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Birther movement creator found with potentially smoking gun

Joseph Farah, editor of the Internet tabloid WorldNetDaily, was detained at the Dulles Airport after TSA screeners found a loaded 38 caliber revolver in his carryon luggage. He faces a class 1 misdemeanor charge, says The Southern Poverty Law Center web site.

Farah famously claimed to have created the birther movement. His WorldNetDaily “Where’s the Birth Certificate” billboards and a similarly-named book by Jerome Corsi popularized the movement, and their support for Sheriff Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse kept the movement alive after Obama released his long-form birth certificate.

I wonder what he planned to do with that gun?

Update:

Farah has commented on his experience in an article at WorldNetDaily calling his action “something stupid.” Farah then goes on to use the incident to push some other left-wing bashing agenda.

Farah and WorldNetDaily have been very critical of the TSA, writing a series of articles such as:

That’s not half of them. You would think that Farah feels the way about the TSA as I feel about birthers. :shock:

Commentary

This article appears because I felt that my readers would want to know about the Farah incident. There is some satisfaction seeing what I think is a successful “bad person” get his comeuppance.1 It is not intended as evidence that birthers are a special class of scofflaw, at least not consciously. Perhaps part of it is that vocal birthers hold themselves as upholders of the law (in particular the Constitution) and ones who resist what they perceive as the lawlessness of the Executive. The “Birthers behaving badly” series seeks to poke holes in that argument with counterexamples, but don’t expect tomorrow’s headline to be “Birther fined for littering.”


1I don’t think I’ve ever written that word before.

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69 Responses to Birther movement creator found with potentially smoking gun

  1. avatar
    Michael Bauser June 24, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    Shoot himself in the foot literally (instead of just figuratively, as usual with birthers)?

  2. avatar
    CarlOrcas June 24, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

    He lives in Virginia these days, as I recall. He probably has a concealed carry permit and just “forgot” it was in his bag after his last trip to the gym….or wherever.

  3. avatar
    Steve June 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

    Any chance he’ll whine that Obama set him up?

  4. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG June 24, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

    My feelings about this can be summed up in one faux-word: LOL!

  5. avatar
    Curious George June 24, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    This is getting interesting. First Pat Boone is talking about a “smoking gun” and now Farah is found with a potential smoking gun. It seems as though things have dropped down a few notches from “universe shattering” to simply a “smoking gun.” But, we all know they will all be shooting blanks.

  6. avatar
    diskiss June 25, 2014 at 2:25 am #

    If you’re carrying around a loaded .38 to the extent that you forget that it’s in your carry-on, then you either legitimately fear for your life, or you’re super paranoid. Whatever the legal consequences, it sounds like Joey Bear doesn’t sleep too well at night. Schadenfreude, anyone?

  7. avatar
    James M June 25, 2014 at 3:07 am #

    Carrying a loaded gun through airport security is only a misdemeanor?
    How is this not a “life without parole” type of offense?

  8. avatar
    The Magic M (not logged in) June 25, 2014 at 5:50 am #

    I wonder what he planned to do with that gun?

    He was probably going to protect himself from violent Obots and has now been framed by the regime because he was just about to release The Article That Brought Down The Usurper – or something. ;)

    Stay tuned for some WND/BR spin in 3… 2… 1…

  9. avatar
    bovril June 25, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    James M:
    Carrying a loaded gun through airport security is only a misdemeanor?
    How is this not a “life without parole” type of offense?

    He din’t carry it through security, he was pulled AT secuity. Not defending the porntache however as it is a remarkably stupid thing he did.

    All that is required is for him to notify the check in desk, be escorted to the TSA bag check who ascertain the weapon is unloaded, without ammunition, in a locked bag WITHOUT a TSA approved bypass lock on it. It gets checked and, assuming the state he is going to doesn’t have it’s own rules on firearms, picks it up on the carousel on arrival.

    No firearm on the plane in carry on, checked hold luggage only

    The assumption and law requires that the firearms be legally holdable/useable in both the originating and destination state.

    See Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 and 18 USC § 926A

  10. avatar
    Majority Will June 25, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    A racist, paranoid and delusional Dominionist who is terrified of gay people and imaginary drones is a walking hair trigger. He is probably an ammosexual with an obscenely large home arsenal.

  11. avatar
    Dave June 25, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    I am disappointed WND hasn’t reported on this. I am looking forward to hearing how victimized poor little Joey was by the big bad TSA, and these evil laws against taking loaded guns on the plane are violating his precious 2nd amendment rights.

  12. avatar
    Lupin June 25, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    After reading today’s rants on BR, I was reflecting that the birthers’ world is turning increasingly dark.

    Let’s face it: they hate what America is becoming or has become, and their dream of a cozy little white anglosaxon male protestant straight utopia (if it ever existed) is less and less likely to ever exist again.

    And there is no place on Earth for them to go: they despise Yurp, Canada and Australia will take their beloved guns; I bet even the penguins would chase them away if they moved to Antarctica.

    This is it, Game Over, their world is dying, dying, dead… Their posts are the equivalent of crazed animals chewing their paws to escape from a trap.

  13. avatar
    Arthur June 25, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Lupin: And there is no place on Earth for them to go

    The appear to admire Vladimir Putin a great deal; let them make a new home in Russia.

  14. avatar
    The Magic M June 25, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    Dave: and these evil laws against taking loaded guns on the plane are violating his precious 2nd amendment rights

    Poor guy was just going to scare away scary Muslims from doing another 9/11. Somebody call the Bundy Ranch!

    Arthur: The appear to admire Vladimir Putin a great deal; let them make a new home in Russia.

    While it’s unlikely they will be welcomed there with open arms, I don’t think we should advocate more bullies moving to a bully country. It’s not like anybody was saying “you’d be a great Auschwitz guard, please move to Nazi Germany where you can torture Jews as much as you like” in the 1940′s either.

  15. avatar
    Lupin June 25, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Arthur: The appear to admire Vladimir Putin a great deal; let them make a new home in Russia.

    But they foam at the mouth at the sight of Russians. To them they’re still the Evil Commie Monster. No, no place on Earth left, I fear.

  16. avatar
    JPotter June 25, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    Lupin: Canada and Australia will take their beloved guns;

    There’s plenty of gun nuts in Canada! But Canada does have that ebel commie health care (quite handy in case of unexpected GSW… ;) ).

  17. avatar
    Bonsall Obot June 25, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    JPotter:

    There’s plenty of gun nuts in Canada! But Canada does have that ebel commie health care (quite handy in case of unexpected GSW…

    If they want to stay in the developed world but insist on a country without universal health care for its citizens, that narrows it down to Turkey, Mexico, and these United States. And I don’t think their racism will allow them to move to either of the first two.

  18. avatar
    ArthurWankspittle June 25, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Lupin:

    Let’s face it: they hate what America is becoming or has become, and their dream of a cozy little white anglosaxon male protestant straight utopia (if it ever existed) is less and less likely to ever exist again.

    This ^
    And it never existed. They think it existed because they or their parents survived it, notwithstanding the car accident rates, heart and cancer rates, and occasional overseas wars. It’s like they live in “Pleasantville” (hope I’ve got the right movie) but instead of knowing nothing of the outside world, they rely on Fox News and anything to the further right to tell them about the “outside world”.

  19. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 25, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Yes, and a fine movie it was.

    ArthurWankspittle: “Pleasantville” (hope I’ve got the right movie)

  20. avatar
    James M June 25, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    bovril: He din’t carry it through security, he was pulled AT secuity. Not defending the porntache however as it is a remarkably stupid thing he did.

    All that is required is for him to notify the check in desk, be escorted to the TSA bag check who ascertain the weapon is unloaded, without ammunition, in a locked bag WITHOUT a TSA approved bypass lock on it. It gets checked and, assuming the state he is going to doesn’t have it’s own rules on firearms, picks it up on the carousel on arrival.

    No firearm on the plane in carry on, checked hold luggage only

    The assumption and law requires that the firearms be legally holdable/useable in both the originating and destination state.

    See Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 and 18 USC § 926A

    I’m aware of the rules and regulations — I’ve traveled with weapons myself from time to time. I’ve even had people in line behind me *gasp* as I took a pistol out of the case when asked. It’s a sketchy moment when you have to do that. Normal people take meticulous care on matters such as this, because we understand that the consequences can get us killed, or worse, sent to prison.

    I know he didn’t take the gun all the way through security. If he had done that, I would expect to be reading an obit.

    The message that “class 1 misdemeanor” sends is that “it’s really not that big a deal to get caught with a loaded gun at the TSA checkpoint.”

    I know that it won’t actually happen, but it is comforting to know that in DC and/or Virginia, a class 1 misdemeanor can bring a jail sentence up to 12 months. Guessing that one additional day is the entry level into felony territory.

    You don’t accidentally have a loaded gun in your luggage, any more than you accidentally have a pound of heroin underneath the bodies of four dead prostitutes in your trunk.

  21. avatar
    bovril June 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    In some ways I just wish he he had been transiting through NJ or NYC……the local constabulary there really have a hard time following the provisions of FOPA even though they KNOW they are obliged to and take few to no prisoners…… 8-)

    Porntache would not have enjoyed his time in detention……….then again he may have made some new friends …..

  22. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 25, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    I have added this commentary to the article:

    This article appears because I felt that my readers would want to know about the incident. There is some satisfaction seeing what I think is a successful “bad person” get his comeuppance. It is not intended as evidence that birthers are a special class of scofflaw, at least not consciously. Perhaps part of it is that vocal birthers hold themselves as upholders of the law (in particular the Constitution) and ones who resist what they perceive as the lawlessness of the Executive. The “Birthers behaving badly” series seeks to poke holes in that argument with counterexamples, but don’t expect tomorrow’s headline to be “Birther fined for littering.”

  23. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 25, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Former governor Campbell of South Carolina was detained for 4 hours in 1999 when an unloaded revolver was found in his carry-on luggage at the Grenville-Spartanburg Airport. He claimed that he had just grabbed the wrong bag and didn’t know the gun was there. He was not charged.

    James M: I know that it won’t actually happen, but it is comforting to know that in DC and/or Virginia, a class 1 misdemeanor can bring a jail sentence up to 12 months. Guessing that one additional day is the entry level into felony territory.

  24. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    The exchange rate for the dollar is pretty good right now. When I was there last year the mink coat we saw that cost $1.7 million is only $1.4 million today.

    Arthur: The appear to admire Vladimir Putin a great deal; let them make a new home in Russia.

  25. avatar
    Joe Acerbic June 25, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    I hope Farah gets treated in this situation the same as any other Arab would.

  26. avatar
    Rickey June 25, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Farah advises his readers to buy guns – “more than you think you need.” And gold, of course.

    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/profiles/joseph-francis-farah

  27. avatar
    Sef June 25, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    The exchange rate for the dollar is pretty good right now. When I was there last year the mink coat we saw that cost $1.7 million is only $1.4 million today.

    Cheap at half the price.

  28. avatar
    roadburner June 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    Arthur: The appear to admire Vladimir Putin a great deal; let them make a new home in Russia.

    considering we´re getting to the point of seeing more photos of putin with his shirt off than we have of iggy pop, and given the homoerotic tone of the comments in a lot of birther websites, it really doesn´t surprise me.

  29. avatar
    jdkinpa June 25, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Lupin:

    Let’s face it: they hate what America is becoming or has become, and their dream of a cozy little white anglosaxon male protestant straight utopia (if it ever existed) is less and less likely to ever exist again.

    I received this forwarded e-mail from a a cozy little white anglosaxon male protestant

    —-

    Thought you would enjoy this short but very powerful comment by a USMC Vet.
    Time is like a river.
    You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again.
    Written by a USMC Vet. (I can’t argue with any of it. Passing it along as it was received.)
    He wrote: The American Dream ended (on November 6th) in Ohio . The second term of Barack Obama will be the final nail in the coffin for the legacy of the white Christian males who discovered, explored, pioneered, settled and developed the greatest Republic in the history of mankind.
    A coalition of Blacks, Latinos, Feminists, Gays, Government Workers, Union Members, Environmental Extremists, The Media, Hollywood, uninformed young people, the “forever needy,” the chronically unemployed, illegal aliens and other “fellow travelers” have ended Norman Rockwell’s America. The Cocker Spaniel is off the front porch. The Pit Bull is in the back yard. The American Constitution has been replaced with Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” and Chicago shyster, David Axelrod, along with international Socialist George Soros will be pulling the strings on their beige puppet to bring us Act 2 of the New World Order.
    Our side ran two candidates who couldn’t even win their own home states, and the circus fatso Chris Christie who helped Obama over the top with a glowing “post Sandy” tribute that elevated the “Commander-in-Chief” to Mother Teresa status. (Aside: with the way the polls were run, he didn’t need any help!) People like me are completely politically irrelevant, and I will never again comment on or concern myself with the aforementioned coalition which has surrendered our culture, our heritage and our traditions without a shot being fired. You will never again out-vote these people.
    It will take individual acts of defiance and massive displays of civil disobedience to get back the rights we have allowed them to take away. It will take Zealots, not moderates or coy “reach-across-the-aisle” RINOs to right this ship and restore our beloved country to its former status.
    Those who come after us will have to risk their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to bring back the Republic that this generation has timidly frittered away due to “white guilt” and political correctness.
    An American Veteran………………….. Semper-Fi
    Got the guts to pass it on?

    The guy who forwarded this BS fits the profile in every respect except; he’s an obese Harley ridn, TEA party lovn, O bummer hatn , on SSI, ‘murican

  30. avatar
    Bonsall Obot June 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    Guns killed over 30,000 people in America last year.

    The Pornstache had a gun.

    The Pornstache killed 30,000 people last year.

    Birfer logic is a helluva thing.

  31. avatar
    bgansel9 June 25, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

    Perhaps part of it is that vocal birthers hold themselves as upholders of the law (in particular the Constitution)

    You nailed it. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

  32. avatar
    Arthur June 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    The self-proclaimed vet wrote, “Our side ran two candidates who couldn’t even win their own home states.” You see this sentiment a lot from birthers. The implication is that party elites or some shadowy “they” picked the Republican candidate for president, when in fact, Republican primary voters (i.e., the most conservative of voters) picked McCain and Romney. Mr. vet should have written, “Republican primary voters picked candidates for president who, because of their extreme views, were rejected by a majority of American citizens in the general election.”

  33. avatar
    Arthur June 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    roadburner: iggy pop,

    Have you seen Iggy shirtless lately? Not a pretty sight.

  34. avatar
    bgansel9 June 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    James M: You don’t accidentally have a loaded gun in your luggage, any more than you accidentally have a pound of heroin underneath the bodies of four dead prostitutes in your trunk.

    Good point! Well, unless the loaded gun has become like an appendage that is forgotten while operating on auto-pilot.

  35. avatar
    Arthur June 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: When I was there last year the mink coat we saw that cost $1.7 million is only $1.4 million today.

    Should have bought two.

  36. avatar
    JPotter June 25, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Sooo….the Lone Wolf has finally be revealed, and it’s …. Joe Farah!

    Didn’t see that coming.

    Did anyone have Mustachio Joe in the “Who’s Gonna be the Birfer Lone Wolf?” pool?

  37. avatar
    Crustacean June 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    Bonsall Obot:
    Guns killed over 30,000 people in America last year.
    The Pornstache had a gun.
    The Pornstache killed 30,000 people last year.
    Birfer logic is a helluva thing.

    Hey, that looks like fun! Can I try?

    I see that BR regular Scott is taking flying lessons.
    Scott is not a fan of the IRS
    Joseph Stack was not a fan of the IRS
    Joseph Stack crashed his airplane into an IRS building
    Scott is planning a terrorist attack against the federal government.

  38. avatar
    JPotter June 25, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    BETWEEN THE LINES
    A COLUMN I NEVER WANTED TO WRITE *
    Exclusive: Joseph Farah explains ‘dumb mistake’ he made at Dulles Airport

    http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/a-column-i-never-wanted-to-write/

    There, he self-reported…and tried to spin really, really hard!

    * He seems to write an awful lot of those LOL

  39. avatar
    Dave June 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    It’s not racism, it’s just that in Turkey and Mexico they don’t speak English, which is the language the Bible is written in.

    Bonsall Obot: If they want to stay in the developed world but insist on a country without universal health care for its citizens, that narrows it down to Turkey, Mexico, and these United States. And I don’t think their racism will allow them to move to either of the first two.

  40. avatar
    Sudoku June 25, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    Sorry, can’t find the Open Thread (using my phone). Has anyone heard about Boehner suing Obama over his executive orders? I got a fund raising letter saying that was happening.

  41. avatar
    JPotter June 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    Sudoku: Has anyone heard about Boehner suing Obama over his executive orders?

    Borowitz has:

    JUNE 25, 2014
    BOEHNER CALLS OBAMA’S PRACTICE OF ACCOMPLISHING THINGS UNCONSTITUTIONAL
    POSTED BY ANDY BOROWITZ

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2014/06/boehner-calls-obama-practice-of-accomplishing-things-unconstitutional.html

  42. avatar
    Dave June 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    That is classic Farah: “I get death threats against me. Let me tell you about that.” And then he tells us nothing about that. Instead, he tells us about the nutcase who shot a guard at the Family Research Council office. Farah of course has nothing to do with the Family Research Council.

    JPotter:
    BETWEEN THE LINES
    A COLUMN I NEVER WANTED TO WRITE *
    Exclusive: Joseph Farah explains ‘dumb mistake’ he made at Dulles Airport

  43. avatar
    Dave June 25, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    I believe Boehner has stated that sometime in July he will introduce a resolution authorizing the House Legal Advisory Group to file a lawsuit over executive overreach. Boehner will not give any specific examples that even might be in that lawsuit. So: no lawsuit filed, no specifics on what will be in the lawsuit, and no urgency getting authorization to proceed. Sounds like fundraising to me.

    Sudoku:
    Sorry, can’t find the Open Thread (using my phone).Has anyone heard about Boehner suing Obama over his executive orders? I got a fund raising letter saying that was happening.

  44. avatar
    roadburner June 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    jdkinpa:

    The guy who forwarded this BS fits the profile in every respect except; he’s an obese Harley ridn, TEA party lovn, O bummer hatn , on SSI, ‘murican

    look on the bright side, you only have to deal with harley riders occasionally.

    i have to deal with them regually because i have to fix the bloody things!

  45. avatar
    JPotter June 25, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    Dave: Instead, he tells us about the nutcase who shot a guard at the Family Research Council office.

    He was desperately searching for an example of a contemporary leftwing shooter …. and that’s all he came up with apparently.

    I didn’t read the article closely, but it seems pretty stupid. Is Farah implying he was on his way to engaging in a random bit of ultraviolence until that damn TSA got in the way???

  46. avatar
    James M June 25, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Dave:
    I believe Boehner has stated that sometime in July he will introduce a resolution authorizing the House Legal Advisory Group to file a lawsuit over executive overreach. Boehner will not give any specific examples that even might be in that lawsuit. So: no lawsuit filed, no specifics on what will be in the lawsuit, and no urgency getting authorization to proceed. Sounds like fundraising to me.

    The House General Counsel is Kerry W. Kircher, who would need no special authorization (certainly not an Act of Congress!) to file a federal lawsuit. Kircher will personally remember (because he was THERE) the Jones decision, where Justice Scalia penned for the majority an opinion asserting the Fitzgerald decision, establishing the conservative status quo that the President is entitled to absolute immunity from liability for civil damages based on his official acts.

    How does Speaker Boehner expect to get over THAT wall?

  47. avatar
    James M June 25, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Sudoku:
    Sorry, can’t find the Open Thread (using my phone).Has anyone heard about Boehner suing Obama over his executive orders? I got a fund raising letter saying that was happening.

    “That” might be “happening”, in the sense that someone, at some point, might pay the $400.00 and get a motion stamped by a clerk. It won’t go any further in the process than that. Nixon v. Fitzgerald pretty much slammed that door shut, and some of the conservatives on the bench today have themselves written opinions affirming Fitzgerald.

  48. avatar
    CarlOrcas June 25, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    James M: How does Speaker Boehner expect to get over THAT wall?

    Uh, uh…….send money…..and he’ll use it to buy one of those nifty Little Giant Ladders that they advertise on TV all the time. That’ll do the trick.

  49. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 25, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    This article has been updated.

  50. avatar
    J.D. Sue June 25, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    diskiss: If you’re carrying around a loaded .38 to the extent that you forget that it’s in your carry-on

    —-
    I would appreciate it if people who carry concealed loaded weapons would remain conscious–not forgetful–of the loaded weapon they are responsible for.

    Reminds me of Zimmerman, who also said he forgot he was carrying a loaded firearm.

    Personally, I don’t believe either of them.

  51. avatar
    Loren June 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    In his column, Farah writes “You might note who broke the story that Joseph Farah was detained at Dulles Airport Sunday for carrying a handgun – the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

    Which is, par for the course for Farah, not accurate. Because the SPLC article *itself* credits the Washington Post with first reporting Farah’s arrest, a full day earlier. All the SPLC did was confirm that the “Joseph Farah of Centreville, VA” referenced by the WaPo was the same person as “WND CEO Joseph Farah of Centreville, VA.”

  52. avatar
    Terry K. June 25, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    Note that Farah has suddenly changed his tune about the TSA in his column: “The TSA agents were very nice. They expressed concern about my making the flight. They called the Virginia police as is protocol. They took photos of the firearm and me. They gave me a summons. Then they sent me on my way.”

    If only the TSA guys knew the guy they caught with a loaded gun was the same guy who has been trashing them for years…

  53. avatar
    Dave June 25, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    Do I sense the advice of a competent defense lawyer?

    A regular WND columnist is Larry Klayman, whose legal exploits have made him the hero of wingnuts everywhere. Will he represent Farah? I seriously doubt it. Farah doesn’t want to go to jail.

    Terry K.:
    Note that Farah has suddenly changed his tune about the TSA in his column:

  54. avatar
    John Reilly June 26, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    As an NRA member and someone who has guns in his home, I can say that a gun owner who does not know where his guns are at all times is an idiot who does not deserve Second Amendment protection. They are a danger to themselves, their family and innocent strangers.

  55. avatar
    The Magic M June 26, 2014 at 3:50 am #

    Dave: Boehner will not give any specific examples that even might be in that lawsuit. So: no lawsuit filed, no specifics on what will be in the lawsuit, and no urgency getting authorization to proceed. Sounds like fundraising to me.

    Sounds like 2014 election ballyhoo to me. Seems #Benghaaaaaaazi isn’t working the way they expected…

  56. avatar
    Lupin June 26, 2014 at 4:45 am #

    Like many Yurpeans I’m always puzzled by (some) Americans’ fetishistic attitude towards guns.

    France ranks #5 in private gun ownership in the world. Right now wee have over 3 million registered firearms in private hands and God knows how many illegal ones.

    When the Nazis invaded in May 1940, it is estimated that there were 15 to 20 million firearms in CIVILIAN hands. That was like 40 firearms per 100 people.

    We sure showed them.

    Contrary to right-wing American propaganda, we lost 92,000 civilians during the first two months of the invasion and suffered 200,000 wounded on top of that.

    Other than for normal hunting, guns are a dangerous accessory, overwhelmingly useless (with statistical exceptions) in case of aggression, certainly in the case of an organized attack, and the source of innumerable unintended tragedies.

  57. avatar
    The Magic M June 26, 2014 at 6:13 am #

    Lupin: That was like 40 firearms per 100 people. We sure showed them.

    Which proves that with 10 guns per citizen, you would’ve kicked Nazi ass. *lol* At least that’s what gun nuts will tell you (totally ignoring that simply knowing how to shoot a gun won’t help you much against a trained military force with superior weaponry and armour).

    Lupin: Like many Yurpeans I’m always puzzled by (some) Americans’ fetishistic attitude towards guns.

    I’m more puzzled about how a large percentage seems to have these guns to protect “against the gubmint”. At least European gun nuts typically want to defend themselves against criminals or neighbours or criminal neighbours.

    If Americans had guns to protect against criminals, I would assume (violent) crime would be virtually non-existant, given that criminals would be getting shot by the hundreds every day. Also there seems to be a concentration of gun nuts in rural areas with little crime whatsoever whereas large city areas seem to be mostly free of them. It all adds up…

  58. avatar
    JPotter June 26, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    Lupin: Like many Yurpeans I’m always puzzled by (some) Americans’ fetishistic attitude towards guns.

    The Magic M: Also there seems to be a concentration of gun nuts in rural areas with little crime whatsoever whereas large city areas seem to be mostly free of them. It all adds up…

    Wingnuttery is built on fantasies, paranoid fantasies, not on realism and practicality.

  59. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 26, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    My esteemed Senator Graham has his assault weapons to fight off the food rioters.

    The Magic M: I’m more puzzled about how a large percentage seems to have these guns to protect “against the gubmint”. At least European gun nuts typically want to defend themselves against criminals or neighbours or criminal neighbours.

  60. avatar
    John Reilly June 26, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    Lupin: Like many Yurpeans I’m always puzzled by (some) Americans’ fetishistic attitude towards guns.

    Yes, but this is my fetish.

  61. avatar
    Lupin June 26, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    John Reilly: Yes, but this is my fetish.

    Quite right. Our fetishes tend to involve women’s underwear and cross dressing.

  62. avatar
    Arthur June 26, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Lupin: Like many Yurpeans I’m always puzzled by (some) Americans’ fetishistic attitude towards guns.

    Not really interested in guns, but I’ll admit to an unnatural attraction to touring bicycles, vintage guitars, and camping equipment.

  63. avatar
    Arthur June 26, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: My esteemed Senator Graham has his assault weapons to fight off the food rioters.

    I’ve been stuck in the middle of two natural disasters; the worst was a January ice storm in northern New York that left hundreds of thousands of people without power or heat, businesses shuttered, travel impossible. The things that allowed people to survive had nothing to do with hording or firearms; rather, relationships among neighbors, the generosity of strangers, and a desire to help one another saved the day. I learned that if you want to survive a future catastrophe, the best things to do would be to sell any guns you own and use the proceeds to fund some block parties with your neighbors. Empathy, generosity, kindness and basic human relationships will get you lot farther than Colt, Smith and Wesson, or Glock.

  64. avatar
    Lupin June 26, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Arthur: I’ve been stuck in the middle of two natural disasters; the worst was a January ice storm in northern New York that left hundreds of thousands of people without power or heat, businesses shuttered, travel impossible. The things that allowed people to survive had nothing to do with hording or firearms; rather, relationships among neighbors, the generosity of strangers, and a desire to help one another saved the day. I learned that if you want to survive a future catastrophe, the best things to do would be to sell any guns you own and use the proceeds to fund some block parties with your neighbors. Empathy, generosity, kindness and basic human relationships will get you lot farther than Colt, Smith and Wesson, or Glock.

    I couldn’t agree more. That’s how the Russians survived the difficult dismemberment of the Soviet Union: communism had taught them the value of informal networks of friends, good neighbors, mutual favors and the likes.

    Despite the Ayn Rand-type selfishness preached by some on the right, Americans have always come together beautifully when facing catastrophes. NOLA / KATRINA may have been the single exception that shocked the world, and which I still find utterly unbelievable.

  65. avatar
    Crustacean June 26, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

    John Reilly: Yes, but this is my fetish.

    Not a gun owner myself, John, but I think I get it.

    As a kid growing up in the desert, guns – and dirt bikes – were how we had fun. It wasn’t about defending ourselves from the government or home invaders. I think it was really just a fascination with well-made, powerful, precision machinery. Firing my buddy’s grandpa’s .30-06 (that he had used in the Great War) and blasting gallon milk jugs from a couple hundred yards was even more of a rush than cranking the throttle on a YZ400.

  66. avatar
    Dave June 26, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Wonkette has a post about Farah’s TSA incident. Like always they focus on making jokes about the whole thing, but their post contains a speculation I can’t quite shake off: that Farah did this intentionally in the expectation that the TSA would not notice the gun, so he could use this in yet another TSA-bashing column.

  67. avatar
    Thomas Brown June 27, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    John Reilly:
    As an NRA member and someone who has guns in his home, I can say that a gun owner who does not know where his guns are at all times is an idiot who does not deserve Second Amendment protection.They are a danger to themselves, their family and innocent strangers.

    I dropped my membership when they drifted from gun safety and appreciation to publishing articles about how Liberal Democrats were planning to take away everybody’s guns. Not seeing how I could be behind taking guns away from myself, I concluded they were insane.

  68. avatar
    y_p_w June 28, 2014 at 2:49 am #

    James M:
    Carrying a loaded gun through airport security is only a misdemeanor?
    How is this not a “life without parole” type of offense?

    That’s what it is. I believe it’s the case in most states. Virginia law actually makes it a crime to have a firearm in any part of an airport terminal (not just through security or past the secured areas) unless it’s properly presented for check-in.

    https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+18.2-11

    ß 18.2-287.01. Carrying weapon in air carrier airport terminal.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or transport into any air carrier airport terminal in the Commonwealth any (i) gun or other weapon designed or intended to propel a missile or projectile of any kind, (ii) frame, receiver, muffler, silencer, missile, projectile or ammunition designed for use with a dangerous weapon, and (iii) any other dangerous weapon, including explosives, stun weapons as defined in ß 18.2-308.1, and those weapons specified in subsection A of ß 18.2-308. Any such weapon shall be subject to seizure by a law-enforcement officer. A violation of this section is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any weapon possessed or transported in violation of this section shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth and disposed of as provided in ß 19.2-386.28.

    The provisions of this section shall not apply to any police officer, sheriff, law-enforcement agent or official, or conservation police officer, or conservator of the peace employed by the air carrier airport, nor shall the provisions of this section apply to any passenger of an airline who, to the extent otherwise permitted by law, transports a lawful firearm, weapon, or ammunition into or out of an air carrier airport terminal for the sole purposes, respectively, of (i) presenting such firearm, weapon, or ammunition to U.S. Customs agents in advance of an international flight, in order to comply with federal law, (ii) checking such firearm, weapon, or ammunition with his luggage, or (iii) retrieving such firearm, weapon, or ammunition from the baggage claim area.

    Any other statute, rule, regulation, or ordinance specifically addressing the possession or transportation of weapons in any airport in the Commonwealth shall be invalid, and this section shall control.

    And a Class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious with the maximum possible jail time for a misdemeanor.

    However, it is a federal crime to carry a firearm through airport security without authority to do so.

  69. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy July 6, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Until now I was not aware of just how many guns are found by the TSA in luggage. About 1,800 guns were found in carry on luggage in 2013. Most were loaded. 499 were chambered.

    Source:

    http://nationalsecurityzone.org/site/tsa-carry-on-gun-confiscation-data/