Politicians have fallen off the Civility Cliff and need to be Sequestered
What would you do?



Forrest Gump quotes are uncomplicated, basic and true. They are almost Zen-like in their simplicity. One of the best Forrest Gump quotes is "stupid is as stupid does" which may not be poetry or very deep, but it ends up being true and a more workable metaphor for life than the movie's tag line "life is a box of chocolates". The TSA has now given us a real-life example of stupidity at its stupidest.

As you probably heard by now, federal officials said they will allow passengers to carry small knives, golf clubs, hockey sticks and pool cues into the cabins of commercial jets. The policy change, which will take effect April 25, is being made to help align the list of prohibited items on U.S. flights with those of international carriers and cut the time passengers spend going through security screening. This is an example of using the lowest common denominator to set policy.

The TSA list of prohibited items will no longer include small knives with non-locking blades less than 2.36 inches (6 centimeters) long and 1/2-inch wide. Also removed from the list will be sporting equipment such as golf clubs, billiard cues, ski poles, toy bats and hockey and lacrosse sticks.

The TSA pointed out that other security measures are already in place to protect planes, including hardened cockpit doors, armed federal air marshals, armed pilots and crew members with self-defense training. It is nice to protect planes but what about we, the passengers, who may need help fending off the crazed golfer or hockey player sitting next to us?

The TSA can’t seriously believe that no danger exists to passengers by allowing these potential weapons on planes. Where has the TSA been these past few months while mentally and emotionally-challenged individuals have shot up schools, shopping malls, committed random acts of violence, and caused pain for all too many families?

Someone at TSA should explain to the American people how a small knife is less dangerous than a box cutter. A hockey stick can do great damage. What is to stop one passenger from pulling out his or her stick or club and pounding another passenger because that person is too loud or taking up too much space?

The phrase "blunt instrument" is used to describe a type of weapon that lacks a sharp point or edge. Examples of a blunt instrument include baseball bats, canes, rocks, and hockey sticks. Congratulations TSA for letting blunt instruments on planes.

Here is some interesting information for the TSA to consider as they (hopefully) reconsider this stupid change.

  • Annual FBI crime statistics show that more people are killed with clubs and hammers each year than by rifles or shotguns.
  • In 2011, there were 323 murders committed with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs.
  • Michael Skakel lost a bid for freedom on October 24, 2012, since being convicted of beating Martha Moxley to death with his golf clubs.
  • Hockey sticks are routinely used in hockey games to injure opponents on the ice.

Brandon M. Macsata, executive director of the Association for Airline Passenger Rights and a critic of airport security screening procedures, said he is not sure how the change will improve security or speed the screening lines at airports. I also can’t understand how the TSA believes the new rule will speed security lines and the boarding process. What will the airlines do when they realize after only one-half of the plane has been boarded, there no longer is any bin space because people are storing what will become fold-up hockey sticks and golf clubs manufactured specifically for ease of transportation on our planes?

Some family members of victims killed in the September 11 terror attacks said they are outraged by the TSA’s decision to let passengers carry pocketknives on planes. The change is an affront to all people of goodwill and it dishonors the memory of those who died on 9/11.

To say the TSA decision seems to be a poorly thought-out decision is an understatement. TSA now stands for "TOTALLY STUPID AGENCY!"

Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on March 8, 2013