Saturday, April 21, 2018

Transparent Backpacks: Advice of the Galactically Stupid

"Thank you for playing 'should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid.'"

Following the mass murder of 17 high school students in Parkland, Florida, well meaning people have scrambled to propose security solutions to prevent such a massacre from happening again. Unfortunately, most of the suggestions from these well meaning individuals only serve to destroy the civil liberties of law-abiding people while accomplishing little in the way of actual security. One galactically stupid example of this is a requirement for some students to carry transparent backpacks.

A galactically stupid backpack
Lauren Hogg is absolutely right to be outraged by a requirement that she and her peers use clear backpacks. The sad irony here, which I'm sure Ms. Hogg will someday realize, is that she received exactly what she and her fellow gun prohibitionist activists asked for. Every one of the so-called "common sense" gun prohibition solutions proposed after the attack on her school is the equal to clear backpacks. Feel-good rules like semi-auto bans, private firearms-sales background checks, and clear backpacks apply only to law abiding people who aren't planning to break the law and hurt anyone anyway, trading the strength of Liberty for weakness and a false security.

Were a student inclined to break existing laws against assault, murder, and bringing firearms onto school property, there is nothing about a clear backpack that would prevent that student from obscuring a weapon within the backpack inside of any number of non-prohibited items. To test how meaningless clear backpacks are to security, I compared the size of some of my lawfully owned weapons to my Stedman's Medical Dictionary, which was the largest single textbook I had in medic school. 


Hollowed out, this one book would hold an alarming quantity of weaponry. To start with, the Dirty Harry gun:


The Smith & Wesson 629 .44 Magnum with a 5" barrel and a handful of speedloaders. It would be a tight fit, but it would fit. 


Full size 1911 .45 ACP with an extended ten-round magazine and at least five standard 8-round mags, probably more.


Springfield XD(m) .45 ACP with TLR-2 flashlight/laser and five 13-round magazines. 66 rounds.


Glock 20 10mm with six 15-round magazines. 91 rounds.


Glock 17 9mm with 8 17-round magazines. More would probably fit considering how thick this textbook is. >137 rounds.


Six 30-round AR-15 magazines. 180 rounds.


Asp, pepper blaster, fixed blade knife.


Clear backpacks are galactically stupid, and can be defeated with a device as simple as a hollowed out textbook, a tampon box, a jacket, or any other opaque container placed within the transparent backpack. These backpacks might make some people feel more secure, but they cannot provide any real security. Meanwhile, the Fourth Amendment rights of the students who have reached the age of majority, to be secure in their papers and effects, are being violated. Subjecting the students to searches upon entry into the school further violates their rights while creating a gigantic, disarmed victim choke point ripe for the next attack.

Likewise, all gun control proposals trade constitutional rights for a promise of security, while wholly failing to actually deliver any improved security. Not one single gun control proposal is the exception. There is one solution, however, which has been proven throughout human history to deter evil: permit law-abiding people - who choose to be armed - their inalienable right to carry the most effective weaponry available to them, in any place they go.

The only language violence understands is violence. We cannot counter the evil inherent in this world by becoming weak and defenseless in its face. Those who actively seek weakness as an affirmative defense against evil are effectively hunting for unicorns.

Liberty cannot be traded for security. Liberty is our security, and our strength. Don't be galactically stupid. Choose Liberty.

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