Dear VRE: Thanks for Letting Us Bring Our Guns on the Train
Dear Virginia Railway Express Operations Board: I don't live in Virginia, and I don't take the VRE in to the District each day, but I sure wish I did, because of the enhanced service you have decided to offer: Riders can now carry firearms and concealed weapons on the train!
There are so many reasons this is a good idea – too many to list here. Mostly, it will make everyone who rides the train feel much safer. And despite what some may say, it's not really a problem that the firearm a District-bound Virginia resident boards with in, say, Quantico or Manassas cannot be carried legally in D.C. In fact – and I'm sure you've already thought of this – it's a potential revenue-maker for the state: Set up some kind of gun-checking station at the border, charge a few bucks for eight hours' worth of storage, and tack on a handling fee! Commuters will feel it's worth it to have their guns for a few stops, and they can conveniently pick them back up after a hard day's work.
NBC Washington reported that some members of your board were "less than thrilled with having to make the change" – as required by state law – "partially because many riders will run afoul of the differing rules across jurisdictions, but also because guns plus big crowds equals disaster."
For instance, Chris Zimmerman, an Arlington County supervisor, said, "I think encouraging people to bring guns onto loaded trains is a stupid idea."
That's short-sighted and silly. Bringing guns onto loaded trains is a good idea. Here's to hoping most commuters take advantage of the opportunity. We will all be better for it.
Comments? Ideas? I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter.