Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

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.


  1. James Fannin says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

        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.

    • 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.

  2. 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?

  3. Noway says:

    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 says:

      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.

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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…….”

  5. saltycracker says:

    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.

  6. Nonchalant says:

    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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