We also need to pressure the TSA to provide mailers people can buy to ship to the location of their choice any knives they may have accidentally forgotten they were carrying when they go to board airplanes.
by Darren LaSorte
Thursday, July 13, 2017
In my years of lobbying for NRA at the state and local level, I always enjoyed doing battle with big city and county government officials. When they were complaining, I was certain that we were doing the right thing and advocating for the empowerment of the people. As a rule, they like dependence, while we like independence. There just isn’t a lot of common ground to be found. They know that when the people gain power, they lose a proportionate share in what is a certain zero-sum game.
I wanted to believe that most of them were relatively intelligent folks, but it was rarely apparent through my direct interactions with them. Let us hope their emotions surrounding the subject matter had something to do with this. An example is the public buildings “storage and screening” legislation that I’m proud NRA-ILA began aggressively pushing in state legislatures many years ago.
In the early days of the policy, it required government buildings that prohibited firearms possession by citizens to store firearms for people while they conducted business in the building. This addressed a few important issues: It helped reduce the likelihood of a firearm being stolen from a vehicle, it allowed good people to protect themselves while walking to and from their vehicles, and it kept those required to use public transportation to get to the government facility from going the entire time away from home unprotected.
The legislation we pursued evolved to require electronic security screening in the prohibitive public buildings. Despite what the local government officials claimed, reasonable people understand that active screening is the only way to generate an expectation that good people will not be required by their own government to have empty hands while facing a well-armed bad guy. Sadly, we know that even the best screening at the country’s biggest airports fails all too often, but the storage/screening combination is the best policy available—if prohibiting locals from banning guns in the first place is not politically viable.
This is where most of the government officials proved they weren’t likely to get a knock on the door from Mensa International any time soon. Regardless of the state legislature where we were advocating this policy, officials came out of the woodwork to contend that this was some sort of “unfunded mandate” on them—purchase of storage lockers and screening equipment, along with paying people to attend to them, was going to bust budgets. Of course, the legislators not particularly fond of our firearm freedoms reliably jumped on the runaway bandwagon.