Who is in charge of the Transportation Security Administration? Obsessed with security theater rather than real security, they’ve just made a decision to allow small knives and sporting goods like golf clubs and small baseball bats to fly with passengers in the cabin. As CNN reports:
On Tuesday, TSA Administrator John Pistole announced that small pocketknives and an array of sporting equipment — which were banned from aircraft cabins in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks — will be allowed in U.S. planes beginning April 25.
Pocketknives will be allowed if the blade is no longer than 2.36 inches (6 centimeters), which is shorter than the 4-inch blades that were allowed at the time of the 2001 attacks. And they must adhere to other rules: the blade can be no more than 1/2 inch at its widest point, it cannot have a locking or fixed blade and cannot have a molded grip. Box cutters and razor blades are still not allowed inside the passenger cabin.
The TSA also will allow travelers to bring billiard cues, ski poles, hockey and lacrosse sticks and a maximum of two golf clubs into aircraft cabins as carry-on baggage. It will allow novelty and toy bats if they measure less than 24 inches and plastic bats if they weigh less than 24 ounces.
Air marshals and flight attendents have rightly objected:
FLEOA President Jon Adler said the dangers extend beyond air marshals. “Pistole’s decision is putting my guys at greater risk,” Adler said. “It’s not just the (Federal Air Marshal Service), it’s all of my guys,” he said, noting that law enforcement officers are allowed to carry weapons during commercial flights.
A union representing 90,000 flight attendants called the measure “a poor and short-sighted decision by the TSA.”
“Continued prohibition of these items is an integral layer in making our aviation system secure and must remain in place,” the Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions said in a statement.
I’m not sure about the miniature baseball bats, but I don’t see why knives can’t be checked. Do you really need a knife in your possession on a plane? Remember that the 9/11 hijackers began their attacks by cutting the throats of flight attendants. They’re not sure what kind of knives they used (they could have been box-cutters), but a knife with a 2.4-inch blade is pretty good at cutting jugular veins.
If the TSA wants to do something, why not get rid of that idiotic rule to take your shoes off before screening?
It’s time for somebody with brains to be put in charge of the TSA. And while they’re at it, why don’t they replace those officious, authoritarian, and extremely rude TSA screeners? They seem to get people who revel in newfound authority, ordering passengers around like we’re children.