By now, everyone knows you can’t take your firearm onto a plane.

Granted, 9/11 might have looked a whole lot different if armed citizens had been in the air that day, but the rules are what they are. You can’t carry a firearm onto an airplane. We all know this, right?

Yet, the Transporation Security Administration (TSA) reports the number of people trying to carry guns through security continues to increase.

The Transportation Security Administration has been checking carry-on bags for weapons at U.S. airports since shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that you can’t bring a gun onto an airplane.

But the TSA says the number of guns found at airport security checkpoints continues to grow every year. Last year’s record of 3,957 firearms found in carry-on bags nationwide will be eclipsed again in 2018, said TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz.

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, 61 passengers have been found with guns by the TSA so far this year, with the busy holiday travel season still ahead. That’s up from 51 firearms in all of 2017, Koshetz said.

“This escalating trend is both disturbing and dangerous, as most of the guns have been loaded,” she wrote in an email. “You see how passengers fling their bags onto the X-ray belts. An accidental discharge could have tragic results.”

Guns don’t just go off. Something has to pull the trigger, and most triggers aren’t that sensitive. The odds of a weapon discharging over something like that are low. In fact, gun manufacturers test to make sure guns are safe if someone tosses them around a little.

That said, it’s not a great idea to do so, but it’s also not a disaster waiting to happen.

I can’t help but be a little amused at how both the TSA and the newspaper publishing this freak a bit at the thought of loaded guns. After all, the story continues with the next paragraph, reading:

Nationally, 84 percent of guns found last year were loaded.

Look, I’m going to give the TSA and the journalism field a quick lesson in firearms. You see, while rule number one says that you should always treat a firearm as if it’s loaded, that’s a safety measure. It’s not a statement of fact.

Guns are damn well useless if they’re unloaded unless used as a poorly-designed club. They need ammunition to function properly, so many of us leave our defense weapons loaded. And guess what? Nothing happens.

I’m not saying these folks are doing everything right. No, they’ve already screwed up by the numbers if TSA is finding the firearm in the first place. Again, we all know you can’t carry a gun on an airplane. You can transport one by air, but it requires the weapon is unloaded, stored in a locked, hard-sided container, and declared when you check your luggage. You can’t keep it in your carry-on.

Yet at the same time, let’s not pretend that everyone survived in the airport by some miracle. The odds of anything happening accidentally are slim to none.