Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

January 25, 2013 13:58 pm

by Ron Daniels · 26 comments

Because the world does not revolve around Saxby:

Authorities say former Rep. Terry Coleman of Eastman was apprehended by police after a Transportation Security Administration officer spotted what appeared to be a pistol inside his briefcase. Police found a .22-caliber handgun.

WSB-TV aired video of Coleman appearing before a judge with his ankles shackled. His attorney, Bob Quinn, told the judge this was Coleman’s first arrest.

It wasn’t immediately known when Coleman was arrested at the airport. Every year, dozens of passengers are apprehended when mistakenly carrying weapons through Atlanta’s airport. TSA officials say about 100 handguns were confiscated at Atlanta’s airport in 2012.

You might remember Coleman as former Speaker of the Georgia House. Or as an erstwhile candidate for the Georgia Department of Labor. Regardless, I can’t fathom why Coleman would attempt to bring a pistol on a plane. I’ve met Mr. Coleman more times that I can count, and he’s never struck me as a villainous law-breaker.

Hopefully, this gets sorted out sooner rather than later. Maybe Coleman’s attorney should go all Rand Paul on the TSA and then Coleman can run for U.S. Senate.

Charlie January 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm

So does this make Coleman more or less likely to run for US Senate?

Ron Daniels January 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

He supports the Second Amendment so much that he is willing to be jailed.

That dog will hunt.

Mike Hassinger January 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

+1! You oughtta put that steel trap mind o’ yours to work in politics, son.

Doug Deal January 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Too bad you never put your mind to work in it, Mike. ;-)

Mike Hassinger January 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I don’t need to -I just find smart people to do that for me!

John Konop January 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm

In fairness many of us have forgotten what we have sometimes when we travel.

Spacey G January 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm

If I had a dollar for every Swiss Army knife/keychain TSA’s taken off of me I’d be as well compensated as Chip Rogers.

mountainpass January 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Why the shackles?

Doug Deal January 25, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Because we have to punish people accused of crimes just in case they are acquitted unfairly.

John Vestal January 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm

People arrested at airports are de facto flight risks.

James Fannin January 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I go through Atlanta airport several times a week and every now and then I get stopped for the water bottle or shampoo that remained in a side pocket from a previous trip. I’m sure Mr. Coleman forgot he had a weapon in the bag and a former Speaker of the Georgia House shackled like a dangerous criminal in court was just embarrassing. Did it really make sense to treat him like that? Probably so in our “zero tolerance for common sense” society.

Lea Thrace January 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm

They treat EVERYONE like that. It’s not a common sense thing. Making exceptions is what gets people into trouble. He isnt special because he used to be a legislator. He broke the law and he gets treated like others get treated when they break the law.

Noway January 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Agree with Fannin. It’s the ‘zero tolerance’ policies that make folks look like total fools. The former Speaker in leg irons? Pleezzzeeeee…..

Doug Deal January 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm

There shouldn’t have to be an exception because they simply shouldn’t do it, unless someone has shown they will run.

Punishment and shaming are supposed to come after the trial, not administered as routine practice on still innocent defendants.

David Staples January 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I’ve gone through with 20 oz bottles (full and partial) of diet coke and water before without any questions. Don’t know if the screener just didn’t care, didn’t notice, or whatever. Realized they were there when I opened my bag on the plane. I know my wife has had nail clippers or something taken away before. Personally, I’ve never had anything confiscated.

janna January 26, 2013 at 8:45 am

What about a Joe Blow that made the same mistake..would you feel the same way?

Doug Deal January 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I miss the days when felonies required criminal intent or mens rea. Soon, they won’t even require action on the part of the defendant.

mountainpass January 25, 2013 at 3:27 pm

In CA if caught they simply cite you and allow you to continue on your flight. Well they do if you are an Assemblyman:
http://www.pe.com/local-news/san-bernardino-county/san-bernardino-county-headlines-index/20120104-ontario-assemblyman-stopped-at-airport-for-gun-in-carry-on.ece

Mike Hassinger January 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

This is kind of a serious question: If they’re catching people who forget they’re carrying a gun when they go to get on a plane, what happened to all the planes with people who forgot they had guns with them before they started checking, frisking, arresting and charging people?

Noway January 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Nothing that I can remember, Mike, meaning those who actually got on the plane to find, to their surprise, their gun was still there, none went on a shooting and maiming rampage, 9/11 attackers, excluded, of course.

Doug Deal January 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

9/11 attackers didn’t have guns, they had box cutters, which they never forgot about. And thanks to the government telling people to cower in the corner and submit to whatever a hijacker demanded, that’s all they needed. They could have probably done it with a sharpened swizzle stick.

Dave Bearse January 25, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I don’t know if the large glassed display case in the Hartsfield Aiport security area that was used to display items that were prohibited in/as carryons is still there. Seeing a 24″ gas chain saw in that case was always good for a laugh.

Charlie January 26, 2013 at 12:14 am

OK, I’ll just add this nonsensical comment here.

When I travel, I never have items taken from me at Hartsfield-Jackson.

But I have many of those same items (usually 4oz toiletries) taken from me from smaller airports as I return home.

So…there’s that.

*The “holy s&%t is that Nyquil! incindent from 2009 in Newport News was especially memorable.

saltycracker January 27, 2013 at 10:18 am

My favorite was a couple of small gifts – effiel tower snow globes – carried through two European airport security systems, then on customs EXIT in Atlanta – ” Holy God, we have no idea what kind of liquid that is…….”

saltycracker January 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Ask the TSA to use common sense ? That IS crazy.
We might need to sort out some rules but for an agent, we do not want them thinking, follow the rules. Legislators are one of the worst groups to claim “it was an honest oversight” on about every bad situation.
Footnote: TSA is an $8 billion govt jobs program.

Nonchalant January 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm

A .22 caliber pistol? Leg irons? Please. What was he supposed to have been on his way to hijack–Squirrel Airlines?

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