Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Traveling with your gun?

Are you about to get on a plane? Do you hate the screening process? I will be traveling in a few days and I don't know about you, but I find it darned annoying to have to practically undress when I get to the airport. I usually have to leave early in the morning due to limited flights from my city so only minutes after I have gotten myself dressed, I now need to take off my shoes, and any sweater or jacket and scarves I have just put on. Sometimes jewelry and watches are on the list of things one can't wear. I make sure all liquids are in a plastic bag if I have them along in my carry-on and take my computer out to place it by itself or on top of anything else. Before I leave, I think this all through, knowing that this will be the procedure. I travel often enough that I have a routine when I pack. I often feel stressed getting the right things packed and I am almost always stressed by the time I get through security. But I do usually know what's in my carry on bag ahead of the trip. Apparently some people just throw their things into their carry-ons with no thought about going through security. Or maybe they think that some things will not be noticed in their carry-ons. This Florida man, who had no permit to carry a gun got caught with his gun and ammunition at the Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall airport.

Come on. There are so many questions here. Where had this man without a permit to carry a loaded gun in public been with that gun in the Washington D.C. area? And does he carry this loaded gun around with him in Florida without a permit? Because if you don't have a permit, you can't carry a gun in public, right? Was he an otherwise "law abiding" gun owner? Aren't they supposed to know better and be safe with their weapons? From the article above:
A TSA official said Smith was ticketed on a Southwest Airlines flight and told authorities he forgot the gun was in his bag.
"If someone owns a gun, they should know where it is at all times -- especially if it is loaded and a bullet is in the chamber," the TSA official said.
Smith did not possess a concealed weapon permit, the official added.
And further, haven't we had restrictions on what we can take with us onto airplanes long enough for people with any common sense to understand that guns are not allowed on planes? When it comes to gun owners, some of them just plain do not think. When we have a gun culture that encourages people to carry loaded guns around with them everywhere they go, we will have guns in places where we definitely do not want them. What was the passenger with the loaded handgun and two ammunition magazines thinking? Where in the heck was this person going that he/she would need that kind of ammunition? Good grief. A gun for self defense might be one thing, but if you really think you are going to need to unload three 10 round magazines somewhere, you either have something dangerous and stupid on your mind or you are so paranoid that you could become dangerous and stupid.

And please note from the video of this news story about the gun in the carry-on bag, that there are an increasing number of guns, knives, and even grenades ( by the photos on the video) now confiscated by airport security screeners. What kind of world do we live in when these are things people must have with them when they travel? I wonder where these folks are going? What are their plans once they touch down at their destinations? The places I go, even outside of the U.S. have not required me to have a weapon with me. I suppose I could have shot the woman in Barcelona when she lifted my iPhone off of the table and walked away with it before I knew what was happening. I suppose I could have shot the kids outside of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul as they came ever closer asking for money. Or maybe the homeless person in Washington D.C. asking for a dollar in a coffee shop where I was meeting with friends deserved to die for that dangerous act?

If you "forget" you have your gun along in your carry-on where else might you forget you have your gun? Will you forget it on the dining room table where a child can find it? Will you forget it in the dressing room of a clothing store, as I wrote about before? Apologies wouldn't have been enough had the gun been taken by the wrong person and used in a shooting. Why did this retired NYPD officer forget that she put a gun in her first grade daughter's backpack? The child naturally found the gun in the backpack and pulled it out in her classroom. Luckily for all, nothing tragic happened.  Or would you conveniently forget you had that gun in your purse one day when the purse falls to the floor and the gun discharges and hits a friend and yourself in the leg? Or when going into a court room where guns are banned? And why did this Tennessee woman need her gun in New York City when she attended a 9/11 memorial? Did she forget it was there because she was so used to carrying around with her all the time, sort of like lipstick? Lipstick, of course, doesn't kill people. From this article:
Her mother-in-law, who lives in New Jersey, told the Post: 'You’d think states would reciprocate with the Second Amendment. She has a license to carry in Tennessee,.
'Everyone down there carries, and she just forgot. She was being honest, and this is the treatment they give innocent people.'
Everyone carries in Tennessee? Not true. But further, when you carry a gun everywhere you might just get to thinking you need it everywhere. But there are places where guns are not legal or welcome. The NRA would love to change that, of course, so we will all think it's perfectly normal for people to be carrying everywhere. There is no need for it. The people who are carrying guns are making mistakes and they could be tragic mistakes. If you forget that you had a loaded gun in your car and your child finds it and shoots him/herself or someone else, that becomes tragic. There are enough of those cases on the Kid Shootings blog to make a grown person cry. You just can't forget about a gun. It can lead to stupid and dangerous outcomes.

Happy traveling everyone. I hope you all feel safer knowing that law abiding gun owners have a tendency to forget their guns in their carry-ons. And if they forget them there, where else might those loaded guns show up by surprise where they shouldn't be? Guns are dangerous. Forgetting where they are is totally irresponsible. As more people now are carrying guns into more public places, we will likely see more permit holders forgetting about those guns and causing tragic accidents. This is the country the NRA and gun rights extremists want for us all. Does it make you all feel safer?


  1. I refuse to believe that people just forget they have a gun in their carry-on. Either they are extremely stupid, which makes them too dangerous to have a gun, or they intentionally break the law, which also makes them too dangerous to have a gun. Either way, it should be a one-strike-you're-out rule and have their gun rights removed permanently.

    As for leaving guns out where kids get them, it happens ALL THE TIME. Nearly every day I see reports of it. Here is a link to more examples than anyone could bare to read of kids who get their "law abiding" parents' guns and shoot themselves and others, at home, in the car, or even in public:

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