About 2,200 guns were seized at TSA airport checkpoints last year, a 20 percent rise from the year before, and 230 percent more than 2005. And according to the New York Times, “a vast majority of the weapons were loaded and had bullets in the chamber.”
While defense attorneys and law enforcement officials said a vast majority of weapons cases at airports were honest mistakes, advocates of stricter gun laws said the number of incidents was alarming. “People say, ‘I’m so responsible with my gun,’ and here they are forgetting they have them in an airport where there are so many people and kids running around,” said Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney for the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco.
The case of a toddler fatally shooting his mother after fishing a gun out of her purse in an Idaho Walmart in December shows how easily tragedies can occur.
We need to start treating gun violations the way we treat DUIs. Even a minor violation should result in a suspended license; repeat violations should result the permanent suspension of one’s right to own and carry a gun. These aren’t tragic accidents. Most “accidental” shootings are the result of criminal negligence by people who simply can’t be trusted to responsibly own a gun.