When expensive stuff that doesn’t work trumps cost-effective stuff that does, we often smell “big government” meddling. Such appears to be the case with the $1 billion/year Federal Air Marshal program, which puts marshals on a relatively few select flights at a cost of $3,300 per. Ouch.
Don’t misunderstand: The program is probably an essential element in post-9/11 “risk-based” defenses against hijacking. The problem arises with another tier of the defense that TSA appears desperate to scrap—armed pilots. At a cost of $17—almost 200 times less—it would seem a logical and economical choice. And it has the potential to cover vastly more flights.
But TSA leadership doesn’t like the program for myriad reasons, at least one of which appears to be craven self-interest at the top: Only by growing TSA headcount and budget do TSA big-wigs make more money themselves, so arming non-employee pilots has little appeal.
Man Shoots Chainsaw-Wielding Assailant
A homeowner in San Antonio, Texas, caught two men allegedly stealing a chainsaw and nail gun from his property, so he went to confront them. It should have been simple enough—except that one of the intruders took the chainsaw and swung it at its rightful owner. The man fired his gun in response, causing the men to run to their car and drive away.
Police later found that car parked in an alley with the chainsaw-wielding intruder dead inside. They have said it is possible that his accomplice was also shot and are investigating area hospitals.
Florida To Stop Taxing Gun Club Memberships
A $400 million tax cut package sent to Florida Gov. Rick Scott by the state legislature includes approximately $1 million that will not be coming out of the pockets of gun owners, as the state will not tax revenues from sales of gun-club memberships. It all sounds quite generous—except for the fact that they never should have been doing it in the first place.
Florida law states that all regulation (understood to include taxes) of firearms and ammunition are the purview of the legislature, except where explicitly stated otherwise by state constitution or law. There is no law allowing for the Department of Revenue to tax firearm-related purchases, so this revenue should not have been collected. We are relieved that the state has definitively—if belatedly—ceased to tax citizens for exercising their Second Amendment rights.
Mississippi Gun Turn-In Halted By State Law
A gun turn-in program offering “gas for guns” with “no questions asked” that was planned for last Saturday in Jackson, Mississippi, was halted last week when event organizers were advised that it violated state law.
That law, passed in 2014 with the support of the NRA, ended publicly funded firearms destruction programs; prohibited the confiscation of firearms during a declared emergency; stopped public housing authorities from disarming residents; and clarified that local governments have no authority to regulate the possession of firearms.
So-called “gun turn-in” programs have proven to be a waste of taxpayers’ money, anyway, since criminals don’t turn in their guns, and the guns that are turned in are usually old, broken or worth less than the value of the “reward” offered. As the National Academy of Sciences reported, “the theory underlying gun buy-back programs is badly flawed, and the empirical evidence demonstrates the ineffectiveness of these programs.”
Sunday Hunting Legislation Introduced In Pennsylvania
Hunters in the Keystone State may soon be able to spend more of their weekends afield. At a press conference Tuesday at the state capitol, legislation was introduced to expand Sunday hunting opportunities and give the state Game Commission the authority to regulate Sunday hunting as it does the rest of the week.
Currently only two groups enjoy Sunday hunting privileges in Pennsylvania: varmint hunters and those who own large parcels of land. Because studies show that most hunters who stop do so because of lack of time, proponents hope that the increased opportunities will increase hunter retention and help attract new hunters. They also point to potential economic gains: According to NSSF research, allowing Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania would generate an estimated total annual economic impact of $764 million and create over 8,000 jobs.
We hope that legislators will look at the benefits other states enjoy from Sunday hunting and vote accordingly.
Clintons Just Can’t Quit Gun Control
Bill Clinton, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, made this statement: “You can’t have a bunch of people walking around with guns. … You get enough people with weapons around, and there will be unintended consequences. People make mistakes. People do wrong. Things happen.”
We get it, Bill. You don’t like guns. Your wife doesn’t like guns. Neither of you want anyone owning guns. In fact, the only acceptable place for a gun is in the hands of your security detail. Ironic, really. Even more ironic is that you once pledged—and your wife hopes to do the same—to protect our firearm freedoms. You remember:
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
America, wasn’t one lying Clinton enough? Vote freedom in 2016.