding lobby after showing a picture identification on which background checks are made, why should not only guns, but hunting knives, scissors, and all sorts of other things be banned from airplanes? (Not long after 9/11, I even lost fingernail clippers to the TSA.)
If every Tom, Dick, and Mary can own and has free access to even large magazine assault weapons on the ground, why can the TSA keep even small handguns off airplanes? Don’t people have any Second Amendment rights?
While there has been a lot of talk about enacting gun control legislation over the past three or four months, there has not yet been much done in that regard, except for in two or the states. And, as I wrote previously, I am still pessimistic about meaningful gun control legislation being passed nationwide (although in the last few days there have some encouraging signs).
So if, as so many argue, guns are necessary to protect ourselves on the ground, why not in the air? Arkansas recently passed the Church Protection Act which allows places of worship to decide whether to allow concealed handguns and who could carry them. The House passed the bill 85-8 with bipartisan support. The measure previously passed the Senate 28-4.
If there is that kind of support for carrying guns to church, why should the TSA be able to prohibit them from airplanes? Oh, maybe it is because if no one is allowed to have guns on airplanes, then maybe no one needs one. Maybe that’s an idea that should to be considered on the earth as well as in the sky.
Actually, I appreciate the work of the TSA. It is a bit annoying for them to be so picky. Like everyone having to take their shoes off—unless, now, you were born in 1937 or before. (June doesn’t have to take her shoes off now—but she has to be frisked anyway because her knee replacement sets off the metal detector.)
I have been disgusted when, more than once, I have forgotten to leave at home a pocket knife (with its 1.25 inch blade!) and had to surrender it to the TSA.
But airplanes in this country have flown safely for a long time now. There haven’t been any hijackings for years or any terrorist seizure of airplanes since 9/11/01.
So maybe the TSA is doing a good job, and maybe we ordinary citizens don’t need to insist on our Second Amendment right to carry a gun on an airplane—and maybe not in any other public place, either.