Knives on a Plane – is the DHS catching up?

The latest news from the DHS and TSA is that they’re “relaxing” their restrictions on certain items, namely such things as small blades. Surprisingly, the TSA has taken some flak about this, and Pistole, amongst others, have been seen defending the position in the media and “on the hill”, as they saying goes. So what do we think about it?

TSA plays catch-up. Again.

The TSA likes to take credit for stuff. It’s just the way their hive mind works. As usual, they make sure that we understand that this is something that has been carefully considered and analyzed by the lightning fast minds of the government;

Earlier this month TSA announced the latest modification to our ongoing efforts to provide the most effective security to the traveling public. Starting April 25, TSA will relax restrictions on certain items previously prohibited as part of its ever evolving efforts to focus on items that pose the highest threat.

To be fair, the TSA also says that “small knives have been permitted in Europe for some time now, with no incidents that we are aware of.” In fact, most countries in Europe never banned these small blades, recognizing that they were no threat what so ever, from the get-go.

The TSA claims that relaxing some of their restrictions is an effect of their new “risk based” approach, which we have to say is a good thing… but it does beg the inevitable question; What the hell were they basing their approach on before this??


Why are Knives on a Plane OK?

When airport security was tightened, and then tightened again all over the world, the approach to the threat climate was vastly different in the US and in the rest of the world. In Europe, the approach was “risk based” from the start, and recognizing that no one had ever, in the history of flight, brought down a plane with a 2.36 inch blade, the great majority of countries decided that it would in fact be dangerous to try and ban too much stuff. The US took a more… panicky approach.

Here’s the basic thinking; if you should try to harm or hurt someone on a plane with a tiny little knife, you’d be as stupid as a brick. You have to work really hard to kill someone with it, and you’d have to be on a very long flight if you were going to break down a cockpit door with one. So. Not really dangerous at all, is it? No.

Also… many airlines actually provide their more affluent passengers with steak knives, for example. Well over 2.36 inches long.

So what else is new?

Here’s a short list of what the TSA now thinks is OK on a Plane. As a fun thought experiment, we think it’s a good time to try and think up why these items were banned in the first place… coming up with anything even remotely resembling a good reason is proving to be exceedingly hard. If you’ve better luck with it, please leave a comment and help us out. We’re stumped.

  • Small Pocket Knives – Small knives with non-locking blades smaller than 2.36 inches and less than 1/2 inch in width will be permitted
  • Small Novelty Bats and Toy Bats
  • Ski Poles
  • Hockey Sticks
  • Lacrosse Sticks
  • Billiard Cues
  • Golf Clubs (Limit Two)

Imagine what one could do with 3 golf clubs, for example. We shudder at the thought. (<- Irony, that’s what that is.)

The consequences of allowing Knives on a Plane?

Well. There’s bound to be consequences, aren’t there. We’re bound to see a flurry of people, mainly pilots, with 2-inch deep stab wounds, minor paper-cut like injuries and various small holes in their uniforms.

No, we’re not.

In fact, we’ll be flabbergasted if anyone, anywhere is ever harmed on a plane (intentionally) as a result of these “relaxations”. These things should never have been banned in the first place, and it’s high time the bans were lifted.

The less items on that banned list there is, the better the chances are that the real dangers are actually discovered. So. Thanks go out to the TSA and their new risk based approach. Whatever that means.

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