Trying to bring a gun onto a plane seems crazy.
And yet, it happens with startling frequency, about five times a day according to new stats on the Transportation Security Administration's blog.
In 2013, the TSA discovered 1,813 firearms at their checkpoints. Eighty-one percent were loaded. That's up from 1,556 confiscations in 2012.
Here are just a few of the stories:
A loaded .380 pistol with eight rounds was discovered on the lower left leg of a passenger at Bradley Hartford (BDL) after the weapon alarmed the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT).
A loaded .45 caliber pistol with six rounds and one chambered was discovered strapped to the ankle of a Pittsburgh (PIT) passenger during a pat-down after he had opted out of AIT.
A .25 caliber firearm loaded with 10 rounds was discovered hidden under the lining of a carry-on bag at Cedar Rapids (CID).
A passenger at Salt Lake City (SLC) received a pat-down after an anomaly was detected during advanced imaging technology screening. During the pat-down, officers discovered a fully loaded .22 caliber firearm inside his boot.Using imaging technology, a .380 pistol loaded with seven rounds and one chambered was discovered in the pocket of a passenger at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW).
In one single year, 111 people in Atlanta tried to get on a plane with a gun.
What I can't figure out is who puts a .38 in his pocket and tries to walk through a TSA checkpoint? How can this be worth the risk of detection? Is it so routine to carry a gun that it can be forgotten in a pocket, like a phone or loose change?
I'm left thinking that either the technology is very effective and catches almost everyone who is dumb enough to try to board a plane with a gun. Or it's really terrible and many people bring guns on planes all the time, and therefore the people packing don't consider it a great risk.
Let's just hope theory one is correct.