Responsible Gun Ownership And Irresponsible Ownership

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

When anti-Second Amendment types begin their railing against guns, we tend to counter by talking about responsible gun owners. These are the vast majority of people who own firearms and use them properly and, of course, responsibly. These aren’t the people shooting up entire neighborhoods, obviously. They’re also not shooting cans on their back fence with homes in clear view beyond.

However, even normally responsible people can make mistakes.

When we do, though, it becomes easier to paint with a broader brush. It becomes a thing that needs to be discussed, too.

Conversations about guns and the limits of their accessibility are never easy.

While most other rights like speech or a speedy trial are intangible, a gun is the one that can be held in your hand. It can be strapped at your side. It can even be packed in a bag and taken into an airport.

But please don’t do that. At least, don’t do it the way more than two dozen people have done at Pittsburgh International Airport or at least five others have done at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport so far in 2021.

When it comes to guns, the right to use them for hunting or self-defense or even just shooting at cans on a fence because it’s fun is protected. But at the same time, there is an expectation of doing so safely, without negligence or carelessness. Most gun owners are careful.

But not knowing your pistol is in your purse or your handgun is under your shaving kit in your suitcase is, at best, neglectful. At worst, it could be a lie, which would mean saying so was a false statement to federal authorities.

It is beneficial to all responsible gun owners to follow the rules, check your weapons accordingly or leave them at home.

Now, I’m a little surprised that this editorial doesn’t go and start labeling gun owners are irresponsible louts who clearly can’t be trusted with firearms. I’ll give the editorial board serious kudos for that.

However, they’re also not completely wrong.

Yes, mistakes can happen. I can imagine someone traveling over the road for a few days, coming home and just swapping out the clothes in the suitcase and it never registering that their gun is still in the suitcase until they hit airport security.

But that’s still not a good thing. It’s a problem and it’s not a huge leap for that problem to be projected onto all lawful gun owners.

It’s essential that you be cognizant of where your firearm is at all times. That includes it being in your luggage.

The TSA confiscates a lot of stupid items–things that aren’t actually weapons but look sort of weapon-ish–which will get them mocked. However, finding the real gun from time to time is what they like to tout as the big wins. Don’t give them those wins, folks, especially because you forgot your gun was in your bag.

We need to do better as a community on that one, if for no other reason than to not give the other side ammunition.