How to Solve Nothing

Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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16 Responses

  1. greginak says:

    i agree about this. This neither protects us nor is it constitutional sacrilege. Its a petty law. I’m sure NRA types will scream about how this is the first step towards ripping the guns out of their dead hands and all. But, and this is a side note, I am completely unsympathetic to the ” i just forgot i had a gun” argument. I also can’t believe any serious gun owner even makes it. Guns aren’t toys and are a serious responsibility, there not tic-tacs or a bic lighter. If you take guns seriously, then you dont’ get to forget about it.

    Lautenberg, geez is he like 83 now. I haven’t lived in Jersey for 15 years but i remember him being old back then.Report

    • Mark Thompson in reply to greginak says:

      [Barely, but wisely, resisting urge to comment on circumstances that returned Lautenberg to the Senate after he retired]
      It’s not so much that I’ve got sympathy for forgetting you’re carrying a gun as it is that I expect it’s going to happen, and in a situation where doing so poses no actual risk to anyone else. However, I can believe that a serious gun owner would make the argument, and having read some of the things I’ve read on forgetfulness over the last few years, I can envision even a fairly responsible gun owner doing it on an occasion where they’re stressed out and maybe in a hurry or whatever.
      Decent people have been known to have far more tragic fits of absent-mindedness than forgetting to leave their gun in the glove compartment.Report

  2. Plinko says:

    I think the point of these kinds of laws is to give law enforcement the ability to search anyone acting suspiciously for weapons and then arrest them before something happens rather than have to negotiate if they might be carrying legally.

    Now, I am not particularly sympathetic to the argument since these laws seem to end up as tools for harassment more than public safety, plus I am not aware of an epidemic of threatened or actual gun violence at airports to necessitate federal legislation.Report

  3. Scott says:

    Politicians use the “I just forgot my gun” excuse and it works, so can’t can’t some of little use it? Remember Jim Webb and his aide?Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    They tried standing on the Capitol Steps and singing “God Bless America” after 9/11.

    That sort of communicated the wrong thing. It said “holy crap, we have no idea what to do and no idea how to fix this, God help us” when it was intended to say “we’re all in this together and we’re on top of it.”

    They’ve learned their lesson. If they knew then what they know now, they’d have passed a law reiterating the prohibition against hijacking airplanes with a rider reiterating the prohibition against terrorism with a second rider giving Congresspeople a somewhat larger budget to hire secondary staff.Report

  5. Tally says:

    Laws like this are pretty much unenforceable on a wholesale basis. The only time thay are enforced is when someone is stopped for another reason and a violation is seen. For example, say someone who is carrying has a medical emergency. While he is receiving care, he may be subject to arrest or other action because he is violating such a law.Report

  6. Roque Nuevo says:

    I’m glad to see that you’re providing a common-sense, sane counterpoint to any hysterical cries of wholesale violations of the Bill of Rights. After all, like you say, it just constitutes a “trivial hassle for the average gunowner.”

    But then, where is your common-sense, sane counterpoint to all the hysterical cries of wholesale violations of the Bill of Rights by opponents of the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law, saying its supporters, 70% of Arizonans and 60% of the nation, are displaying, e.g., an “overwhelming antipathy toward basic civil liberties,” (ED Kain dixit) so as not to call them “fascist”, “Nazi,” and the like, which would be, as we all know, a bit too low-class, thus the hypercorrect formulation by, e.g., ED Kain?

    As a thought experiment, try the following:

    I can’t imagine compliance with this being much more than trivial hassle for the average gunowner.

    I can’t imagine compliance with this being much more than trivial hassle for the average gunowner legal Hispanic immigrant or Hispanic citizen.

    If this bill were to pass, I am quite certain that the average gun-owner, in the overwhelming majority of cases, would take pains to comply with it.

    If this bill were to pass is enforced, I am quite certain that the average gun-owner legal hispanic immigrant or hispanic citizen, in the overwhelming majority of cases, would take pains to comply with it.

    How, exactly, are these situations so different as to warrant, in the case of the Arizona law, cries of “apocalyptic infringement” of human rights and in the case of airport gun-control laws, the common-sense, fair, and sane judgement that it is “far from an apocalyptic infringement?”

    Just asking…Report

    • @Roque Nuevo, C’mon Roque – did you not see the piece I wrote on the AZ law in which I said that after it was revised it was not an “apocalyptic infringement” even if I still think it’s a bad law? Which is exactly what I’m saying here, come to think of it.Report

      • Roque Nuevo in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        @Mark Thompson, Sorry, I missed that. I guess that I wasn’t talking about you. I must have confused you with others on this blog who do take the “apocalyptic infringement” line on the Arizona law. But what about them, e.g., ED Kain and his ilk? Do they oppose the airport gun-control law as an “apocalyptic infringment” of basic human rights, in accordance with their views on the Arizona law, which are certainly parallel situations? Or do they support it, as a needed but unpleasant security measure? In other words, do these people have any principles beyond group-think, or anti-group think (in the case of ED Kain)?Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Roque Nuevo says:

          @Roque Nuevo, yeah, I’m the guy running around yelling “papers, please”.

          My take is, as you see, a handful of posts up.

          I don’t see this as an exercise of government power anywhere near as much as a communication on the part of the government that they don’t know what or how to do jack schitt.Report

  7. Bull E says:

    I agree that the law is pointless, yet not a wholesale violation of gun rights. However, that isn’t a sufficient defense of the unintended cost of such a stupid law. Training, enforcement, educating the population, etc. I believe the bigger concern for small gov’t types is that no one even takes those things into consideration when voting on something so stupid. It just makes a good sound bite for poly-tics to say “I voted to make airports safer”. Really, they just voted to add training requirements to police and security officers at airports and pissed off the NRA. It is such a waste on so many levels. My issue (I am probably considered a gun nut by most folks btw) is that the people vote for these politicians exactly because they enact such totally unenforceable laws. How is that possible? I think that across the political spectrum this can be seen as a horrible law, so who, of the voting public, thinks otherwise? Are people that ignorant that they believe that this kind of law was a necessity. Do people believe this will actually make airports safer? If not, then what is the motivation to elect politicians who create such laws? I am at a loss.Report

  8. Michael Drew says:

    I’d be quite interested to hear your take, Mark, on the meaning of the Second in 1789, and today. Why they wanted it; why we still want it.Report