It's always fun for me when Techdirt has stories about the TSA, but perhaps not for the same reasons as everyone else here. By that, I mean that the range of reaction to such stories always strikes me as incredibly varied. Get a story about the TSA working with the cosmopolitan state of Tennessee to check drivers
for whatever it is they check for, and you'll get serious responses about our civil liberties being eroded. Write about these all-world defenders of truth and justice laying the smackdown on a possible-terrorist but confirmed breast cancer survivor and her mammory implants
, and truly flabbergasted readers will demand action from our politicians. Relate the words of the guy that created the TSA
to begin with and his apprehension about where the agency has gone in its off-broadway tour of security theatre, and you'll even get some folks defending the TSA in the comments. These are all well and good, true opinions and feelings from either side; the stirring of a wonderful national debate.
Me? I just like to laugh. And no one has made me laugh lately like the TSA. Gumnos
alerts us (without a patdown, no less) to a USA Today story of how LAX's airport security is trying to define ironic comedy
. At least, that's what I assume they're doing, because otherwise it means that some of their people may be in need of an IQ test. Look, no security is perfect. Something is going to sneak through occasionally. And we've been told the terrorists are creative, hiding exposives in their shoes (laces out, Dan), their underwear (I'm assuming they have to go with tighty-whities here, right? Or else everything would just kind of fall out?), and we've been told that the clearly deep-thinking and well-funded terrorist networks around the world are looking into hiding a multi-megaton nuclear warhead in a hair bonnet.
But what you don't expect to encounter is what happened at LAX. And that's for a loaded .38 caliber pistol to kind of just fall out of a passenger's duffel bag as it was being loaded onto the plane
. Now, to be fair, the TSA promptly and proudly announced that it isn't their duty to screen anything but carryon luggage, as if this was some kind of a win for them. But all that makes me wonder is why a federal agency in charge of ensuring safe transportation is more concerned with slapping around our meaty bits than, oh I don't know, checking the damned luggage that goes on the plane! Again, this is not
carryon luggage, but rather checked luggage. But how does it make any sense to parse out different sets of luggage to be checked by different agencies with potentially different equipment and...You know what? I'm not going to try to make sense of this for fear of a complete mental breakdown.
Still, I'm all about the positivity, which is why I pictured myself standing in line, waiting to board the plane (why am I always in Group D, damn it?) and watching the baggage handlers out the window lovingly slam my stuff into the luggage compartment, when a loaded .38 pistol comes spinning out of the bag and lands on the tarmac. After a moment of watching the handlers stare dumbly at each other for a moment, I burst out laughing, pointing at the gun, then back at the airline employees, then off in the distance where some TSA agent is playing puppet with a 98 year old triple amputee (try figuring that
one out), then back at the gun. Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat.
So take a moment to thank the TSA for all the laughs.