2150 Firearms

Old Nov 22, 04, 10:53 pm
  #1  
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2150 Firearms

Since the Aviation and Transportation Security Act was signed into law on November 19, 2001, the TSA has found 2,150 firearms. Kind of scary isn't it?
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Old Nov 22, 04, 10:59 pm
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Originally Posted by TSAJohn
Kind of scary isn't it?
Not one bit, since NONE of those guns would have been used in anyway on board...what is scary is how we as innocent passengers are being treated since this sad date.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:02 pm
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Originally Posted by mwp2paris
Not one bit, since NONE of those guns would have been used in anyway on board...what is scary is how we as innocent passengers are being treated since this sad date.
Give me a break. Are you a psychic? You may not like the invasive screening, but most don't mind. The numbers speak for themselves.

Last edited by TSAJohn; Nov 22, 04 at 11:05 pm
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:06 pm
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Most cattle don't mind being herded into the slaughterhouse. What's your point?
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by TSAJohn
Since the Aviation and Transportation Security Act was signed into law on November 19, 2001, the TSA has found 2,150 firearms. Kind of scary isn't it?

Ho hum. Yawn. Not scary at all. Unless you're selling snake oil security to the masses. Then you have to dress it up and make it real scary.

How many guns were found in the prior three year period (11/19/98 thru 11/19/01) by the contract screeners?

And even more relevant: How many guns were used in the USA on board airliners in the last 6 years?

Oh, and how many guns has the TSA failed to find in its 30 months or so of searching? Given the test results from EWR announced in the press recently, the number must be staggering.

The legislation providing for the TSA was enacted three years ago, but the first TSA screeners didn't appear until the spring of 2002, nearly 6 months after the law was passed.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by TSAJohn
Since the Aviation and Transportation Security Act was signed into law on November 19, 2001, the TSA has found 2,150 firearms. Kind of scary isn't it?
That is scary (not kind of) -- anyone bringing a firearm through a checkpoint needs more than a civil fine. They need criminal charges pressed against them. Accident/mistake or not, there is no excuse for this one... It should be explained to the Judge (or Jury) if any excuses exist -- including any "VIPs", which I've noticed prosecutors haven't gone after in some cases because they felt it was an "honest mistake".

I agree with you completely on this. I don't own a gun, but if I did, you can be certain I wouldn't be bringing it to the airport with me. A gun is something you just don't "forget". I have friends and co-workers with a conceal and carry permits (this is Kentucky) -- I don't see them as the type who would bring a gun to an airport, and if they did (even though I doubt they would have ill intent), they would have consequences to face... mistake or not.

Best,

SDF_Traveler
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:12 pm
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SDF Traveler, It's nice when I come across a rational person on this forum. I agree with you 100%.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:14 pm
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To begin, I will try to make this as objective as possible.

If we have found 2150 firearms in 3 years, that is about 717 firearms per year. In FY 2004, the TSA budget was $4.4 billion. We can subtract the $385 million spent for cargo and we see the budget for passengers was about $4 billion. The TSA receives roughly 49% of its budget from passenger fees. Therefore, for every weapon found in FY 2004:

The taxpayers of the United States of America paid $2,845,188.22 for every ONE firearm found.
The civilian passengers paid $2,733,612.27 for every ONE firearm found.

I have left out the innumerable tweezers, fingernail clippers, bookmarks, sewing needles, and butter knives that have been confiscated at checkpoints, making us infinitely safer.

What a bargain!!

All facts are from the TSA website, I can provide a link to a .ppt presentation.
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Old Nov 22, 04, 11:15 pm
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Originally Posted by FWAAA
Ho hum. Yawn. Not scary at all. Unless you're selling snake oil security to the masses. Then you have to dress it up and make it real scary.

How many guns were found in the prior three year period (11/19/98 thru 11/19/01) by the contract screeners?

And even more relevant: How many guns were used in the USA on board airliners in the last 6 years?

Oh, and how many guns has the TSA failed to find in its 30 months or so of searching? Given the test results from EWR announced in the press recently, the number must be staggering.

The legislation providing for the TSA was enacted three years ago, but the first TSA screeners didn't appear until the spring of 2002, nearly 6 months after the law was passed.
FWAAA,

While you raise good points, I respectfully disagree with respect to the place of guns in airports/aircraft.

Guns have no place in an airport or on an airplane. I'm not a gun owner, but I know many responsible gun owners. They're good people and I doubt they would bring a gun to an airport. However, even if they did, there should be consequences.

The person may be good, with no ill intentions, but we don't need people taking guns on-board through security. I'm sure people have made honest mistakes and gotten guns through security as well -- good people making mistakes.

However, the bottom line is guns don't belong in aiports or airplanes. If caught, there must be consequences. I'm not saying charge one with terrorism and throw away the key, but we would have to re-evaluate how responsible one is as a gun owner if they forget and take a gun to the airport.

Added: I am not aware of any guns being discharged on aircraft lately; OTOH, I do know of at least one incident where a FAM left a gun in the aircraft lav, and another incident where FAMs pointed guns towards pax on a DCA bound flight because someone left their seat.

Of these guns found, who is to say one of these individuals wouldn't lose their gun on the aircraft (an FAM did) or do something causing it to accidently discharge in flight? Again, these are likely good people - but what they're doing is stupid. Of the guns which have likely made it through security, we're probably lucky an accident at minimim hasn't happened.

The way I see it, screen passengers for guns and explosives (credible weapons) and then leave us the heck alone when it comes to screening.

Best,

SDF_Traveler

Last edited by SDF_Traveler; Nov 22, 04 at 11:42 pm Reason: added content
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Old Nov 23, 04, 12:14 am
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Originally Posted by TSAJohn
SDF Traveler, It's nice when I come across a rational person on this forum. I agree with you 100%.
Thanks, TSAJohn. It's not often I agree with TSA screeners

As I pointed out in my post to FWAAA, an airport & aircraft is not a place for guns. Gun owners who take a gun to an airport by mistake, which is likely the case in most of these incidents (speculation, but I'm sure it's often the case), need to face consequences.

Common sense, along with intelligence and the duty of care a gun owner has indicates one does not take a gun to an airport. People make mistakes but there are often consequences to mistakes. I don't think locking the person up and throwing away the key is the answer, but hold these individuals accountable. Perhaps they shouldn't have a conceal and carry permit.

The part that's scary is so many individual's are making this mistake or don't see what the problem is with taking a gun to an airport. If a gun gets onboard, other than an accident (i.e. gun discharging, being left behind where someone else can get it), chances are it's a good person who made a mistake. However, this may not always be the case. Just because a gun hasn't been used on an aircraft in recent years doesn't mean one won't be used tomorrow or next week.

A gun, like an explosive, is a credible threat. Of the homicides in most major cities, what is the primary cause? Here in Louisville, it's shootings. That is what guns do when discharged. Explosives are made to go boom. Credible threats? Yes.

Now, I disagree when it comes to other pointy objects and many of the other TSA procedures. I disagree with a lot of TSA procedures and things the upper management is up to (i.e. SecureFlight) -- see www.unsecureflight.com

I'm open to debate and conversation on this. We all have different viewpoints, which I feel should be respected. I'm sure you've made postings, TSAJohn, which I've disagreed with -- and likewise I'm sure you've disagreed with me.

BTW: CVG, I presume? Great airport -- I transfer there when flying DL, but haven't cleared a security checkpoint there lately.

Best,

SDF_Traveler
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Old Nov 23, 04, 5:47 am
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Originally Posted by SDF_Traveler
FWAAA,

While you raise good points, I respectfully disagree with respect to the place of guns in airports/aircraft.

Guns have no place in an airport or on an airplane. I'm not a gun owner, but I know many responsible gun owners. They're good people and I doubt they would bring a gun to an airport. However, even if they did, there should be consequences.

The person may be good, with no ill intentions, but we don't need people taking guns on-board through security. I'm sure people have made honest mistakes and gotten guns through security as well -- good people making mistakes.

However, the bottom line is guns don't belong in aiports or airplanes. If caught, there must be consequences. I'm not saying charge one with terrorism and throw away the key, but we would have to re-evaluate how responsible one is as a gun owner if they forget and take a gun to the airport.
I don't get it. It sounds like you are making an argument, but you're not. Argument by assertion?

The fact is, there are guns on aircraft today, and they seem to be doing fine just sitting there. Do you have a real argument?
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Old Nov 23, 04, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by whirledtraveler
The fact is, there are guns on aircraft today, and they seem to be doing fine just sitting there. Do you have a real argument?
I was making a statement of personal opinion.

As there are guns on aircraft today, "fine, just sitting there":

How long until one accidently discharges?

How long until one passenger gets drunk and uses it for air rage?

How long until one passenger leaves it in the lav? (an FAM has done this) Or how about a passenger dropping it, the gun falling out of a bag? Speculation, yes, but:

Just because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't.

Given time, it is likely to happen, as long as they continue to get through checkpoints. This shouldn't be happening and is a reflection of problems in the system.

Now, there have been no known incidents in recent years (that I am aware of) with someone discharging a firearm in a US aircraft. Being some are slipping through checkpoints, does that mean this trend will continue and they'll continue to be "fine - just sitting there"?

Last, what is scary is that individuals are still bringing firearms to airports. Of the ones caught, what's scary is the number of irresponsible gun owners. Any responsible gun owner should know not to take their gun to an airport (unless checking it as luggage, declared).

Best,

SDF_Traveler

P.S. Do you actually believe guns should freely be allowed on aircraft? (setting FAMs, armed pilots, or off-duty officers legally traveling with firearm aside)
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Old Nov 23, 04, 6:38 am
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Congrats to TSA. But... who cares?

Here are some assumptions I'll make:

Passengers are no more likely now than pre 9-11 to bring guns on planes (whether or not guns belong at airports is irrelevant to the mindset of folks who "forget" they were packing).

There was likely an equal number of guns attempted to be brought on board pre 9-11; but likely fewer were caught due to laxer screening. (Someone could have smuggled an uzi in their shoe back then!).

So... I'll assume more guns were brought on board pre 9-11 than now. Yet there weren't any major incidents with guns onboard pre 9-11. It is likely that the 2150 guns seized were not going to be used in a terrorist attack and it is likely that their seizure had minimal impact to overall passenger safety.

Good job finding them, but put this in perspective. Next question: how many guns still slip through?
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Old Nov 23, 04, 7:03 am
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Originally Posted by SDF_Traveler
I was making a statement of personal opinion.

As there are guns on aircraft today, "fine, just sitting there":

How long until one accidently discharges?

How long until one passenger gets drunk and uses it for air rage?

How long until one passenger leaves it in the lav? (an FAM has done this) Or how about a passenger dropping it, the gun falling out of a bag? Speculation, yes, but:

Just because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it won't.

Given time, it is likely to happen, as long as they continue to get through checkpoints. This shouldn't be happening and is a reflection of problems in the system.

Now, there have been no known incidents in recent years (that I am aware of) with someone discharging a firearm in a US aircraft. Being some are slipping through checkpoints, does that mean this trend will continue and they'll continue to be "fine - just sitting there"?

Last, what is scary is that individuals are still bringing firearms to airports. Of the ones caught, what's scary is the number of irresponsible gun owners. Any responsible gun owner should know not to take their gun to an airport (unless checking it as luggage, declared).

Best,

SDF_Traveler

P.S. Do you actually believe guns should freely be allowed on aircraft? (setting FAMs, armed pilots, or off-duty officers legally traveling with firearm aside)
For heaven's sake, we are talking about 1 or 2 out of a million passengers. That number of so-called "irresponsible gun owners" is vanishingly small. There are probably more than 700 child molestors on a plane each year, and I would be more worried about that than a forgetful gun owner.

We all know that guns don't belong on planes, so I don't know why you kept repeating that with bolded type. Of course, if guns don't belong on planes, why do we have FAM's?

Summary -- Guns don't kill people; people kill people.
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Old Nov 23, 04, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by AdamK
The taxpayers of the United States of America paid $2,845,188.22 for every ONE firearm found.
The civilian passengers paid $2,733,612.27 for every ONE firearm found.

I have left out the innumerable tweezers, fingernail clippers, bookmarks, sewing needles, and butter knives that have been confiscated at checkpoints, making us infinitely safer.
But, of course it's worth spending a mere 5 million dollars to find one gun. That's only five million dollars - aren't you worth it? Are you trying to put a price on life?! Think of the children! Protect the empire! Never forget! Insert more meaningless trumpery here!

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain who is saying (five million dollars could have provided your community with dozens of full-time police officers to secure the mall and the bridge and hunt down anti-terror clues and guard borders and ....) : at least we found that one gun!
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