The Economist reports that gun seizures at TSA checkpoints have risen dramatically:
TSA agents discovered 68 firearms in travellers’ carry-on bags. That is the most the agency has ever found in a week. Of them, 61 were loaded, and 25 had a round in the chamber, ready to fire.
The record probably won’t stand for long. The prior high-water mark for intercepted guns was set a month earlier, when TSA agents found 67 firearms. As the Washington Post points out, it’s all part of a steady upward trend that stretches back at least a decade. In 2005, for every 1,000 air travellers, TSA agents discovered an average of less than one gun. In 2015, through the summer, the figure is more than three.
And of course that is just what TSA is catching. In a recent test, agents posing as passengers were able to sneak fake weapons and bombs through airport security 96% of the time. If the TSA agents were as sloppy last week as that exercise suggested, then there weren’t just 68 firearms packed into carry-on bags; there were more like 1,700.
Why are there so many more guns at TSA checkpoints? Possibly because there are so many more guns:
Gun production has more than doubled since President Obama took office, as gun advocates who fear that the president might crack down on the sale of firearms rush out to buy them, either in protest or in fear of future restrictions. But Mr Obama has not been able to persuade Congress to enact new gun-control measures, and so sales have continued to climb unimpeded.
I love living in a 19th-century country, don't you?