When A Gun At an Airport Indicates Forgetfulness

While traveling to California and back, I was certainly glad that, for whatever reason, the TSA did not ask my family to undergo the scary full body screening. I was apprehensive about being asked to choose to do either that or go through a rather unpleasant pat down that some people have characterized as feeling like being molested. I have always wondered how efficient the TSA really is at actually catching people who are up to no good, and when I found out about a gentleman who somehow made it past the TSA and flew without either a valid ticket or a passport, I really had to wonder. It therefore made me raise an eyebrow when I read about the case of Tam Nguyen, who was imprisoned because he brought a handgun to the airport — albeit not intentionally.

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Shame in One in Thirty-One

We hit a new low in the national shame of the United States this week. One in every 31 American citizens is doing time or is on parole.  The incarceration rate doubled in 25 years.

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The Incarcerating Gun

When a gun is held up in contempt for the rule of law, the result is everyone in the reach of the bullet is incarcerated.  Bullets instead of minds set international policy:

One of the great weaknesses in the modern Middle East explaining much of the chronic violence and political thuggery of the past half-century is that the rule of the gun is stronger than the rule of law. Three separate developments now taking place in different parts of the Arab world might have real consequences for the region’s future: the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment against the Sudanese president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir; the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) approved this week by the Iraqi Parliament, under which the United States must withdraw its forces by the end of 2011; and the mixed Lebanese-international tribunal that will try those accused of killing former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and other public figures.

If we ever hope to become more than our weakest impulses, we will have to overcome our preference for violence and our need for a bloody end.