Saturday, December 04, 2010

Guns on a train!

I cannot believe the hysterical mouth noises being made by the pro-Victim Disarmament crowd about the whole firearms-on-Amtrak thing.

I mean dig this ABC headline:

The article goes on to use the phrase "carrying guns on trains", even though the regulations specifically forbid, you know, "carrying guns on trains", and are actually stricter than the ones that apply to flying with firearms. Having just flown with guns in my luggage, I can assure you that the only person who "carried guns" on that plane was the ramp rat at the top of the luggage conveyor belt.

As an added special bonus, a lawyer sucking at the teat of all that sweet Joyce Foundation cash working for the Brady Center to Criminalize Effective Self-Defense goes for the Big Lie:
"You don't go through metal detectors or security to get on the train. This allows anyone who can have a gun to bring it onto the train."
No, you thimble-headed gherkin, it is still just as illegal to carry the gun on the train as it was last week, when apparently the lack of metal detectors wasn't a problem for you at all. (And even if someone did bring a gun on board, what would they do? Wave it around and yell "Take this train to Havana!"?)

If at first you don't succeed, lie, lie again.


Carteach said...

Advocating abrogation of individual rights and being truthful are goals that just never seem to align.

McVee said...

But the magical scanners make us all safer!
What a sad state this country is continuing to slide down...

Anonymous said...

Tam - And even if someone did bring a gun on board, what would they do? Wave it around and yell "Take this train to Havana!"?)


These anti-gun people really seem to think that a firearm is like an angry black mamba on PCP: just ACHING to get lose and starting randomly killing people.

But, on the plus side, the fact that the anti-gunners have got to stoop to this kind of thing to gin up hysteria so that people will pay attention to them tells me that they are losing.

Does the Brady Bunch actually employ anybody these days???

Anonymous said...

To Hell with metal detectors; what we need are mental detectors. Keeps the Brady Bunch away...


Frank W. James said...

I think the partisans of France and the Eastern Front during WWII proved that the best way to hijack or damage a train was ON THE OUTSIDE, not from the inside.

If the bad guys want to do harm to a passenger train, they will blow up the tracks, not try and make it crash into the Sears Tower, but then I'm not sure the Brady Bunch or TSA for that matter are smart enough to realize that or remember the history of these things...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

staghounds said...

How many entry points to Amtrak trains are there, and what will each scanner cost?

Cui bono.

And when I scroll down an see what the captcha word s?


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...


I assume they would scan you before letting you onto the platform. Generally there are only one or two doors that go to the platforms, even in big stations like Chicago, and there is security on those doors even if they don't pat you down.

The question then becomes, how secure are the platforms from the other end, that is, from the yard side of things? But as far as ticketed passengers are concerned, it would be pretty easy to funnel everyone through a couple of checkpoints before they boarded.

I'm sure there are other vulnerable points, for instance when the train stops on a siding to let another train go by, but my (limited) experience suggests that screening ticketed passengers in the station would not be a problem.

I'd be inclined to agree with Frank James, the Amtrak security problem is not from the inside, but rather from the outside.

Alan J. said...

I think that the whole idea of banning train passengers from just taking their guns along in their luggage was idiotic. What were they thinking, that a modern day Jesse James is suddenly going to stage a robbery? Sorry, but Jesse is more likely to be holding up a gas station rather than an Amtrak. And I also have to agree with Frank James, Jihad Joe is going to derail a train or blow it up, not attack it with guns. Frankly, they should be more worried about Jihad Joe attacking shopping malls rather than trains.

DocJim505, the question should be, "Does the Brady Bunch actually employ anybody with brains these days?"

A: No, they just have Anti-Gun Zombies: "Brains, BRAINS, we need BRAINS!"

Anonymous said...

Well maybe not Havana.

Free South Moulucca!


Anonymous said...

Back in the day when I brought my cased 06 onto the plane with me and put it into the closet next to the door (yes they used to have a closet for passengers in economy-and only 5 rows across in a 727) I brought books onto the plane like Atlas Shrugged and 1984. Fiction novels? Not anymore.
Think our kids are well and truly screwed.

ASM826 said...

Right now, any criminal can carry a gun on a train. It's only the law abiding that are disarmed. Seems to be true everywhere.

markm said...

Nathan: Don't expect scanners or any real security. The Grand Rapids Amtrak station - serving Michigan's second-largest metropolitan area - is a small building, seating about 20 in the waiting area, and has at most 2 or 3 employees who show up just before the train is scheduled to pull in. You buy your tickets at an automated kiosk. Lately, they've had a clerk checking tickets versus ID's before people go out the door to the platform, but the real ticket check is after you're already aboard.

There's nothing stopping you from just walking around the building to reach the platform. There might be a railroad employee out there, but only because they can no longer trust people to stay off the tracks when the train is coming. (It can't stop like a car, folks.) Non-passengers can accompany passengers to the door of the train - and that is necessary when my wife is hauling more luggage than she can wrestle around herself. The conductor helps her with it on the train, but there's no company manpower available on the platform. I could easily get on board with no ticket and no ID check; at worst, I'd leave footprints up the chest of some old man in conductor's uniform. They'd call the police, but I'd have the hostages already - the few who didn't scramble out all the doors in all the other cars, that is...

Sure you can hold a train hostage, with a large, well-organized gang, but what is the payoff? In the Dutch incident in 1977, it took nine hijackers to hold about 50 hostages. At the same time, just four terrorists took and held an elementary school with 110 hostages. It took the Dutch authorities 20 days to make up their minds to a military solution, but once they did, the attack went off just fine. You can't keep a hijacked train in motion for long, and once stopped it's one of the world's least defensible targets.

And of course, if terrorists just want to kill lots of people, the obvious targets are schools, shopping malls, and those long lines at the TSA checkpoints. If they're really fixated on transportation, a bus would be easier to hijack, easier to maintain control in, and could be driven to a location selected for defense.