I was reading about a new law that appears to allow people to carry firearms into Atlanta’s airport, as long as they have a concealed weapons permit.
This brought Star Simpson to mind.
Last year, Simpson went to Logan Airport in Boston wearing a sweatshirt decorated with electronic circuitry. She is a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and, by all accounts, a bit of a free spirit.
The blinking sweatshirt attracted the attention of state police, who surrounded her with machine guns and arrested her rather dramatically. “She was lucky she didn’t get shot,” Massport spokesman Phil Orlandella said.
(I consider it worth noting that Simpson is from Hawaii, where the cops would more likely say, “Nice sweatshirt.”)
Simpson was sentenced to 50 hours of community service on a disorderly conduct charge after the district attorney dropped a charge of possession of a hoax device. After all, it was pretty clear that she wasn’t trying to scare anyone.
I guess I’m still not really clear on what she’s being punished for. For not conforming? For being misunderstood? Even if you figure she was being stupid or oblivious, when did that become a crime? I don’t get it.
Plus, I have to wonder why a citizen can’t wear a blinking sweatshirt into one U.S. airport, but can carry a gun into another.