Gun-Toting Passengers Are Not The Solution

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Should law-abiding citizens be allowed to carry guns onto commercial airline flights?

Some claim that this is America's answer to stopping terrorism and improving air travel safety.

Dec. 28, a man was able to get through all security checkpoints in Tampa and Atlanta with a handgun in his carry-on bag before he was stopped for a random check at the airport in Memphis.

One reader, in an e-mail to the Roundup, revered this man as a hero. He wrote: "Barry Brunstein has showed that government airline security is a dangerous fraud that slaughtered thousands on 9-11-2001. He proved Libertarians correct in that there is nothing wrong with law-abiding citizens carrying guns, off or on a plane."

The idea of allowing law-abiding citizens to carry guns on board commercial aircraft is ludicrous. Guns go off accidentally. Tempers often flare in such closed quarters. And it has been made clear what can happen when alcohol is introduced to any situation where a gun is readily available. Even law-abiding citizens could become law-breakers and life-takers when such a dangerous combination is allowed to be mixed.

We do agree that government airline security is a dangerous fraud. Brunstein made it embarrassingly obvious that real changes are needed to save lives and increase American confidence.

Within the next 12 months, a new agency within the Department of Transportation will take over control of airport security and hire screeners. When these screeners are making equivalent to, or less than, a fast-food worker, how committed do you think they will be to passenger safety?

We must insist that travel security be made a higher priority now with real investments in people, in salary, in equipment and training.

In the end, we get what we pay for.

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