Tuesday, January 29, 2002

People I just don't understand: El Al passenger flies with gun to New York

I mean, it makes perfect sense to me that a passenger would fly with a gun. I think it would make the airlines safer if everyone would fly armed. Of course, that argument has been hashed back and forth on many web sites, so I won't go into it here.

What amazes me is this part of the story: "When he arrived at the hotel he started to sweat when he found his personal handgun in his luggage," the spokesman said. "He went right away to the consulate."

OK, so this guy got from Israel to the US with a gun. Once in the US -- albeit in a hoplophobic part of the US -- he realized he had the gun. So he contacts the Israeli government for help? Why? While in the US, he's not subject to Israeli law. He hadn't been charged with any crime in the US for which he'd need help in finding a lawyer. He was safely away from the mindless airport security goons who would have confiscated his gun if they'd known he had it. Why involve the government in this?

Of course, he might have wanted advice as to how to get the gun back home. Even then, however, an American would likely think that he would be better off contacting the airline, and asking about how best to pack the gun for a return journey home. As an American, it's hard for me to seriously consider asking the government for help when I don't absolutely have to.

On the other hand, the Israeli government hasn't immolated a nonviolent church group of citizens on suspicion of having guns. I suppose that's the difference.

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