An open carrier in Arizona decided to put on a show at Sky Harbor at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport Sunday afternoon, arming his 12-year old with a pistol and carrying a rifle on what appears to be a single-point sling into an unsecured part of the airport, less than 48 hours after Paul Ciancia murdered a TSA agent and injured several others at Los Angeles International.
Listen to the description of the pair provided by a woman who claims to be long-time gun owner.
She saw the man and his 12-year-old son around 4:30 Sunday evening. She was waiting to pick up her husband when a disturbing sight caught her eye.
She said, “The gentlemen had what looked like -someone said it was an assault rifle, I don’t really know that, but it was definitely a long gun and he had it holstered on some kind of a shoulder harness.” She added that the man’s son was carrying a semi-automatic pistol holstered on his hip.
Tensions were still high after Friday’s fatal shooting at LAX and she says many, including herself, were uncomfortable with the pair.
“About six police officers came into the area and they gathered about 10 feet away from this fellow and his son,” she recalled.
According to the Phoenix Police Department the two were indeed armed as they were waiting for a passenger to arrive. The man told police he feared for his and his family’s safety.
The woman says the pair seemed to enjoy the attention they were getting. “The vibe that I received from them was that they were rather smug about what they were doing that they knew the law. They knew what they could and could not do.”
What sort of man, less than 72 hours after a man in a neighboring state carried out an attack with a rifle at an airport, carries a rifle into another airport, knowing precisely what sort fear that will cause among their fellow citizens?
This is intentional infliction of worry and fear on innocent people.
Further, what sort of man puts a gun on his child, knowing that responding airport police will have the LAX shooting fresh in their minds?
This is child abuse.
If this man was actually concerned about the safety of his loved ones, he could have arrived, open carrying a pistol on his hip, which isn’t terribly uncommon at this particular airport. If he had more tactical sense, he would have concealed even that to give himself an advantage over any perceived threat.
But he was there to cause a scene, and didn’t care if he put others or his own child at risk in the process, and let’s be very clear that his perverse show caused a security threat.
Each one of those six armed officers that had to keep an eye on this man and this child is a security asset that was forced to be pulled from somewhere else, increasing threats to other passengers and families in other parts of the airport. Law enforcement resources are a very finite resource, and he did what he did knowing that he was draw the thin blue line even thinner.
This is a perverse individual, a paste-eater who gets off on instilling fear in good and decent people, as he claims to “exercise his rights.”
This is the kind of person who alienates moderates and undecideds and those that have simply never had a reason to think about guns before.
You have rights to own firearms, but you also have a moral obligation to use those rights responsibly for the safety and security of not only yourself, but those around you.
This sort of “ally” gives all responsible gun owners a black eye, and cannot be defended.