The Impossibility of Compliance

Last year, my brother got on a plane from Chicago to Baltimore and was about to go through security when he realized that he had a foldable exacto-knife on his person. As someone who had long worked in construction, carrying such an implement had become second nature: such box cutters are handy things to have. So he admitted his error to the TSA people, who wrote him a criminal citation. He had to go to court and was fined – for honesty.

And with that in mind, I read about the case of Meredith Graves, a nurse from Tennessee who was handcuffed and arrested for alerting NYC cops that she was armed – Tennessee being a concealed-carry state – and offering to check her pistol. From the law’s point of view, the crime occurred when Graves entered New York with a concealed weapon, and her offer, kind as it was, amounts to a confession. Nothing to be done, the law is the law.

And the lesson — that one should never offer anything to the police in NYC, even if you are a law-abiding citizen — is driven home.


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