today's TSA comedy

Soldiers armed with deadly nail clippers:

A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:

TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns – but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

Schneier has a comprehensive round-up of recent absurdities.

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12 Responses:

  1. harryh says:

    One thing I've had happen to me a couple times recently is that they're fine with the nail clippers except for the little nail file bit that swings out. So what's happened is they take the clippers, break off the nail file piece and then everything is apparently ok. Of course they do this without even asking me first. It's not like it matters to me that much as it only costs me a dollar or whatever to replace. It's just such a petty annoyance.

  2. greyhame says:

    I feel safer already.

  3. Hmm. Says "this is really real because I know the guy", but doesn't present an actual real source, or any verifiable details, and comes from Red State.

    This sounds WAAAAY too much like an Army Story to be trusted without corroboration.

    • spider88 says:

      Ok, so you haven't flown in the last ten years, right? Because anyone who has has experienced something this ludicrous and wouldn't doubt it for a second.

      I got told I wasn't "allowed to be angry" by a TSA agent. Not disallowed from raising my voice or telling someone off (I didn't speak a word), just not allowed to be angry.

      • The source is well-known and unreliable. The writing style is note-perfect Urban Legend, all the way down to the "retold by a friend as it really happened to HIS friend" with no names part.

        I don't say it *couldn't* have happened. I simply find the details unconvincing, with neither a trustworthy source nor corroboration.

    • autopope says:

      Actually, I've heard a similar (but slightly different) story at first hand from a certain retired RAF squadron leader of my acquaintance -- he didn't personally have any nail clippers confiscated, but saw one soldier on the same flight lose a Swiss army knife to over-zealous security.

      His point was that they were boarding a chartered civilian airliner for the first stage of their journey to Basra, so civilian security regs were in place. (And his SA90 travelled in the hold.)

      • mcity says:

        I've heard a similar story from Reader's Digest, I think it was. Soldier had his Swiss Army Knife confiscated, then they handed him back his rifle. And that was long before 9/11.

        • blowtar says:

          That's funny. Pre-9/11, I flew from Syracuse to Pennsylvania to JFK to Heathrow. I made it through two security screenings with a large folding knife strapped to my belt. Put it in the change bucket when going through the metal detectors and nobody said a word until I got to Heathrow. They were less than pleased.

          That flight was in august of 2001.

      • mouseworks says:

        I lost a Leatherman Micra (small keychain knift and scissors)to the guy searching at the Wilmington, NC, airport. The Micra had gone through Philadelphia's airport without any problems.

  4. mackys says:

    I'd love to see what happens when a terrorist boards a plane full of armed soldiers. ;D

    • antabakalj says:

      As (if the account is to be believed) established by the TSA, a soldier with an unloaded gun is significantly less of a threat than a soldier with an unloaded gun _and_ a nailclipper. So there may be hope for the terrorist...