If you fly often enough, you'll inevitably run afoul of the Transportation Security Administration: maybe it's a belt buckle that sets off a metal detector, or a container of contact lens solution a few ounces too big, or a pocketknife you forgot to detach from your keychain. It turns out, however, that lots of people fail their security screens in far more spectacular fashion.
Last week the official blog of the TSA ran a surprisingly scintillating post detailing the alarmingly wide range of weapons confiscated at airport security checkpoints in the last week. The list includes brass knuckles, stun guns, ammo, inert grenades, spent artillery shells, "a lot of sharp pointy things," and a small militia's-worth of handguns. Among the most frequently confiscated weapons were so-called "credit card knives," lethal looking things that fold down to the size of your AmEx card and can be tucked neatly into a wallet. TSA agents seized 61 of them last week, and the blog post suggests people are carrying them more often (either that or agents are just now getting better at finding them).
There's no suggestion that any of these weapons were intended for in-flight use, which is both reassuring and disturbing: If people are coming so heavily armed to the airport- literally (or at least hopefully) the most secure place most of us ever visit, with widely publicized prohibitions against anything even remotely resembling a weapon- what the heck are they carrying around with them on a day-to-day basis?
Images courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration.
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