There have recently been a couple of attempts to smuggle knives through checkpoints. Both failed, obviously. A passenger at Liberty International in Newark tried to disguise a knife as a credit card (we can't be sure, but we assume it was something like this thing). Another passenger at Reagan-Washington National Airport got caught trying to hide two throwing daggers inside a hollowed-out book (!!).
Let us explain very precisely why trying to get through security with sharp things that cut people is a bad idea. The most significant criticism of TSA isn't that they violate civil liberties. Like it or not what they do is still technically legal, until a court or Congress say otherwise. What they really get criticized forand we've gone on about this issue at some lengthis for building tomorrow's security checks around yesterday's hijackings. They respond to shoe-bombers by forcing us to take off our shoes. They respond to underwear bombers by building machines that see through underwear. The agency is purely reactive.
But the upshot of that is that the one thing TSA agents are almost certain to catch are the weapons that caused 9/11. There's an argument to be made that those are the only things they'll catchand that they need to be more proactivebut that's not relevant to this post. What's relevant here is Stop It.
[Photo: hyku / Flickr]