Friday, March 15, 2013

TSA Allowing Small Knives.

We all know how lax the TSA (America's Transportation Security Administration) is like.  They let people carry liquids on planes, they don't even bother to check children or old people for weapons.  Why, if you have a wheelchair, they just let on through, without checking if it has weapons hidden in it.   They don't bother checking your shoes, belts, or heavy jackets, they just trust us.

Which of course is why boarding a plane is the easiest, most hassle free thing to do.

So it is no surprise at all that they have now chosen to let people take Swiss army knives and similar objects onto a plane.  Those fools!

What?  That doesn't sound like your experience with the TSA?

<</end sarcasm>>

OK.  Lets be honest here.  The TSA is a paranoid organization that stops women from taking breast milk on planes (despite it being legal to do so).  They molest children, old people and have been known to disassemble wheelchairs. They make you take your shoes, belts and jackets off, to x-ray them.

Boarding a plane is a huge exercise in security theater and futility (nothing they do will stop ground to air missiles, which will do more damage and are cheaper 4 air plane tickets).

So when the TSA of all people say "Hey, it's safe to let people take swiss army knives and similar items onto a plane", then IT'S SAFE TO LET PEOPLE TAKE SWISS ARMY KNIVES ON PLANES.

Part of the problem here is shear ignorance.  People think you need something called a weapon to hurt people.  No.  Anyone that has had an aluminum laptop attache fall on their head can tell you you don't need something labelled a weapon to kill you.  In addition, anyone that's ever been in a serious bar fight will tell you that a broken glass (like the ones they give you in first class) can kill.

TSA's job is not to ensure that passengers have no weapons.  They can't do that and trying is ridiculous.  Sorry Flight Attendants, your job has some risk.  Not a lot - the number of Flight Attendants attacked by passengers is tiny (and dropping).  In 2012 there were only 101 unruly passenger incidents. (source)  Considering we have over 87,000 flights every DAY (source), that number is miniscule.

The TSA's job is to ensure that the plane doesn't get taken or destroyed, nothing more.  They claim the cockpit doors have been reinforced to prevent anyone using a Swiss army knife or similar item as a screwdriver/pry-bar, cutting tool to get into the cockpit.   Given how ridiculous they are about other things, and the fact that none of the people objecting are giving counter-examples, I believe them.

It was NOT and NEVER was to protect the people on the plane.  Because it doesn't do that.  No ban could do that - or are you going to require all flight attendants to be large men, in the prime of their life, trained in hand to hand combat?  Do you really expect your flight attendant to be able to manhandle someone like the Dwayne Johnson?  Or perhaps you want to make it illegal for anyone that looks like Dwayne Johnson to fly on airplanes out of concern that he could hurt a flight attendant?

Grow up and deal with the fact that life has risk in it.

Considering that the TSA is  bat-shit paranoid about moronic things (they spend much too much money preventing it compared to the amount spent to stop car crashes - which cause more deaths every year in the US than all the terrorist attacks on planes worldwide in the past 43 years combined - wikipedia source vs 32,367 killed in car crashes in 2011)

So when the TSA says it's OK, then it's freaking OK.

Anyone that says otherwise is a paranoid fool that knows nothing about:

  1. Close combat
  2. The risks normal people face every day
  3. How rare unruly passengers, let alone terrorist attacks are.
  4. How much time, effort and money are needed to find these knives 
Or perhaps is simply in the pocket of  the various auction sites that sell the goods confiscated by the TSA (source).

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