Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bats On a Plane!

Or maybe just pool cues...

Just when you thought TSA rules were getting silly, Chris Bellavita at Homeland Security Watch reports that the reign of defenselessness for air travelers is about to come to an end.

TSA Administrator John S. Pistole made the decision to start allowing the following items in carry-on bags beginning April 25th: [April 1st being taken]
  • Small Pocket Knives – Small knives with non-locking blades smaller than 2.36 inches and less than 1/2 inch in width will be permitted
    • Small Novelty Bats and Toy Bats
    • Ski Poles 
    • Hockey Sticks
    • Lacrosse Sticks 
    • Billiard Cues
    • Golf Clubs (Limit Two) [Which almost implies there are no limits on the other items]

      Knives - little folding ones anyway - will now be allowed on commercial flights.  Remember all the wee little Victorinox Classic Swiss Army keyring knives the TSA has been confiscating since 2001?  Well, you can't have them back, but now they're totally legit.  Locking or fixed blades, molded grips, razor blades, and box cutters are still evil.  Can't fight with a unlocked folder, but how about a butterfly knife (where legal) with a 2.35 x 0.50 inch blade and no locking clasp on its full-length handle?  Hmmn...   

      But wait, that's not even the best part! 

      Bats!  The announcement says "Small Novelty Bats and Toy Bats," but the rules say that bats under 24 inches in length, or more than 24 inches in length but weighing less than 24 ounces are permitted.  That rule more than allows a COMBAT B4 Portent SL 2-5/8, 32 in, 24 oz Senior League Big Barrel inside the passenger cabin.  Might be just the right tool to convince a person quit trying to enter the flight deck without permission and return to his seat.

      So, may we expect to see grown men packing 24 ounce little league bats in their carry-ons?  Clink, clank.  Oops, sorry!

      Pool Cues!  What's every pool hall brawler's favorite weapon?  No, other than the bartender's sawed off shotgun.  That's right, pool sticks, pool cues, billiard cues.  They come in take down form with oh so cool looking carrying cases.  And you can order them extra heavy.  Just the thing to put the El Kabong to the fellow trying to light that fuse coming out of his pants.

      Perhaps a two-piece pool cue will become the well-prepared business traveler's must have accessory for 2013. 

      Admittedly, sporting implements such as these are not the stuff of offense, but one could mount a very vigorous defense without exceeding the capricious and arbitrary limits based on Administrator Pistole's Risk-Based Security approach.

      "Please be careful opening overhead bins as improvised weapons may have shifted in flight."


      1. Alas, my little swiss army knife was a victim of the TSA on a flight back when I was at Ft. Dix and flying home on pass.
        "The agency will relax its prohibited-item list in other ways, Pistole said. Passengers will be allowed to carry on sticks used to play lacrosse, billiards and hockey, ski poles and as many as two golf clubs, he said."
        We all know that hockey players never get violent. Needless to say, the flight attendent union is unhappy because they seem to think they'll be less safe.
        Though we could always go with this security measure that I came across:

        1. PS, the YouTube video in question is NSFW, unless maybe you come from Brooklyn...

      2. Very true,

        My apologies for not giving you a heads up. It is a sad testament though that it seems to have become almost acceptable, or at least unsurprising when someone " goes off" because they didn't get their way. At the risk of sounding like the old curmudgeon that I am, I wonder if there is some point in time that tipped this attitude towards the dark side. Where self satisfaction took precedence over honorable conduct.

      3. It's been way too long since we had any excitement on board airplanes. The sky marshals are getting bored....