Sneaking Items Aboard Aircraft
A Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice faces a fine -- although no criminal charges at the moment -- for trying to sneak a knife aboard an aircraft.
Saylor, 58, and his wife entered a security checkpoint Feb. 4 on a trip to Philadelphia when screeners found a small Swiss Army-style knife attached to his key chain.
A police report said he was told the item could not be carried onto a plane and that he needed to place the knife into checked luggage or make other arrangements.
When Saylor returned a short time later to be screened a second time, an X-ray machine detected a knife inside his carry-on luggage, police said.
There are two points worth making here. One: ridiculous rules have a way of turning people into criminals. And two: this is an example of a security failure, not a security success.
Security systems fail in one of two ways. They can fail to stop the bad guy, and they can mistakenly stop the good guy. The TSA likes to measure its success by looking at the forbidden items they have prevented from being carried onto aircraft, but that's wrong. Every time the TSA takes a pocketknife from an innocent person, that's a security failure. It's a false alarm. The system has prevented access where no prevention was required. This, coupled with the widespread belief that the bad guys will find a way around the system, demonstrates what a colossal waste of money it is.
Posted on February 28, 2005 at 8:00 AM • 48 Comments