Great Salon article. Pilot is stopped by TSA from carrying a flatware knife through a security checkpoint.
The exact kind of knife they give you on the plane.
“You ain’t takin’ this through,” she says. “No knives. You can’t bring a knife through here.”
It takes a moment for me to realize that she’s serious. “I’m … but … it’s …”
“Sorry.” She throws it into a bin and starts to walk away.
“Wait a minute,” I say. “That’s airline silverware.”
“Don’t matter what it is. You can’t bring knives through here.”
“Ma’am, that’s an airline knife. It’s the knife they give you on the plane.”
“No knives. Have a good afternoon, sir.”
Do I have to mention how stupid it is to run the pilots through TSA security? (Or anyone else for that matter?)
The TSA is currently “protecting” us from something that doesn’t exist. There is no possible way that ANYONE with a knife or a liquid can take over an airplane.
But suppose there were no checkpoints. What if people can take guns or bombs onto planes?
Guess what. People can still take guns or bombs onto planes. The TSA has failed to detect “illegal” items every time they’ve been tested. I frequently forget to put my pocket knife in my checked luggage, and most of the time the TSA doesn’t find it in my carry on. (The couple of times they have, I just buy another one.)
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that security that fails to detect things they’re supposed to be looking for is a wast of time and money. But beyond that, even if detection technology was 100% accurate, with no false positives, it’s STILL a waste of time because the things they’re screening for simply aren’t dangerous.
Spend more time on investigating PEOPLE and less time on THINGS.