[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]
Whatever one thinks of the TSA, it’s really hard to defend this first hand account at Red State just on a basic principle of intelligence. Some soldiers were returning to America from Afghanistan. They had to stop over in Ireland and deplane. The author, a soldier himself, explains a key detail:
It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.
For reference purposes, this is what a M-240B looks like, according to wikipedia:
So they go to get back on the plane, and complete stupidity breaks out.
So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:
TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.
Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.
TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.
TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.
Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.
TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.
Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?
TSA Guy: [awkward silence]
Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.
Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]
Gosh those government guys are soooo smart, let’s have them run healthcare!
Update: In Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal, a game involving ridiculous weapons and lots of humor, at one point, they go to a spaceport and hear this on the PA system: “Welcome to the Zeldrin Starport. Please note that Thermonuclear weapons, and nail clippers are now prohibited on all flights.” Which proves it is very hard to parody airport security.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]