Calling his actions “dumber than dumb,” WND co-founder and birther leader Joseph Farah on Wednesday explained how he was stopped Sunday at Dulles International Airport with a loaded handgun in his bag.
“I did something stupid Sunday morning, resulting in being charged with a crime for the first time in my adult life,” Farah wrote in a column for WND. “There is no excuse for my mistake.”
In the column, titled “A Column I Never Wanted To Write,” Farah explained that he had been “stressed out” over the weekend, and stayed awake Saturday night working on columns. The next day, he headed for the airport. He was scheduled to give a speech in Seattle on Monday.
“Somewhat groggy early Sunday, I actually searched my computer bag for my revolver,” Farah wrote. “I’m licensed to carry in Virginia. I didn’t see it. … When I got to Dulles Airport, I put the bag on the security belt. … The TSA agents saw the gun and signaled me over.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) first reported on Tuesday about Farah’s run-in with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at Dulles. The SPLC also pointed to a 2010 column Farah wrote, in which he described a prior “little TSA mini-nightmare” involving a broken suitcase zipper and rumpled clothing. This time, Farah had no complaints about a government agency he has accused of “systematic violations of Americans’ constitutional rights.”
“The TSA agents were very nice,” Farah wrote. “They expressed concern about my making the flight. They called the Virginia police as is protocol. They took photos of the firearm and me. They gave me a summons. Then they sent me on my way.”
Stepping back from Sunday’s incident, Farah wrote that he carries a concealed weapon “virtually” all the time, and that he receives death threats.
Farah then brought up the August 2012 shooting that took place at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the conservative Family Research Council. The shooter in that case, Floyd Corkins, later told FBI agents that he identified the Family Research Council as anti-gay on the SPLC’s website. (During the shooting, Corkins shot a security guard in the arm before being subdued.) Farah noted that his own organization has been labeled a hate group by the SPLC.
“You might note who broke the story that Joseph Farah was detained at Dulles Airport Sunday for carrying a handgun – the Southern Poverty Law Center,” Farah wrote, later concluding: “Again, I’m not making any excuses about my dumb mistake last Sunday. What I did was dumber than dumb. But I thought you deserved to know the rest of the story, as my inspiration Paul Harvey would say.”
Farah has not responded to multiple requests for comment from TPM.