I’m going to take his word for what happened — I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt, unlike many people on some of the websites I read. The story was apparently first reported on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) “Hatewatch” blog: “Birther Leader Joseph Farah Caught with Loaded Gun at Dulles TSA Checkpoint, Faces Weapon Charge.”
Several hours later in the day, today (June 24), Farah himself wrote a piece for his WND website entitled, “A Column I Never Wanted to Write.”
And I believe him. However, being in the position he is in, as a very public person, a person who has scorned TSA, and a person who knows that something like this would be immense fodder for his enemies (proposed headlines by commenters on some blogs I read included, “BREAKING: TSA Stops Right-Wing Extremist from Bringing Gun Onto Plane”), he should be extra-extra-extra-careful.
And in his blog, he admits he royally effed up:
I did something stupid Sunday morning, resulting in being charged with a crime for the first time in my adult life.
There is no excuse for my mistake. …
What I did was dumber than dumb.
And if he had stopped there, I would have been happy. Unfortunately, those first two paragraphs represent the start of the column, and the last one is taken from the middle of the last paragraph of his column. The entire rest of the column is dedicated to him looking for sympathy by playing the conspiracy-to-kill him angle. And I don’t not think he’s received death threats. Just like any other high-profile political writer. And I acknowledge his second Amendment right to have a gun, and abide by the laws of the states where he has permits to carry it.
But he had a loaded handgun in a bag, forgot about it, and put it through airport security.
And the highest-ranked comments on his column – right now there are 165 comments – blames other people and not him. The highest-rated is by “John Cherish” saying that the SPLC is a “carpetbagger institution.”
The second-highest is by “Incredulous_one” who wrote, “Is breaking an unconstitutional law really a crime?” Apparently thinking that restrictions on guns – like none in airports – is unconstitutional and therefore no one has to follow it. I’d like to see what “Incredulous_one” would write if it was a random person of Islamic faith who accidentally brought a loaded handgun through airport security.
The fifth-highest is by “smoki67” who points out that a handgun in a bag is useless because you can’t find it in time to do anything. Gotta have it on your person!
Sigh. Anyway, Farah was briefly detained, photographed, and issued a summons to appear. I doubt this story will get much play beyond this, but I’ll update if it does.