Thursday, December 22, 2011

Grenades and Guns and Knives, Oh My!

The TSA is very proud of their recent detection of artfully concealed daggers and inert grenades in carry on bags...

...but why did they let the passengers carrying these items pass through the checkpoint and board their flights after confiscating the contraband?

In November of this year TSA administrator John Pistole touted the detection of thousand pistols in 2011 alone, to defend his organization's mission and its value to the traveling public. But how many cases resulted in criminal prosecution at the federal, state, or local level? How many were forgetful cops and other lawfully armed citizens? How many of these offenders were terrorists or wanted criminals? If none of the detected and confiscated items were in the hands of criminals or terrorists precisely what harm has been averted?  If those who violate these rules are not hijackers or terrorists who precisely is the TSA defending us against?

I reiterated my question to the TSA personnel administering their blog: Has there ever been an arrest, indictment, prosecution, conviction, or imprisonment arising from the detection of a prohibited weapon at a TSA checkpoint? Certainly there must be some they can point us to.  I look forward to their response and will share it when it arrives.

UPDATE: Here's one I found.  Anyone else?

Reupdate: Here we go.  1080 firearms, 689 firearms arrests.  Much better.  Perhaps the TSA should emphasize the arrests arising from their stops rather than parading the grenades and artfully concealed knives, then explaining why passengers carrying them were allowed to board their flight anyway.

Updates continue, with cupcakes:  The TSA is same outfit that prevented a cupcake from passing through the security checkpoint at Las Vegas International Airport because the frosting was gel-like, possessing an almost liquid character because it conformed somewhat to the inside of its container, which meant the entire confection exceeded the three ounce limit, plus it wasn't presented in a one quart ziploc baggy...oh never mind!

Photo credit: TSA