Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Air Canada alienates customers over guns: "Air Canada recently announced a new policy effective June 1, 2006: unloaded firearms will be subject to a $65 one-way handling fee because the airline views them as 'dangerous goods.' An interesting claim, given the guidelines from Transport Canada, which regulates air travel safety among other things, states in its Dangerous Goods Standard Notice No. 17 Item No. 4: 'The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) does not regulate the transport of unloaded firearms as there are no dangerous goods present.' When questioned on the new policy, Air Canada Customer Solutions Representative Ryan Dickson stated 'The new firearms handling charge per one-way journey brings firearms handling in line with other special baggage that requires incremental manual handling.'"

The latest potshot at guns is getting me all riled up: "The New York Times, always keeping a weather eye for new evidence that guns are dangerous, reported last week that men who handle guns get more stirred up than men who handle children's board games. ... But all of this misses the point. A more insidious danger than guns is the rush to medicalize behavior. Let's stipulate that handling a gun causes testosterone levels to rise. Let's also concede that elevated testosterone levels are associated with aggression. So what? Does this tell us anything important or new? ... The important question is, 'So what?' Prohibitionists were correct that alcohol affects the brain a heck of a lot more than handling a gun does. Do we need a new study to tell us that? And when it does, should we bring back Prohibition?"

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