After September 11, 2001 and subsequent terrorist attacks on trains, Amtrak took steps to make its trains safer. It said no guns allowed on trains.
But guess what?
This month, Congress dictated to Amtrak that it must allow the transport of guns on passenger trains.
Really? This is how Congress is spending its time? Passing unnecessary legislation?
The Brady Campaign was able to improve the bill. The new language requires passengers give at least 24 hours’ notice prior to checking bags containing guns. And it requires that the checked bags are secure and not accessible to other passengers.
But it is legislation that is just plain unnecessary. And it was done by Congress as a present to the extreme gun lobby.
Please support the Brady Campaign today.
We made a bad bill better. But we need to stop all bills like this — as we did this summer with the national legislation that would have forced states to allow anyone to carry loaded, hidden handguns in public.
That takes your support.
Please click here to contribute to the Brady Campaign.
Paul Helmke, President
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
P.S. We have to stop the gun lobby as it continues to push guns into every corner of our society at the expense of public safety.
The misleading and fear-mongering statements in this Brady Campaign propaganda email
The Brady Campaign begins by invoking the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a reason to deny Amtrak passengers the ability to check their unloaded guns in a locked container, which is then stowed in the baggage car. On 9/11, 19 terrorists used only box cutters to kill unarmed and defenseless flight attendants and pilots, seize passenger jets, then crash those aircraft into American buildings – not a single gun was involved. Indeed, the reason that the terrorists were able to inflict so much carnage was because they took advantage of the fact that they had a monopoly on force, while the passengers were disarmed. This is the same thing that has happened time after time when violent individuals ignore the laws against carrying a weapon and massacre the law abiding people are disarmed by that law. In fact, the only reason that the 9/11 terrorist attack wasn’t worse was because the passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 heroically fought back and prevented the terrorists from crashing that airplane into a building.
Next, the Brady Campaign says that “Congress dictated to Amtrak that it must allow the transport of guns on passenger trains.” This is not accurate. Instead, Congress passed a law (which President Obama then signed), that requires that Amtrak allow law abiding citizens to check their guns when traveling, just as those passengers can do with traveling by air, if Amtrak wants to continue receiving billions of dollars of federal funding. In other words, Amtrak was simply told that it needed to show a modicum of respect for its passengers’ gun rights – if it wanted to receive any more taxpayer money. This is no more outrageous than the federal government requiring universities to not racially discriminate against students, if those universities want to receive federal funds.
The Brady Campaign’s propaganda email goes on to call this legislation “unnecessary,” and suggest that congress should spend its time on other matters. Firstly, this legislation is necessary. Without this law, a person going on a hunting trip would be unable to take Amtrak, since they would have no way to lawfully transport their gun. Similarly, those traveling who wish to have a gun for self defense at their destination would be without the ability to do so. It is bad enough when private businesses make the poor choice to restrict a citizen’s gun rights – it is far worse when a company does so while receiving billions of dollars of taxpayer money, which is what was happening with Amtrak. Congress correctly addressed this issue, and I can think of few things that are a better use of Congress’ time than the vindication of constitutional rights and the protection of taxpayer money.
Now, like the last time I looked at a Brady Campaign email, I am left with the feeling that the Brady Campaign doesn’t care about advancing “sensible gun laws,” as they claim. Instead, their goal seems to be to block every pro gun law imaginable, while scaring their members into donating more and more money.
My thanks to Anders for forwarding this Brady Campaign propaganda email.