Saturday, February 16, 2013

In Defense of the TSA. Sort Of.

    In recent years, the main claim to fame of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been making the Department of Motor Vehicles look good.  Some of the criticism has doubtless been justified, but a visit to the TSA Week in Review at the TSA blog should give anyone a renewed sense of appreciation for what the TSA faces daily as the agency tries to fulfill its mission to keep air travel safe.  Just this past week, the TSA discovered 30 firearms, 26 of which were loaded, including 11 with rounds in their chambers.  Here's a photo of one of the discoveries:

    Obviously people who own guns sometimes have the need to transport them.  But loaded, ready to fire, in carry-on luggage?  [I'm sure by this point, there are people shouting "Second Amendment!" at their computer screens. I'm with you, I'm with you... But folks, there's got to be a better way than that.]

    But this is what really caught my eye on the blog, and not the photo as much as the caption:

Flare Gun – A passenger at Midway (MDW) had a flare gun and four flares in his carry-on bag. You know, if you want to signal a flight attendant, there is a little button above your head. You don’t need a flare gun. Flares and flare guns are prohibited items. 
    I appreciate a good sense of humor, even from a government agency.  Speaking of a sense of humor, here's one final gem from the TSA blog:

What Not to Say at an Airport – Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience many other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated: 
  • An individual approached a general aviation ramp at Knox County Airport (RKD) and stated that aircraft were buzzing his house and if it did not stop, he was going to shoot one down.
    It's been a long time since I've been though airport security, so perhaps I'd be better off keeping my mouth shut.  But the next time you run into a TSA agent, keep in mind that not everyone who flies has as much sense as you. And not everyone on the ground does, either.

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