A Security Theater: Intermission

TSA announced this week that they will begin allowing airline passengers to carry small knives on board again, with restrictions.

“These are popular items we see regularly,” agency spokesman David Castelveter told Bloomberg News. “They don’t present a risk to transportation security.”

Apparently, in the ten years since they were banned, these small knives have learned the evil of their ways, and have collectively agreed to not hurt anyone. I wish TSA would return the little CRKT Zilla tool they seized last year – perhaps if I write a letter on its behalf, promising that it will be good and not slice anyone, they’ll release it from knife jail and send it home.

Of course, those evil “Assault Knives” – box cutters, are still on the banned list. Even though the typical blade length on a box cutter is less than half the length of a newly-permissible knife. And the knife can’t have a locking blade, because, well – it might actually make it useful for something. Or have a molded grip, as opposed to riveted-on scales, because, well – because TSA says so. I didn’t see any mention of the “shoulder thing that goes up,” but if you have a knife with one, it’s probably best not to try to board with one.

I imagine that this relaxing of previously stupid regulations is supposed to placate us – instead of questioning the entire regulation in the first place. Perhaps now is the time to push for complete retraction of all those bans.

“Carry on a full bottle of shampoo? Why, proceed, young lady!”

“Are those hollow points you’ve loaded in that .44 Mag, sir? I’m sorry, we only allow Glasers or other approved frangibles on board – please change those HPs out with these TSA approved rounds, and give them back at the end of your flight. Have a pleasant trip, sir!”

Once again, the typical bureaucratic response to promulgating laws is to make shit up. I run into it all the time in my industry (environmental remediation – regulators without a clue blindly enforcing idiotic rules that actually hinder the cleanup they are supposedly trying to foster). In government, cosmetic features and illusion comprise the reality of bureaucrats. It’s bad because I say it’s bad, unless it’s good.



9 thoughts on “A Security Theater: Intermission

  1. 6 cm on the blade length? That’s about 2-9/32″.

    But the width is 1/2″?

    They can’t even be competent in choice of units of measure. How about 2-1/2″ long by 1/2″ wide, which would be the standard length of most small knife blades?

  2. “Perhaps now is the time to push for complete retraction of all those bans.”
    How about complete retraction of the TSA?
    (Gee, thanks, George [Hugo Chavez] Bush the “conservative” for nationalizing an industry. With conservatives like you, who needs communists?)

  3. The whole thing of course is for the purpose of letting us know who’s boss– getting us accustomed to being pushed around and told what to do by our “servants”. I think that the second your houskeeper started behaving like that you’d fire the person on the spot. But we tolerate it and therefore we deserve what we get.

    • Precisely – it’s all incremental in both directions. Sometimes we push as hard as we get to regain/retain rights, other times we have to settle. But I see no reason to get overjoyed and thank TSA for retracting a bone-headed decision, only to replace it with a substitute that’s equally boneheaded. Why don’t they just admit that their social experiment did nothing to enhance safety, and just scrap it entirely? Does their spokesman even realize how stupid he sounds – small, non-lock bladed knives is popular and doesn’t have a risk, but those small, lock-bladed knives does? Sheesh.

  4. Why even bother to figure out these government parasites? One obvious qualification is to not be able to think clearly, or throw away your mental powers in order to be dumbed down for the job.

  5. “…please change those HPs out with these TSA approved rounds, and give them back at the end of your flight. Have a pleasant trip, sir!””

    THIS gave me a such a sense of well being imagining THAT world…..

  6. I assume that everyone in the TSA now has a nice pocket knife to their own tastes and taking more of them from the public simply adds to the clutter in the warehouse.

    • They collect so many that TSA sells them off in big lots – check eBay sometime!

      • Ran across a guy at the WAC gun show in Monroe who was selling “stuff” that he had labeled “TSA confiscated”. He didn’t appear to be drawing much interest. My comment to him: “I’d be too embarrassed to come here and sell stolen property.”
        Don’t recall ever seeing him again; perhaps my comment expressed a common sentiment.

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