TSA Agent: Give Me That Toy Monkey Gun Or I'm Calling The Real Cops

from the monkey-see-monkey-do dept

I have something of a conflicting relationship with the Transportation Security Administration. On one side, I absolutely hate the idea of giving up freedom and pride for the sake of one of the most futile attempts at security theater known to man. On the other hand, it's quite useful to have such an amazing example at which to point when I get into a conversation with someone about how stupid my government can be. Then again, it's hard to justify that use when so many of my countrymen are subjected to poking and prodding by agents of the people that elect them. On the other hand, I mean, if I'm ever lonely on a cold, wintery night, the airport ain't that far away, know what I mean?

But, in an apparent effort to make my mind up for me, the TSA has recently decided to prove to the world that they've lost their collective minds. The latest example of this is when the TSA in St. Louis took possession of a gun a woman had in her bag. Which would be fine, except that the gun was 2 inches long and was owned by the sock-puppet the woman had crafted as part of her business.

The TSA agent searched the bag and found the 2-inch-long toy pistol, which gave her pause.

"She said, 'This is a gun,'" May said. "I said, 'No, it's not a gun it's a prop for my monkey.'"

But the agent remained concerned.

"She said 'If I held it up to your neck, you wouldn't know if it was real or not,' and I said 'really?'" May said.

Again, kudos to this TSA agent for making certain everyone around her knew she wasn't competent enough to be able to tell a real gun from a 2 inch toy because, hey, that's going to be useful information come performance review time. And sure, there might be some TSA rule somewhere that specifically says that nothing even resembling a firearm can be taken onto a plane in this way, but that doesn't make the passenger stupid, it makes the rule stupid. Put it this way: we now live in a country where you can't take a sock-puppet's toy gun on a plane. Congratulations everyone.

Fortunately for everyone on the flight, safety is the TSA's primary concern.

The agent confiscated the monkey doll's toy weapon and said she was required to call police.

"Rooster Monkburn has been disarmed, so I'm sure everyone on the plane was safe," May said. "I understand she was doing her job but at some point doesn't common sense prevail?"
Of course not, citizen. There's nothing in the TSA employee handbook about common sense. It's all genital-brushing and nudie-scanning, all the time. Even the TSA said so when they were asked to comment:
The TSA told NBC News in a statement: "TSA officers are dedicated to keeping the nation's transportation security systems safe and secure for the traveling public. Under longstanding aircraft security policy, and out of an abundance of caution, realistic replicas of firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags."
There's a joke here about something being two inches long still being the realistic version of an object typically several times larger, but I'm not going to make it (pssst! I'm talking about penises again!). Instead, let's just say that the TSA's dedication to not using any semblance of common sense is a wonderful prime reason for their dismantling.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:37pm

    Two inches or more for something that looks like a gun?

    How can any man fly then?

     

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      antymat, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 11:05pm

      Re: Two inches or more for something that looks like a gun?

      Because the size matters? Why do you think they wanted those microwave scanners?

       

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        btrussell (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 4:31am

        You Americans - always thinking about size

        At the International Gynecology Association's conference, a French doctor was discussing unusual cases with an American doctor.

        "Only last week," said the Frenchman, "a woman came to me with a clitoris like a melon!"

        "Don't be absurd!" said the American. "It couldn't have been that big. My God, man, if it were, she wouldn't have been able to walk."

        "Ah, you Americans - always thinking about size," replied the French doctor. "I was talking about the flavor!"

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:10pm

    The whole thread is going to look like this:

    something something her boyfriend never satisfied her something something two inches something punchline.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:14pm

    ok sirs pull out your weapons and lay them slowly on the floor..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:17pm

    A population that does not travel is much easier to control because ideas spread slowly... but then there is the Internet... and the MPAA/RIAA...

     

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    Anonymous, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

    And yet a certain celebrity has been able to smuggle cocaine onto airplanes and use it in the bathroom. Great job you're doing there, TSA.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

      Re:

      The TSA shouldn't be the least bit concerned about cocaine possession. It's not a threat to public safety.

      But then, neither is an obvious toy gun.

       

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        btrussell (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 4:47am

        Re: Re:

        "The TSA shouldn't be the least bit concerned about cocaine possession. It's not a threat to public safety."
        If it was legal it wouldn't be, but I am sure there are many people who could tell you how dangerous it is to be illegal and have cops raid the wrong house looking for it.

        Sorry, but you didn't specify air safety. :)

        I hope your government doesn't kill all of our birds. I understand birds are a very serious threat to airplanes. Soon, only our Monarchs will be able to enter/cross your airspace, and then only if they go directly to Mexico. Do not land, do not pass 'co.

         

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        Pragmatic, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 5:59am

        Re: Re:

        @ John Fenderson,

        I respectfully disagree. Blame the War on Drugs for the violence if you like, but the way things are, coke-heads are funding it, so yes, it is a threat to public safety.

        You can argue about which brand of cough medicine is used to make crack if you like, but again, it's a cocaine derivative and its dealers and users are often involved in violence.

        As for "Drugs don't kill people, people kill people," considering how the drug is made and transported, then what it's cut with by the dealers, actually... drugs do indeed kill people. Plus it's easy enough to accidentally OD, etc. as it's not being regulated so you never know how much actual cocaine you're taking or if it's even cocaine at all. It could be speed. Don't get me started on that...

        The point is, illegal drugs are indeed a threat to public safety.

        If you say, "Well, why don't we take the Portuguese route by decriminalizing drugs and treating usage as a health issue," I'll agree. I call myself "Pragmatic" for a reason.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 9:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The War on Drugs was about the same thing that the War on Terrorism is currently about: Generating an excuse to continue to feed the monster that is the Military Industrial Complex. It's not the "coke-heads" feeding it. It's the corporate special interests.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:27am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Put the problem in the right court. It's not the drugs that are the threat. It's the government's actions about drugs that are the threat.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 10:54pm

      Re:

      That actually sounds pretty good to me, not the TSA part. Go in the bathroom then come out snowblind as hell.

      TSA: Are you alright sir?
      Me: I'm awesome just a little snowblind.
      TSA: Sir it's illegal to bring snow into the airport.
      Me: Why?
      TSA: Because it could be a snow bomb or even snow gas containing anthrax.
      Me: Can I at least finish my snow coffee?
      TSA: Afraid not, now put your coffee bomb on the floor.
      Me:Da fuck?
      TSA: You heard me.., slow, slowly, I FUCKING said SLOW you scumbag terrorist!
      Me: Don't tase me bro!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

    The agent was probably worried the monkey was after her job.....

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 11:38pm

      Re:

      The monkey would certainly be more qualified when it comes to thinking on it's feet and making intelligent decisions.

       

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      Ninja (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 1:08am

      Re:

      Actually she was worried the ladie's hand might be possessed by some evil spirit that could then use the monkey to hijack the plane in the name of Allah and throw it in some unrelated building. I mean, yeah, she saved the world from certain doom!

       

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    Glenn, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:29pm

    Anybody think about the fact that this woman sells these things? Seems like she might profit from all this publicity maybe? Anybody check and see if this story is real?

     

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      alternatives(), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 3:04am

      Applying logic to your position

      If the story was NOT real then how competent is the TSA via their spokesman to just say how the story is made up by May?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

    In defense of the 2" size, I guess you guys never heard of a Derringer pistol or Bat Masterson. IRL though, that toy looks nothing like a hidden pocket pistol.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    Crisis averted!
    No doubt this will show up in the report of terrorist attempts foiled.

    Maybe they should start confiscating cell phones too, after all, the police keep insisting that they're weapons.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:46pm

    I wasn't aware we were deploying the feel-a-like test.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      I bet a ball point pen shoved in someone's throat from the side would feel very similar to a gun (as similar as a 2" toy gun would)....

      Lets outlaw pens and any small round objects from planes since we can never be too careful....

      Years later....

      Passengers will be required to disrobe, put all their worldly possessions in a bag that the TSA assures them will make it to their destination.... Put on a yellow robe, be subjected to a personally identifying barcode imprint (I mean if you are naked and have nothing, how could they know it's really you???), and fly commando style...

      Sure it's all a big joke... until it really happens....

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 5:35am

        Re: Re:

        Lets outlaw pens and any small round objects from planes since we can never be too careful....

        You ever see Red Eye? Pens on planes are dangerous! /s

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:59pm

    and regardless of the agency concerned, bullshit tries to baffle brains at every opportunity!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    I thought that said "...safe and secure from the traveling public." I totally misread that. Or did I?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 3:19pm

    performance review

    If the TSA agent confiscates an item or items(not surrended items) the get to wirte a report, more reports better review

     

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    Scote, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

    They do make real pistols that small in that style...

    That toy looks like it has moving parts. I thought this story sounded silly when I first heard it, but the photos show the pistol, though tiny, isn't just a silly looking solid metal thing out of a Cracker Jack box.

    There are actually collectible, firing pistols made in a similar size. I had one as a kid, it fired flares with the addition of a screw on thing that went on the muzzle.

    Granted, those tiny toy pistol are likely to do tiny damage, but the TSA agent isn't as wrong as people are making out.

    http://www.gizmag.com/worlds-smallest-revolver-swissminigun/23582/

     

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      Brian Vaughan (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 11:31pm

      Re: They do make real pistols that small in that style...

      Look back at the photo. The "firing chamber" is smaller than the head of a match. You couldn't get enough gunpowder in there to make a quiet "pop", much less break skin.

       

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      Sunhawk (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 11:50am

      Re: They do make real pistols that small in that style...

      It would be a good trick to make it out of plastic though...

       

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    DOlz (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

    Business as ussual

     

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    DOlz (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 3:45pm

    Bisiness as usual

    They just should have spanked the monkey, after all it's what the TSA is best at.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 3:54pm

    Sucks but true...

    http://northamericanarms.com/firearms/lr/lr.html

    Admittedly, the NAA revolver is a whopping 4" overall, but we're talking about requiring TSA MacJob-holders to show sufficient wit to make such a distinction.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 5:12pm

    'If I held it up to your neck, you wouldn't know if it was real or not,'
    Is the TSA run by the same people in charge of the zero-tolerance policies for schools? Are they going to start confiscating vaguely gun-shaped sandwiches and drawings of bombs?

     

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      It's Already Happening!!, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 12:30am

      Re: TSA vs. sandwiches

      A week ago I got sent to TSA Agricultural Inspection because the airline I flew had given me a sandwich (wrapped in clear plastic) that I wasn't hungry enough to eat while on the plane so I simply carried it with me to eat later. My sandwich was instantly confiscated by TSA Agricultural Inspection, since obviously the might of a global superpower would otherwise be defeated by this tiny sandwich - it would have been eaten in the airport while awaiting my next flight, if the TSA hadn't mugged me...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 5:54am

        Re: Re: TSA vs. sandwiches

        I was transiting through JFK at the start of the year and had all my water confiscated that I had bought after security at Heathrow. I smell a conspiracy!

         

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    Zem, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 5:35pm

    Totally Justified

    We all know that puppets are the real threat. Their political wing, the muppets, have been lulling us all into a false sense of security for decades.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 5:38pm

    I hope a trend develops as a result of this where teens and young people decide to see what miniaturized banned items they can get away with through TSA's screening. I'd like to see pics on reddit of a tiny fake bomb sitting on a 747's tray table. Or a GI Joe gun posed next to the body scanner.

     

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      Insanity Squared, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 7:12am

      Re:

      I would like to see someone smuggle aboard some plastic green army men in a bucket. Then, once past the checkpoint, open it up and scatter them around while yelling "All your base are belong to us!" just to see what happens.

      Hilarious possibility: Cops get called in to stop invasion by a foreign power. Everyone gets medals and the toys get shipped off to Guantanamo as foreign combatants.

      More likely: Cops get called to detain the obviously insane person flinging plastic toys around.

       

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    Londo Mollari (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 5:59pm

    The TSA is a haven for fools.

    This is but another example of what happens when morons are put in places of power. The TSA is perhaps the single largest collection of imbeciles ever assembled. Who in their right mind would think a toy would pose any danger to anyone? Only the TSA. Sad how a badge and a gun seem to deprive so many individuals of even the barest hint of sanity and common sense. And they call this security? Even the Narns could do a better job. Then again, most anyone could. I have not flown in over a decade, and this is why. Neither I nor those close to me will be fondled or gawked at by Gropers-R-Us. I imagine Mr. Garibaldi would have some choice things to say if he could see this so-called "security" for himself. The TSA, like the rest of the US government, is a complete joke. Unfortunately, it is a joke with too much power, and removing it will not be easy.

     

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    Koby (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 7:21pm

    Mini Pistols Exist

    There are functional mini pistols that aren't much larger than the toy portrayed in the picture.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXvn05sV6B0

    The TSA press release should have said "We are aware that there are working mini pistols and our agents are trained to watch out for them. But this agent was an idiot and blew things out of proportion because she was fooled by a toy and couldn't do a proper inspection." However, all of this would require the TSA to start showing some common sense, and that's something they apparently don't have.

     

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    identicon
    Here's another one, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 12:28am

    TSA vs. airline food

    A week ago I got sent to TSA Agricultural Inspection because the airline I flew had given me a sandwich (wrapped in clear plastic) that I wasn't hungry enough to eat while on the plane so I simply carried it with me to eat later. My sandwich was instantly confiscated by TSA Agricultural Inspection, since obviously the might of a global superpower would otherwise be defeated by this tiny sandwich - it would have been eaten in the airport while awaiting my next flight, if the TSA hadn't mugged me...

     

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    Andreas, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 2:53am

    Come on guys. You know, there are real guns out there with of that size. This TSA guy did nothing wrong.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 3:46am

      Re:

      There are real guns with similar sizes, yes(though it's highly unlikely that any real gun is that small), but the important question is: how dangerous would the gun in this case be?

      The entire chamber section could fit on a nickel, if not a dime, with room to spare. Assume, for the sake of argument, that the outside appearance was just for show, that it did not have 6-chambers(or the zero that's most likely), and instead had one single section, filled entirely with gunpowder. Also assume, again for the sake of argument, that the chamber was as hollow as possible, and made of an extremely strong metal to contain the force of a (mini) explosion. Even then, the amount of gunpowder you'd be talking about would be no more than a miniscule pinch, barely enough to cause a small puff of smoke, and certainly not enough to propel something fast enough to be dangerous.

      A gorram fork, which the airline itself provides, would present more of a threat than this prop 'gun', even assuming the worst, so to treat it as though it was no different than a full-sized revolver is an extreme over-reaction.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 5:42am

    Rooster Monkburn

    Even without his gun, that monkey certainly possesses true grit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 6:28am

    Perhaps they thought it was one of those weapons from the looneytoons, which are of that size but pack quite a punch! You never know these days...

     

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    dr evil, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 7:11am

    The brits didi it first

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 8:44am

    If you don't buy it in the airport travel shop, you can't take it on the plane. It's all a gimmick to drive up sales.

     

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      David, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 3:45am

      Re:

      It would appear that they'd better confiscate the sock puppet then. They seem to have an abundance of those to get rid of.

       

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    Bergman (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 9:48am

    It's too bad that the TSA doesn't prohibit realistic replicas of idiots.

     

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    al, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 12:19pm

    I'll see your two inches and raise you .........

    (Obligatory penis joke)

     

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    Middle Bass Island (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 7:36pm

    This problem pre-dates TSA

    In 1986 I took my wife and 7-year-old stepson to Reno, NV by plane. While out there we bought him a 6-inch wooden derringer that was a single piece of wood.

    Airport security wouldn't let us take it on the plane. Common sense doesn't work with the government.

     

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    Sheogorath (profile), Jan 1st, 2014 @ 7:01am

    Speaking of the TSA

    One of their agents impregnated a woman in a very unusual way!
    http://glossynews.com/society/travel-society/201311160146/tsa-agent-impregnates-passenger/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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