I decided to write my Congresswoman and Senators tonight. Because.
Since I feel like sharing, here is the text of that email.
I’m a legal resident of your district, though I currently live in CA because the Navy stationed me here. I’m writing to share a Civil Rights proposal that is probably 15 years overdue, and I hope you’ll seriously ponder it.
After 9-11, there was serious discussion about how to deal with airline security. That discussion has been revisited now because of the Ft Lauderdale shootings. Back in 2001, there was a proposal that could only be called common sense, but evoked much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth: why don’t we permit pilots to carry guns in the cockpit? If memory serves, eventually, after much demagoguing on both sides, this provision was put into law. I have no idea how many pilots actually carry, but frankly I feel better that they do.
Aside from that, every other provision that we as a nation took was not only nonsensical but arguably against both the letter and spirit of the Constitution and the nearly millennium-old traditions of British common law from which our system sprung. No one can seriously argue that the TSA is anything other than security theater and a jobs program, but we permit this agency to treat every person in the country as a suspect, and force us to submit to searches without probable cause to think we have committed, or are going to commit, a crime, just because we wish to exercise our natural and Constitutional rights to travel and engage in commerce.
This is more than absurd: it is a travesty, a usurpation in the worst degree. And it is a flagrant violation of the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution.
But what about security?
That is a legitimate concern. It is also one that can be addressed without treating every citizen as a criminal and spitting on our long-standing traditions and legal framework. Instead of the massive drain on the public coffers and the vivisection of the Constitution the TSA represents, I propose the following:
Allow all citizens who have a valid concealed carry permit, issued by any State in the Union, to carry his or her gun onto the plane, with the caveat that said weapon can only be loaded with frangible rounds of a type that Air Marshals use.
I know. This is an appalling proposal! How dare I even suggest it!
Consider this. Had we honored the US citizens’ natural and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms while they engaged in their natural and Constitutional right to travel on 9-11, and said citizens had been armed on, say, Flight 93, how different would that result have been?
It is impossible to know for sure, because counterfactuals are unprovable, but certainly the odds of a better outcome could only have improved.
But the Air Marshals might think the citizen is a bad guy and shoot him instead!
That is a risk. But considering the number of Air Marshals compared with the number of flights per day, that risk is small. Then again, if armed citizens can provide security on the plane (they have every incentive to do so as long as we don’t remove their ability to do so), why would we need Air Marshals? Perhaps this is (yet another) place we can trim the fat from the Federal Budget.
Please take some time and really think on this proposal.
Given the bill currently under consideration in the House to require national concealed carry reciprocity, and the widespread support it is gaining both in political circles and with the public, I think perhaps this is the right time to consider lifting the restrictions we have placed on Americans’ Civil Rights on airplanes as well.
Thank you for your time, and for the time of your staffers who are reading this (assuming it’s not a bot doing it – perhaps I’m being a tad cynical there, yes? 😉 ).
Not hardly enough, I think. I have no illusions that the Congresswoman of Senators will actually read the note, or that anything will come of it. But DAMN IT! Especially residing in California as I am now, I am sick and tired of being treated like a criminal and having my natural rights stomped on just so some douchebag politicians can assuage their egos.
Whether or not concealed carry gets allowed on planes, one thing is for certain: the TSA needs to go. It needs to go 15 years ago.
And then the entire Dept of Homeland Security needs to follow it. It was an abomination when proposed, and has only grown worse over the years. Get rid of it.
Zero chance this will happen. But it would be nice if it did, because freedom.