TSA: Drinking the bong water
TSA gets a tough rap. Let’s face it folks, these people do a tough, tough job, and all they get from us is nothing but derision, despite their hard work They keep us safe from terrorists and all we can do…
…OK, sorry, I just can’t keep typing that crap without laughing my butt off.
Seriously, TSA is about as idiotic an organization as could possibly exist. Even if they were a good idea, the Department of Homeland Security can’t seem to get all that much right. The TSA, and their idea of keeping the nation safe is a prime example:
A recent TSA blog post cites several cases in which the agency’s screeners stopped travelers from carrying guns or knives onto airplanes: “the passenger in Boston who had a steak knife in his carry-on bag; the El Paso passenger with a 6 ½-inch hunting knife in his carry-on bag; the LaGuardia Airport passenger who had eight rounds of 9 mm ammunition in his bag; the JFK Airport passenger who had a 6-inch butterfly knife in his bag; and the New Orleans passenger who had a loaded .380 caliber firearm—with a bullet in the chamber—in his carry-on bag.” I’m not sure those eight 9mm rounds posed much of a threat, unless the passenger planned to hurl them at people. And as a commenter notes on the TSA blog, there is no indication that any of these passengers intended to harm anyone. But at least guns and knives are weapons (or potential weapons) that theoretically could be used to hijack a plane.
Not so the other contraband listed in the post: a “belt with [a] brass-knuckles buckle,” a “cool western belt with bullets decorating the side,” a “hand grenade belt buckle,” or boots with “shiny bullets and handgun barrel heel.” The TSA advises travelers to leave all such items behind to avoid confiscation. But what sort of threat do they actually pose? Brass knuckles themselves are banned from carry-on bags, and I suppose you could remove a set from your belt if you got into a brawl, but they do not seem like a practical weapon for a terrorist. The other articles of clothing feature either replicas, disassembled pieces, or inert versions of the real things that cannot actually be used to shoot anyone or blow anything up. The TSA’s list of “prohibited items” includes “realistic replicas of explosives” and “realistic replicas of firearms,” presumably to avoid confusion, but how realistic a weapon is a jeweled hand grenade attached to a belt or a gun barrel incorporated into a boot heel? ”Here’s an idea,” says the first comment after the post. “Why doesn’t the TSA start firing people who don’t pay attention during the training, who don’t know things they’re supposed to know, and who don’t know how to distinguish between a harmless object and a threat?”
Seriously? Jewel encrusted hand grenade belt buckles? Books that have a gun barrel? At what point does the stupid start to register with these people?
Theoretically, TSA is supposed to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists that can be used to hijack a plan. Realistic replicas could also be used for the same purpose, so I can understand where they’re coming from on that front, even though I don’t agree with them. However, they’re clearly getting stupid on this.
Fact: At no point has anyone ever been blown up by a jewel encrusted grenade that was carried on a belt.
Fact: At no point has anyone ever been shot with a boot except on cheesy movies.
Fact: The only possible reason for any of this to make sense to the people at TSA is because they’ve been drinking the bong water or something.
Of course, it’s illegal for us to do it, but they’re TSA. It’s also illegal for us to grope folks like they do, so clearly they play by a different set of rules than we do.