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NORPS By Tony Papajohn

I thought this was unbelievable, but it’s true.

On average, security guards arrest 2 people each week at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport for carrying firearms through security.

These are not terrorists.

They are “NORPS.”

That’s “Normal Ordinary Regular People Screwing Up.”

The acronym was coined by Clayton County Solicitor Keith Martin. He is the official who prosecutes the cases.

Usually, these are business travelers who often drive and carry a weapon for protection. They grab their already-packed bags, head for an infrequent flight, and forget to leave the weapon at home.

The next most popular excuse is that a NORPS stored the gun in a seldom-used bag.

This is followed by “I didn’t know.”

These offences are misdemeanors. Most cases result in a ticket, a fine of several hundred dollars, some community service, and a lecture from a judge.

Substantial jail time is rare, although an overnight stay is common.

I don’t have gun, but if I did, I would be capable of such absent-mindedness.

So I find other, more benign ways of being a NORPS. I lose keys, glasses, my wallet, and anything else that is not attached.

Occasionally, we are all NORPS, with varying degrees of seriousness.

Whenever you are a NORPS, treat yourself kindly and laugh about it, at least as soon as possible. Allow yourself the human experience of screwing up and living to tell the tale.

If you don’t, you give any critical and self-destructive tendencies a good reason to pummel you unmercifully. They will use the incident for something darker and more sinister than evidence of absent-mindedness or a mental lapse.

They will construe the human act of screwing up as evidence of incompetence, chronic ineptitude, and a lack of brains.

Make peace with the occasional reminders that you are human.

Otherwise, you will end up shooting yourself in the foot.

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