Thursday, March 07, 2013

TSA backs off on knife control

So you think the TSA has finally come to its senses and smartened up its ban on deadly weapons like nail clippers and pool cues?  Most people, if they bother to think about it, aren't all that terrified that some 12 year old carrying his Little League bat or hockey stick is going to commandeer a 747, nor is the woman with that tiny Swiss Army knife on her keychain.  The TSA has at least recognized that the hijackings of  9/11/01 were facilitated by cabin doors without locks, thanks to the refusal of our  regulatory agencies to force that level of security on private business. Box cutters were secondary.

Your tiny knife with tweezers and nail file isn't really going to allow a terrorist incident or some adolescent to take over an airplane with a plastic hockey stick and so the TSA is going to acknowledge the laughter and relent -- in some cases.  In customary ban-it writing style however, the descriptions of the newly permitted items seem to have been written by people being forced to relent at gunpoint or people from Mars who have never seen and are terrified of sharp objects.

So what can you take on the plane that you couldn't last week?  Cigarette lighters, although you can't smoke,  up to two golf clubs,  ( three would somehow be too dangerous) toy bats or other sports sticks and small pocket knives with blades up to (wait for this) 2.36 inches.  2.37 is too scary to allow and a fixed blade is out for some reason known only to Martians and most mysteriously, if the handle has any curve to it, it's still a terrorist assault weapon and prohibited.  My tiny mustache scissors?  Sorry Osama, you and your beard don't get on the plane.

Box cutters?  Even though the evidence from 9/11 really doesn't support the newspaper story, a 1" box cutter blade, half the length of  Uncle Fogg's Victorinox is just too al Qaeda for the TSA.

You'll suspect that I'm going somewhere with this, but I don't need to, you already guessed that I think people who write and most passionately defend regulatory descriptions  tend to be fond of tin foil haberdashery, or at least that's my opinion -- and I'm sticking with it.

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