The 2,700 Club

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Point #1

There’s plenty of data showing that moments of anger can escalate to crimes of passion and somebody’s death occurs far more easily when there is a gun present. That’s exactly what happened in the Northlake Mall in Charlotte, NC last month, when two people got into an argument and at least one of them had a gun.

The same principle is true of suicide, which is a specialized form of homicide. It’s a lot easier to pull a trigger than to jab a knife into one’s chest or slit one’s wrist. Just the daunting task of slicing into your body or imagining a wrenching death from poisoning is enough to prevent many people from ending their lives and they are later grateful there wasn’t a gun within reach.

Point #2

The TSA recently announced that almost 2,700 handguns were confiscated from carry-on luggage at U.S. airports last year. That number is up 20% from 2014, perhaps suggesting that we were 20% more stupid in 2015 than in 2014. That may be an incorrect analysis, but let’s consider who would try to get a gun past security at an airport.

Idiot #1 – An ISIL operative bent on taking down an airliner and killing people on the ground in a seventh century leap for martyrdom.

Idiot #2 – A true-blue American with absolute faith and belief in the Second Amendment and who is standing up for his right to do stupid things. His back is straight, eyes alert and ahead, proud to be a pistol packing cowboy believing himself to be a direct inheritor of the intent of the Founders, as he passes through the body scanner without his boots.

Idiot #3 – “Oh, yeah. I forgot it was in there.” I had a discussion recently with a TSA agent at O’Hare, who told me that’s what they commonly hear when they find some fool’s gun in his luggage. They forgot they had a loaded Smith & Wesson in their suitcase? Forgot?!!! Actually, it doesn’t matter if they forgot. Trying to get a gun past security is a crime and each of the 2,700 were quickly given an opportunity to meet new and – let’s say, interesting – people at the local slammer.


Every one of these idiots is a form of terrorist, regardless of his hijacking intent. That includes the one who is the NRA’s “good guy with a gun” and who thinks he’s going to gun down bad guys on an airplane. In reality, that scenario is the Northlake Mall shooting all over again. It’s the crime of passion or the depression-driven attempt at suicide that turns into someone being murdered solely because there was a gun handy.

2,700 fools with guns is a terrible statistic, because one of those guys who didn’t get caught could have been on your flight with his  loaded 9mm. Next time you go through screening at the airport, instead of being annoyed by the delay, thank the TSA folks for doing a great job to protect you.


Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.

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One Response to The 2,700 Club
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    Consideration of this particular idiocy makes one (me) question the “right to bear arms”.

    Given that the governing documents for the United States were written roughly 240 years ago;

    Given that, at the time they were written, U. S. “citizens” — new immigrants or those who had been thrown out of their previous country for real or imagined reasons — were concerned about being eaten by wild animals or killed by Native Americans.

    Given that the “United States” consisted of a minuscule fraction of what it is today and that people lived on the edge of the wilderness no matter what area they lived in.

    Given that the weapons that were available at the time were pretty inaccurate, had very limited range, and were single shot/slow reloading weapons. Heck, a bow and arrows in the hands of someone who knew how to use them were better means protecting one’s self.

    Given that TIMES HAVE CHANGED. The need to protect against roving wild animals and hostile locals who had their own grievances with the newcomers.

    Given that the weapons of today have multiple sealed bullets, rifling even in hand guns to make them very accurate (even in the hands of an amateur) and that the improved bullets and weapons give them enormous range. FOR WHAT???

    A missed shot could go through (and has) walls and cars and/or travel thousands of feet toward unintended targets. Babies, young children adolescents, teenagers and adults have been killed or permanently injured even when they weren’t the targets! The hospitalization cost tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses (and lost income from work).

    ENOUGH! CHANGE THE LAW regarding gun ownership … owning a gun should not be a right, it should be ILLEGAL! Make gun ownership something that an individual must PROVE a NEED for. Make the penalties for gun ownership so horrendous that no one will want to chance being caught with a gun. Human life is a terrible thing to waste.