Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Don't shoot me please, I'm Canadian!

From the Canadians are from Mars, Americans are from Venus files comes this story from Atlanta. It seems gun rights advocates are upset they aren’t allowed to carry concealed handguns…at the airport!

In the pre-security area mind you, but still! It boggles the mind. It seems a new state law may give concealed carry permit holders the right to carry their weapons pre-security at the airport. To their credit, the airport authority and the city say screw that, this is an airport, bring your gun here you’re getting arrested.

Guns were the issue. But words and federal lawsuits became the weapons of choice Tuesday as Atlanta officials declared Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport a "gun-free zone," and gun advocates immediately retaliated by suing them.

A Rambo-channeling state representative had planned to bring his gun to the airport while picking up friends in a bid to get arrested and fight the airport on it, bit appears (relatively) saner heads have prevailed, and it will be fought in the courts instead.
Bearden, a former policeman who authored the new law, said Monday he would come to the airport on Tuesday to pick up relatives and would be carrying a permitted concealed weapon. DeCosta vowed to have him arrested if he did. By Tuesday, Bearden had decided to let the courts decide the issue.

"That showdown will take place in the courts instead of an airport parking lot," said Bearden, who still planned to go to the airport, but without a gun.

Guns at the airport, really?! You can convince me on the need for rural residents to have long guns for wildlife control, and on hunting, but you lose me when it comes to carrying a concealed weapon in an airport.

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Unknown said...

Wouldn't it be Canadians from Venus (goddess of love) and Americans from Mars (god of war)? Just sayin'...

Jeff said...

Yeah but even Mars would no better than to take his handgun into an airport, particularly post-911...

Anonymous said...

The non-secure side of an airport is filled with people waiting in line to get tickets and get on a plane. Since they are traveling, they don't have any firearms. Someone who wants to kill a few dozen strangers and then kill himself would find this to be a juicy target. The fact that the airport is a "gun-free" zone is unlikely to stop this person who is willing to break the law prohibiting murder. Statutes prohibiting guns in airports are unimpressive to this killer.

What do Virginia Tech University, shopping malls, postal facilities, Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen Texas and a Jewish daycare center in Los Angeles have in common? They have all been the sites of public mass murder and they are all "gun-free" zones.

"Gun-free" zones are dangerous places.

Orzy Theus said...

Hartsfield-Jackson is a gun-free zone based on sound legal authority and clear common sense. It is also a public safety necessity.

We are in compliance with the public gathering exception found in Georgia law which prohibits firearms in publicly-owned or operated buildings. Because the Airport is owned and operated by the City of Atlanta, we are exercising our legal authority.

The public safety necessity is the reality with which the aviation industry is still operating in a post-9/11 era. Every day the FBI, federal air marshals, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Atlanta Police Department and other law enforcement are working to ensure that firearms do not pose a danger to air travel.

I believe the common sense factor is clear to most Georgians. Law enforcement is ample at the Airport, and crimes against persons are extremely rare. As one Atlanta Journal-Constitution blogger put it, “Airports are (among) the most secure places these days… There are cops everywhere.” Calling on your common sense, I ask this question: Why jeopardize that security?

Unless you are traveling with a weapon properly secured in checked luggage in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration and TSA regulations or you are a sworn federal, state or local law enforcement officer or armored security personnel, you are not allowed to carry weapons on airport property.

Hartsfield-Jackson’s designation as a gun-free zone is a necessary position that will help ensure the safety of the millions of people who come through the Airport’s doors.

Senior PR Manager, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport