From the Gonzo

. . . somewhere near the event horizon.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

What to take, what not to take (to the airport)

I just saw a news broadcast on Chicago Land TV (CLTV).

The main story was about holiday air travel and security but the anchor did a little aside with nifty graphics at the end of it. The anchor pointed out what items were permissible and which were prohibited, each category had its own graphic.

Nail clippers are allowed on planes
almanacs are not mentioned by the TSA.

Among the permissible items were nail clippers and cigar cutters. Among the prohibited, box cutters and fire arms, and the anchor kept a straight face while announcing to Chicagoland that guns and box cutters were not permitted on airplanes.

TSA lists

The Transportation Security Administration has a newly updated list ("effective December 22) of items allowed and not allowed here. And a handy quick reference sheet here.

Mostly the list is common sense, it tells you what is ok in the carry-on and what is ok in checked baggage. I think everyone knows that you can't take a sword on a plane in your carry on, or a gun. Some categories of items are altogether prohibited, they also mostly make sense.

No explosives, dangerous chemicals, gun powder or flammable items are allowed on planes in any capacity, carry-on or checked. However some items like martial arts weapons (such as black jacks, brass knuckles or mace), ammunition and firearms, knives, swords, other sharp objects (including box cutters) are allowed in checked luggage but not in carry-on bags.

First of all, box cutters better never be on the list of permissible items in the remaining history of air travel and air security. I'd rather give a lithium patient a gun and a key to the flight deck.

Secondly, has anyone ever seen a movie?

If the terrrorists just stowaway in the baggage hold they could have firearms out the wazoo, box cutters and swords too. It'd be like a mujahadeen, samurai special-ops team just waiting to strike from the baggage hold/armory.

Who the hell is flying guns across the United States anyway? Hunters? I suppose, but many weapons are not for hunting, like, for instance, the AR-15.

Putting guns on airplanes is a bad choice no matter what. Give them to pilots, air marshals, and let passengers put them into their luggage? Introducing a weapon into a weaponless environment is never a good idea, from a tactical standpoint, if you lose that weapon the bad guys now have it. And we have all seen what great success the air marshal program has led to.

When is the last time you took a vacation and packed guns? My guess is never or it's been some time.

So anyway, if a ninja terrorist jumps out of your holiday flight's cargo hold with grandpa's shotgun and two civil war replica swords, don't say I didn't tell you so.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

They were just trying to augment the size of government and increase the centralized power of it all while distracting from the fact that they are stomping all over our civil liberties. It's time the conspiracy theorists among us were given a bit more credence I say.

12/22/2005 2:49 PM  

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