As TSA Stops Its No Knives Act, Ed Markey Introduces His Own

db37knives allowed 600x400 As TSA Stops Its No Knives Act, Ed Markey Introduces His Own

Last week I expressed the
hope that I would be allowed to take my Leatherman Juice S2,
which has a six-centimeter blade, onto airplanes after the
Transportation Security Administration’s
new policy regarding prohibited items takes effect on April 25.
But it turns out that the TSA’s
definition of blade ;(see illustration) includes
the unsharpened metal beneath the edge, which would make the knife
on my Leatherman one centimeter too long. (The width, by contrast,
is well under the half-inch maximum.) But are TSA agents really
going to be measuring knives? According to
CBS News, the TSA “argues the change will speed up security
lines.” Not if it requires agents to break out their rulers and
invites disputes about exactly how long and wide a knife blade
is.
Flight attendants and pilots have a different concern, noting
that the newly permitted knives are just as dangerous as the
still-forbidden box cutters. Members of Congress such as Sen.
Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) are worried
too. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)
plans to introduce a No Knives Act that would block the policy
change. “On 9/11,” he
says, “we learned that in the confines of an airline cabin,
even a small knife can lead to devastating consequences.”
The critics have a point. The distinction between box cutters
and pocket knives is emotional and aesthetic rather than logical or
practical. Because the 9/11 hijackers happen to have used that
particular implement, it is forever banned from airplane cabins,
even though it is not really any more threatening than the tools
that the TSA wants to allow. But TSA Administrator John Pistole

argues that small knives do not pose much of a risk in light of
reinforced cockpit doors and other post-9/11 security measures. He
wants his agents to focus on potentially catastrophic
threats—”primarily nonmetallic explosive devices, the bombs that
can bring down an aircraft”—rather than confiscating pocket
tools.
Enforcing the restrictions on knife length and width, of course,
could be pretty distracting too, depending on how persnickety the
TSA is. The TSA is perfectly capable of combining persnicketiness
with ineptitude: Although I have lost several pocket knives over
the years because I forgot to leave them at home or put them in
checked baggage, I have also accidentally carried them onto
airplanes without anyone noticing, so the ban on knives clearly
never meant that airplane cabins were knife-free zones.
Furthermore, Pistole’s fear of nonmetallic explosives is the
rationale for confiscating water bottles and otherwise policing
liquids and gels, which has to rank high in terms of inconvenience
and pointlessness.
Pistole nevertheless deserves credit for his willingness to
revisit policies that never made much sense, thereby risking the
wrath of alarmist micromanagers like Schumer and Markey. Maybe one
day we will even be able to keep our shoes on at the airport.
[Thanks to Robert Woolley for the tip.]

See the original article here - 

As TSA Stops Its No Knives Act, Ed Markey Introduces His Own

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