Lib­erty and se­cu­rity

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Suf­fice it to say, Rep. Sheila Jack­son-Lee, Texas Demo­crat, is no fan of guns. In 2003, the Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion (NRA) took one look at her pro-gun-con­trol vot­ing record and gave her a rat­ing of F.

That said, the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity (DHS) was alerted to a re­cent air­port-se­cu­rity in­ci­dent in­volv­ing Mrs. Jack­sonLee, who serves on the Home­land Se­cu­rity sub­com­mit­tee on intelligence, in­for­ma­tion shar­ing and ter­ror­ism risk as­sess­ment.

The con­gress­woman was go­ing through se­cu­rity at Ge­orge Bush In­tercon­ti­nen­tal Air­port in Hous­ton when the alarm sounded not once, but twice. How­ever, when she was placed in a queue for fol­low-up screen­ing, Mrs. Jack­sonLee “com­plained” about the process, ac­cord­ing to the DHS.

When she in­sisted on re­triev­ing her per­sonal carry-on items, a Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion (TSA) of­fi­cer in­formed her that she would first have to be re­screened, at which point the law­maker con­tin­ued to com­plain.

Now, one group is ac­tu­ally com­ing to the con­gress­woman’s de­fense. Or is it?

“I can­not com­mend you enough for crit­i­ciz­ing the hu­mil­i­at­ing and de­grad­ing treat­ment that trav­el­ers must en­dure un­der­go­ing se­cu­rity screen­ing,” Michael L. Bane, founder of the Armed Pas­sen­gers Project, writes in a two-page let­ter to Mrs. Jack­son-Lee.

“How­ever, one very valid ques­tion has been over­looked through­out the years of di­a­logue since Septem­ber 11th. That ques­tion is whether the vic­tims of Flight 93 — in­deed, the vic­tims of all the doomed flights — could have saved them­selves as well as the lives of oth­ers if they had been al­lowed by law to carry weapons on­board,” he says.

“If they had been per­mit­ted to do so, they would have had, lit­er­ally, a fight­ing chance to stop the hi­jack­ers and at least min­i­mize the dam­age done on that fate­ful day.”

Mr. Bane’s project (www.armed­pas­sen­gers.org) ad­vo­cates restor­ing the ba­sic hu­man right of self­de­fense on planes, trains, buses and shops. He re­minds Mrs. Jack­son-Lee of what Ben Franklin said: “Those who would sac­ri­fice lib­erty for se­cu­rity de­serve nei­ther.”

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