I just got back from a 10-day trip to South Africa and, once again, got to experience the maddening inefficiency and foolishness that characterizes how our government behaves toward those of us who own guns.

Upon landing in Atlanta, me and my fellow hunters had to go through a four-step process to make our connections home, which was three steps more than necessary. First, we waited in a line to go through a room with two agents who checked and logged the serial numbers on our firearms. Then we trekked across the facility to another line, where more customs agents inspected our bags, including our firearms again. Then we went to another line, where we dropped off our bags so they could be placed on our connecting flight – all except for our firearms that is. We took them to yet another line, where another agent checked them again, this time swabbing for explosives.

That torturous process took nearly two hours. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that all that could have been dealt with in one step in a fraction of the time, with a fraction of the employees.

Compare that to the newspaper clipping sent in by Outdoor Life correspondent Jim Nichols. It dates from 1952 and shows his father boarding a DC 3 with his 9mm Mannlicher rifle departing for a bear hunt to Alaska.

Ah, to live again in an era where sanity ruled.