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Sosakonline Archive

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Thoughts on the TSA

                Ever since 9/11 there has been a lot of fear mongering and it’s become a buzzword for various publications to take advantage of.  I hate this.  But, since it’s such a common topic on the forums, I felt it was necessary to say something- bear in mind, I have no worthwhile political views, and this is coming from a completely political neutral place.

                Folks often ask what knifeless options or bladeless SAKs are available that are legal to take on a plane.  My response is as it has always been, even before the tragic event- take nothing even remotely offensive with you.  It doesn’t matter of the manufacturer claims it is TSA friendly, it’s your dignity, freedom and well being, not to mention your property at risk when you fly.  While something may or may not meet the official regulations for air travel, the individual TSA agents have great latitude in interpreting those regulations, and as with many other positions of authority, there are some bullies that like to go not so much above and beyond as around and behind common sense.  This is not to say that all TSA agents are this way- I am certain the vast majority of them are well trained, intelligent individuals, but things can and will go horribly wrong if you get one of the not so great ones.

                I have also read accounts of people asking to speak to the agent’s supervisor and having their property returned to them, but this is something else I would not want to count on.  Escalating a situation is just as likely to cause you to miss your flight or end up in custody- neither of which should be considered acceptable outcomes, and certainly not worth the ability to trim one’s nails while soaring over Utah.  While I tend to agree that it feels awkward without a knife or tool on my person, I would imagine a body cavity search and being added to the No Fly list would be much more so.

                In short, be safe and err on the side of caution when going into secure places like court rooms, airports and so on.  Chances are your pocket knife isn’t going to help you much in the air, and while we can complain all we want about the indignity of modern flying (and trust me, I’m with you on that one!) the current climate is such that the cards are stacked against you, and even if you win you are probably going to lose.  I’m not saying it’s right, but it is the way it is.

                To finish off with an interesting story on how things have changed, in the late 60’s my grandfather was visiting Canada from Scotland, and he purchased a chainsaw here- apparently they are much more affordable in Canada than in Scotland, insert lumberjack joke here!  Of course, he didn’t want it damaged so he didn’t check it, but instead brought it with him as carryon luggage, and the only issue he had was the flight crew asking if there was any gas in it!  There wasn’t, so he was directed to his seat with a smile!