Archived Story

TSA smart to keep flight carry-on restrictions [UPDATED]

Published 9:32am Friday, June 14, 2013 Updated 11:43am Friday, June 14, 2013

The right people and interest groups spoke up — and fortunately for traveler safety, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) listened.

Last week TSA officials wisely backed off a proposal to let passengers once again carry small knives, souvenir bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment onto planes. It was a bad idea from the start, but federal officials heard the objections and reversed the recommendation they announced in March to loosen carry-on rules.

TSA Administrator John Pistole argued then that security measures taken since 9/11, such as locked cockpits, ensure that no one with a small knife can take down a plane. He said the time spent confiscating things like penknives could be better used searching for explosives and other more serious threats.

But the pushback was loud, clear and justified. Aviation groups, airlines, labor unions, some law enforcement groups and editorial pages (including this one) complained about the plan. And last month, 145 House members signed a letter asking Pistole to keep the current ban in place.

The proposed change would have allowed folding knives with blades that are 2.36 inches or less in length and less than half an inch wide. Passengers also would have been able to carry on novelty-sized baseball bats shorter than 24 inches, toy plastic bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs.

The threat of terrorism was not the only consideration. As airlines workers and others pointed out, the banned objects pose a threat to travelers and flight attendants. There have been too many stories about angry or intoxicated passengers disrupting flights. Arming them made no sense.

Pistole has said the TSA wants to turn its attention to other security issues, including expanding its Pre-Check program to pre-identify passengers who aren’t a security risk. That’s a worthwhile effort. Clearing more travelers ahead of time also would help speed up security checks and make flying less of a hassle.

In praising the TSA reversal, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement, “This decision will allow TSA agents to focus on more important things than measuring the length of knives and sorting the ‘good’ knives from the ‘bad.’?”

We hope concerns raised during this three-month discussion will cement in the minds of all travelers that safety is more important than convenience. TSA screeners confiscate more than 2,000 small knives every day at the nation’s airports.

Advice for travelers: Leave the knives and corkscrews at home, and let baggage handlers take care of your golf clubs and hockey sticks. Those minor irritants are small sacrifices in exchange for a safe flight.

  • Swede

    It appears the sheep are getting used to the pen.

  • camobabe

    Stockholm syndrome?

    • Richard Olson

      Crack a book sometime Camilla. Stockholm syndrome, or capture–bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors or abusers.

      • camobabe

        An accurate and appropriate definition of Americans under the marxist regime of Supreme Leader fo Life Barack H. 0bama. Find another tack Chipper.

  • Walt Henry

    I doubt the laws of physical shape of a solid and mass would allow someone put their golf clubs under the seat or in the overhead storage compartment. I realize some conservatives are not big into science but jeeez people!
    BTW–security in Europe have been blowing up unattended luggage for years. This is a dangerous world we live in.

    • Swede

      “This is a dangerous world we live in.”

      Right on! Thus our Founding Fathers wrote, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

      • Walt Henry

        There’s a well thought out suggestion–let Sofa Joe carry on an pressurized airplane and shoot a few holes in the thing at 35,000 feet. hahaha

        • Swede

          Oh, okay, no longer talking about the “world”, back to airplanes.

          How about utilizing resources to profile potential jihadists, like the Israelis do who deal with those loons every day? That seems like a logical procedure. Rather than wasting resources frisking grandma and disabled children in the search for a mad golf clubber.

          • Walt Henry

            I’ve never flown on Air Israel. Do they allow Sofa Aaron to carry his gun with him when he flies? It seems silly we let people carry guns on air planes in place of a through search. What about those home grown legal American citizens with terrorist values? Do they have 2nd Amendment rights to carry on planes?
            Moments before landing, while flying into Atlanta the plane I was travelling in got hit by lightening. When we safely stopped you would have thought WW2 had just ended. People kissed each other; some even kissed the floor. Planes often get hit by lightening. My point? It could be searches and restricting certain items work to reassure the flying public that everything that can be done is being done to protect their safety. Things are often more complicated than they seem. That’s why we need to consider carefully the news reports we hear and why quick little quips are not necessarily in our nation’s best interest.

  • Elliot Dallavalle

    Camilla leaps way out on a limb with “Stockholm Syndrome” and Mike can’t seem to quit talking about sheep. I don’t even want to know how these two points are related to the article so please you two, don’t even try to explain yourselves. These threads are read by children according to Mandy.

    Anyway, I just wanted to wish the fathers here a Happy Father’s Day. Here’s to you!

  • Richard Olson

    Mike Van Horn says … “This is a dangerous world we live in.” I agree, and part of the reason it’s so dangerous is because any dim bulb with a room temperature I.Q. can get his/her sweaty little paws on a firearm, without restriction.

    Another reason it’s so dangerous is because more ill-read, poorly educated, interbred drop outs believe that Mike Van Horn is quoting the second amendment correctly. Mike oh so very conveniently forgets that part about “well regulated”. He would prefer that you did also. His argument depends on ill-read, poorly educated, unsophisticated boorish people who think using the word “duh” is a sign of a university education. I suppose they would consider the Foxhome saloon bull riding team en route to the National Convention via public air transport, well armed and well liquored, a flight more secure from hijackers.

    • camobabe

      Huh???
      Did your fourth term instructors assign you to use the rhetorical tactic of “reductio ad absurdum” anywhere and in every response to any of your detractors?
      Several considerations militate against allowing people, even those with concealed carry permits, into the passenger cabins of commercial flights. The first is obviously the possibility of firing rounds and penetrating the airtight integrity of the fueslage, resulting in rapid, possible catastrophic decompression and structural failure.
      Another consideration is that most commercial flights cross state boundaries, creating the situation of making an armed person possibly subject to arrest for unlicensed carry on arrival at the destination, unless the person has had the foresight to be licensed in multiple states.
      Perhaps the greatest and most outrageous consequence would be the confiscation of the weapon at the check in checkpoint, never to be returned by the federal government and assuring the owners name will be added to the 0bama enemies list of right wing extremists.
      But, then, aren’t more than half of our population already on that enemies list?

      • Richard Olson

        Well good for you alias Camilla, you found a new word. It is however preferable to learn the meaning of new words before we use them in an attempt to impress your fellow tea baggers. Try again!

        On to the rest of your comment….at first I thought you must have renounced your membership in the tea baggers society because you make two rational, cogent and reasonable arguments against allowing firearms on to airplanes. I though some Liberal had magically slipped into your “Camilla” persona sort of like “transmogrification” in a Calvin and Hobbs cartoon, in a misplaced effort you make you appear educated. (to some degree)

        But at the last minute you redeem yourself and revert to the old Camilla, the one with missing teeth in her cogs and sand in her ball bearings; when you say that having your firearm confiscated would be the “greatest and most outrageous consequence”.

        Certainly greater than 300 people splattered across the earths surface as a result of their plane plunging tens of thousand feet because some Fox News Cowboy shot hundreds of holes into the fuselage because he thought he heard some non white mumble something in a language that wasn’t “merican”. I mean what are the lives of 300 people worth compared to you losing your Glock or Python. Let’s get our priorities straight people.

        Lastly, alias Camilla….I called the White House and they told me you are on the enemies list already. They also told me they have installed a NSA listening devise under your bed and they have an FBI agent disguised as a giant teddy bear sitting next to your Glen Beck memorial plate collection and your cats whiskers have been replaced with short wave antennae to send secret messages to Hillary Clinton.

  • Walt Henry

    We could be witnessing a miracle here. Camilla is suggesting it is perfectly legal to restrict the “right to bear arms”. Mike is supporting the actions of the IRS in their profiling of the Tea Party for the “sins” of one became the basis for the scrutiny of the many. And not so long ago Merle acknowledged the creation of the safety net by the civil government might have, as its base motivation, not something sinister, but rather the directive from Christ to care for each other. Amazing!

    • camobabe

      Christ thought of it first, Larry/Walt. It is baffling to me that you would laud an action by civil government which carries out Christ’s teachings. Aren’t you and Richard ackermunk united in your animus toward religipus influences in the life of the proletariat?

      • Richard Olson

        Alias Camilla, I always wonder where you come up with the ideas you assign to other people. But I now see that your problem is the result of a unimaginative, apathetic mind that can not see nuance. You don’t actually read what other write, rather you respond to what you hope/think/wish others wrote. Then when people read what you actually write they are left bewildered by writing which has no connection to anything that came before it. Your obsession with all things communist makes you so one dimensional that if you stood sideways and stuck out your tongue you would look like a zipper.

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