It’s strange how so many people are bringing loaded firearms to the airport when Transportation Security Administration won’t even let nursing mothers take bottles of breast milk through security checks.
As per a recent report, TSA agents discovered a record 67 firearms in luggage passengers intended to carry on to airplanes during the week following the 14th anniversary of the Sept.11 attacks.
“Of the 67 firearms found during the week ended Sept. 17, 56 were loaded and 26 had a round in the chamber, the TSA reported. The tally set a new weekly record. The prior record was 65 firearms found during a week in May 2013,” Reuters reported, citing figures from TSA.
It’s astonishing how despite stricter background checks and the tougher security measures, especially post-9/11, the number of firearms discovered at TSA checkpoints has risen nearly every year since 2005.
This also leads to a more important question: Why do people feel the need to arm themselves while boarding an airplane?
Earlier in June, when a man named Jim Cooley was asked by an officer why he was carrying a loaded assault rifle into Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International airport while dropping off his daughter, he replied that he felt safer with his weapon.
Unfazed by the effect his semiautomatic rifle had on other travelers, Cooley said he had the right to carry whatever he wanted in order to protect himself.
Gun ownership is already a hot-button issue in the United States. As more Americans are debating gun control in the wake of frequent incidents of mass shootings over the past couple of years, one can’t help but wonder why so many people are choosing to carry weapons in a place like the airport where armed personnel is always present to deal with a security threat.
Even TSA doesn’t know the reason behind the disturbing trend. They are, however, satisfied by the number of weapons being discovered.
“We do not speculate on why travelers bring firearms, loaded or unloaded, to airport security checkpoints,” David A. Castelveter, a TSA spokesman told The New York Times. “The fact that more firearms are being detected at the security checkpoints affirms TSA’s continued vigilance in intercepting prohibited items.”
Whether it’s safety or just the fact that travelers forget to remove firearms from their luggage, the TSA should not see the record number of loaded guns in carry-on bags as a sign of an efficient system. No one really needs a research or a study to prove how dangerous it is for people to carry guns onto an airplane.
It’s common sense.