More Security Theater: This Time the TSA is Right

For once, the TSA are the "good guys".

For once, the TSA are the “good guys”.

As reported in The Hill :

“The pressure on TSA to backtrack on the knife decision mounted this week when 133 House members signed a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole, asking him to reconsider removing the items from the agency’s prohibited list.”

As you probably know, the TSA recently loosened restrictions on blades on planes.  As expected, the common-sense decision was met by howls from members on both sides of the aisle who see it as a convenient way to deflect constituent ire onto the always unpopular TSA.

Such grandstanding flies in the face of actual research, which cites a 3 minute diversion of personnel resources for each of the thousands of small knives alone seized every day.

The move comes as part of a strategic shift on the part of the TSA, towards what they are calling “Risk-Based threat assessment , in layman’s terms, they are focusing the bulk of their energy on things that can actually bring down an airplane and on behaviors that are flagged as suspicious.  Grampa’s old Case folder is no threat to anyone in the bag of the average traveler, just as a tray table most certainly is a threat in the hands of someone with evil and criminal intent.

“Pistole told lawmakers during a House Homeland Security Committee meeting earlier this month that removing knives from its prohibited items list would allow airport security screeners to focus on searching for explosive devices.

“That’s what risk-based security is all about, trying to identify what are the most significant risks … and making sure that our officers and our entire national U.S. government national security team is trying to be as precise and focused on those threats that cause the greatest damage,” Pistole said.”

Common sense…so rare it is like a frickin’ superpower.


  1. Matt in FL says:

    And my Kershaw Chive is still verboten.

    1. …as are both my EDC knives, One is a lock blade, the other is fixed.

  2. I will probably call the offices of my Senators and Congressman. But I am not sure how much of a stink we should raise at this point. The Gun Rights battle is too touch and go. What do you think?

    1. Steve in MA says:

      I’m not really worried about the knife battle at the moment. Much more concentrated on guns.

      1. Clay Aalders says:

        I agree. I am working on a piece about the fundamental importance of knife rights. However, philosophy is one thing, the real world threat is clearly aimed at gun rights.

  3. New Chris says:

    Wait, so people are outraged that the TSA makes them take off their shoes, scans them naked, and goes through their luggage looking for stuff to steal, and they shrug and say, it’s for security, you’ll get used to it.

    But a few unions are unhappy because they might let tiny knives in carry on and they are suddenly customer focused?

  4. Aharon says:

    I like the bottle cork-opener curved knife second on the right. A rustic Italian red table wine is my favorite. It goes great with pasta and pizza.

    Time to go wait in line at BiMart to see if the have 22LR this morning.

    1. Aharon says:

      No ammo this morning. Time to buy bows, arrows, and throwing knives.

  5. Thomas says:

    This has nothing to do with the threat level of the knives in question and everything to do with airline policy. In the past, most airlines allowed each traveler to have one or two checked bags for free. Now most airlines charge for any checked baggage. This translates into more travelers taking only a carry-on bag. When the free checked baggage rules were in place, a traveler could simply place his knife in his checked bag and take it out at his destination. But, few people want to pay $25 for the privilege of having a knife at their destination.

    However, it should be noted that TSA is not really interested in maintaining cabin security. For years they have allowed people to carry multiple tennis racquets and even golf clubs aboard. When allowing these items, along with lacrosse sticks, on board, a short bladed knife is not that much of a stretch, security wise.

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More Security Theater: This Time the TSA is Right

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