Bias Much?

Open Secrets is usually pretty good about sticking to its mission, but they seem to be misrepresenting what the Amtrak bill is going to do.  Bitter takes them to task in the comments, but they seem to be standing by it:

Rather, the author clearly states that, 1.) The measure would force Amtrak to institute yet-to-be-crafted security measures and infrastructure to handle firearms, and 2.) Wednesday’s vote is but one step in a process toward the measure becoming law, and the matter likely won’t be resolved until it is resolved in the House of Representatives.

What yet to be crafted security measures?  The amendment doesn’t call for any security measures. Let me outline it for Mr. Levinthal, exactly how this transaction would proceed:

Gun Owner: Hi, I have a firearm to declare.
Amtrak: OK, could you please fill out this declaration attesting to the gun being unloaded, and the ammunition stored in appropriate containers, and sign it please?
Gun Owner: OK, here you go.
Amtrak: Go ahead and stick it on the train.
Gun Onwer: Thank you.

See how easy that was?  You’d think from this Amtrak had never taken guns on board prior to September 11th.  The bill does not mandate any extra security.  The burden is entirely on the person transporting the gun to comply with the transportation requirements, the same way it is on the airlines.  But let’s not let facts get in the way of the hysteria.

8 thoughts on “Bias Much?”

  1. Now let’s be fair. Having firearms stolen from baggage would raise the profile and stakes for Amtrak not providing good baggage security. Therefore, they will have to develop new security procedures but those procedures will benefit all passengers.

  2. Except prior to September 11th, they took firearms as checked luggage. I don’t see how they have to add any extra baggage security beyond what they already do.

  3. I was in Chicago’s Union Station last Saturday and can attest that Amtrack does indeed have check-in clerks and counters for luggage just like the airlines.

  4. Amtrak has no metal detectors or anything. I always assumed it was no more illegal to carry on the train than on a municipal bus.

    Is it actually illegal to carry on Amtrak?

  5. Holy crap, it is. What the hell is wrong with them? Are they worried that someone is going to hijack a train and drive it into a building? It’s attached to fucking tracks.

    The worst they could do is wreck the train, but terrorists can already do that by sabotaging the tracks.

  6. Jim: Amtrak used to have no regs concerning firearms. Railroad people really did not like having John Law harassing the passengers … as far as they were concerned, the rails were private property, and ccw in a railcar was not a problem unless an idiot passenger made it a problem for the conductor.

    If some form of tomfoolery with a firearm irritated the conductor, they would simply kick your ass off the train.

    The current regs were required by congress after the Spainish train bombings. Generally, the folks running the trains tended to ignore them as they were useless.

  7. Interesting that they now admit they have no idea what any security measures would look like, and the long lines and shoes comment were pure speculation. Gee, no bias and making up bullshit there, is there?

  8. In the AP news blurb that was on (now only at: they quoted, “Americans should not have their Second Amendment rights restricted for any reason, particularly if they choose to travel on America’s federally subsidized rail line,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who made the proposal. And quoted Durbin about trouble & expense. My reply was:
    I guess Sen Wicker doesn’t really mean that quote. Otherwise the answer to Sen’s Durbin & Murray’s criticism would be simple – don’t require the arms of private citizens to be locked in luggage. Whether weapons are locked in luggage or carried on the person, protecting against Madrid type bombings has nothing to do with the peaceable carrying of arms for defense. The 2004 Madrid train bombings didn’t have anything to do with guns & did have a lot to do with a commercial explosives, amongst the luggage even. Allowing a person to make their own choice to protect themselves against assault, robbery, rape or murder does not in any way hamper the government’s ability to protect the citizens of this country against terrorist bombings.
    Can BND change the poll choices to:
    Yes (I understand responsibility & inalienable rights.)
    No (I support keeping people defenseless & totalitarian governments.)
    Who knows? (My education didn�t include all 10 of the Bill of Rights & their origins.)

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