Irish Airport Security Bravely Defends Plane From Toddler's Fart-Gun

from the heroes dept

Here at Techdirt, we've had a great deal of fun at the expense of the TSA and the agency's wonderful brand of security theater masquerading as actual airport security. Yes, the government putting on a kind of clinic in the simultaneous overreach into civil liberties for false security and the kind of wasteful government spending that makes the conservative talkshow hosts of the world dip back into the Oxy has been an ongoing source of entertainment. But the TSA can take the same kind of heart that thousands of purported UFO abductees do: you are not alone.

No, as it turns out, foreign airport security agencies can be just as laughable as we can be. Witness the Irish, for instance, and the way they bravely disarmed a three year old of a toy fart-gun.

Well, I do want a kid wielding one of these delightful toys on an airplane, sirs. The very idea of a three year old tumbling down the aisle spraying a bunch of uptight, too-stiff adults with insufficient senses of humor in the face with banana-farts is exactly the kind of life, liberty and happiness no government ought be denying my right to pursue. What's far less funny - kind of - was the Irish authorities' insistence that they confiscated the "weapon" because it violated the rules against replica guns. Replica guns typically refer to realistic representations of actual firearms that don't work. The fart gun is not a representation of a real gun at all. And it most certainly works as intended.
The spokesperson noted that the toy was "being kept safe at the airport" so the child can get it back when the family returns, so that's nice.
It's not nice; it's exceptionally stupid. The Irish authorities are sitting on a children's toy that they absolutely know is not a weapon over a ham-fisted attempt to play by bureaucratic rules. I think it's time these lads went and had a Guinness and let the kid have his toy back.

Filed Under: airport security, fart gun, ireland, minions, security theater, tsa


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 10:43am

    Well, I do want a kid wielding one of these delightful toys on an airplane, sirs.


    I don't. But the reason has nothing to do with the fact that it's vaguely gun-shaped. It makes noise and scents, in an environment where people are trapped for several hours. (Perhaps so does the 3 year old, but he's got a reason to be there, and such things may tend to be cumulative.)

    Just put the thing in the luggage - the carry-on is fine, as long as they leave it there - and that should be the end of it.

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 20 Aug 2015 @ 11:06am

      Re:

      If it is what I think it is I've seen it before and the scent is only perceptible in the first few days of use. And I'd rather have fart sounds around than a kid crying out of boredom. Which is totally understandable in long flights. On a plus side they don't get entertained by the same thing for long at that age, unless it's some kids cartoon/movie they watch over and over and over.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 11:18am

      Re:

      Just put the thing in the luggage


      Putting children in carry-on luggage is frowned upon in most countries.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 10:45am

    It's not nice; it's exceptionally stupid.

    Yup. This right here is what happens when you take critical thinking out of the equation.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 10:48am

    What took you so long? Last week's story.

    This one is quintessential Geigner: a bit of real security theater with justification to use "fart". Did you just miss it?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 11:51am

      Re: What took you so long? Last week's story.

      He must still be laughing - as are the rest of us - given one of the article's tags is "far gun"!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 3:30pm

        Re: Re: What took you so long? Last week's story.

        ..which is ironic, because I'm sure you have to be pretty near this one to smell it.

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 20 Aug 2015 @ 12:59pm

      Re: What took you so long? Last week's story.

      TD doesn't generally bother with "Hot News." It's an opinion site, not a news site.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 5:31pm

      Re:

      So why didn't you talk about it, out_of_the_jackass?

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 21 Aug 2015 @ 12:49am

      Re: What took you so long? Last week's story.

      If you can't find anything wrong with the story, just whine that it's not what you want to read.

      Seriously, you've been crapping over this site for years and you still haven't worked out that it's an opinion blog based on external stories that may be days, even weeks old? Mind you, it has taken you this long to correctly identify the name of the author you're attacking on each story, so maybe you are just that slow.

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

  • icon
    bureau13 (profile), 20 Aug 2015 @ 10:56am

    Toy Guns and Security

    I just flew with my kid, and stupidly packed his entire Nerf arsenal in a bag that I then decided to carry on, with the cunning plan of getting it checked for free due to a full flight. That worked, actually, but not before we were delayed while TSA searched the bag, then sternly informed me that they "search everything that looks like a gun." I have no problem with that actually, it was my screw-up...but it was funny, and they didn't confiscate anything.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 11:49am

      Re: Toy Guns and Security

      ...they didn't confiscate anything...

      That right there is the difference. For all the TSA's errors this shows a sliver of intelligence. A small sliver admittedly but still a sliver.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 11:59am

      Re: Toy Guns and Security

      I have taken arsenals of nerf blasters through TSA security on multiple occasions.

      What I've learned is that it's best to put them in a separate bag, and *not* remove them for screening.

      The one time I opted to remove them from the bag and put them in the plastic bins was the one time I had a HELL of a time getting through security. It started with several additional travelers commenting about them, and then the TSA telling me they highly discourage toy guns as carry-on.

      This was not the first time, nor the last time I took them through security - but every time I left them in the bag, there was no fuss. There have been a couple occasions where the Xray guy pulled the bag aside to look inside, but this lasted a few seconds and once he was satisfied, the bag continued with no further distraction.

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

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 23 Aug 2015 @ 6:41am

      Re: Toy Guns and Security

      What gets me about this is that the rules only prohibit firearms and replica firearms -- not toys that look nothing like firearms.

      The toy is not a replica and therefore is not banned...except that it was banned anyway.

      For comparison, THIS is a replica firearm:

      http://www.collectorsarmoury.com/images/22-1024m.jpg

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

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 23 Aug 2015 @ 1:43pm

        Re: Re: Toy Guns and Security

        What gets me about this is that the rules only prohibit firearms and replica firearms -- not toys that look nothing like firearms.

        Yup. It looks like something you'd see a cartoon character brandishing, and some cartoon characters brandished guns that looked far more realistic (until it stuck out a flag that said "Bang!" on it).

        I'd fire them for getting this so ridiculously wrong, a six year old kid would fire them for getting it so wrong, but to these true believer security theatre types, their response is perfectly reasonable, because "national security." Theirs is the same mentality that gets you thrown in jail for even mentioning the word "bomb" in an airport, and irradiates or sexually molests babies and octogenarians.

        Our job is to smile, shut up, accept it, and hope we don't get dumped onto the no-fly list at the whim of some minor functionary. Seig heil.

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

        • identicon
          Joe, 24 Aug 2015 @ 9:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Toy Guns and Security

          Idea is to make people less and less comfortable with things that offend them, that 'we need to ban'. Same reason e-cigs are banned even outside in many public places. But hey, you can probably chew which is sooooo much healthier for both you and society at large.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 20 Aug 2015 @ 11:01am

    Indeed it works as intended. It caused the Irish authorities to have a brainfart. Evil.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 11:02am

    They should be happy I'm not the parent. My first reaction would be to fill the little guy up with as much refried beans and carbonated beverages as to make the toy pale in comparison to the onslaught of foul odor.

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

  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 20 Aug 2015 @ 11:15am

    How did they ever catch it? TSA's generally can't find their right hand with their right hand.

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

  • identicon
    avideogameplayer, 20 Aug 2015 @ 11:20am

    Have a Guinness? They probably had a half dozen before punching in...

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

  • identicon
    TMC, 20 Aug 2015 @ 12:37pm

    In Irish-TSA's defense, if that kid had taken that gun to America, there's a realistic chance he would have been murdered by the TSA or a LEO.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 3:35pm

    Replica guns typically refer to realistic representations of actual firearms that don't work.

    Did the Irish just admit that their military has a real-life fart gun?

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

  • identicon
    Mark Wing, 20 Aug 2015 @ 4:08pm

    This story feels like a Scooby Doo episode. The kid almost brought an OMG FART GUN on the plane, but Scooby and his rag tag band of misfits foiled his plans and unmasked the child as the unsavory character he was.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 4:15pm

    just like the TSA, they did it because they can! i dont know why it is, but it seems to me that the majority of the officers with the desire to be important but with the IQ of a rockin' horse, end up doing this job because no one else will employ them!!

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

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 20 Aug 2015 @ 5:18pm

    But it's sooooooo hard!

    Pigs is Pigs. A gun is a gun.

    You can't expect bureaucrats to make these hard distinctions.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2015 @ 8:57pm

    Threat assessment

    To be fair, flatulence is probably the most realistic threat airport security could be protecting us from.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2015 @ 6:20am

    Storage fee

    Will the airport be charging a storage fee for keeping the fart gun safe?

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


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