HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

The TSA and pocket knives

Written March 7th, 2013 by
Now that the Transportation Security Administration will allow airline passsengers to keep their small pocket knives, maybe other federal agencies will see the light as well. The TSA decision aroused the ire of unions representing airline workers as well as family members of people killed on 9/11. Their chagrin is understandable, but still the TSA made the right call.
Critics of the decision said small knives can be just as deadly as box cutters, which remain banned on planes. But other precautions are in place now, including air marshals on board and flight deck doors that are locked. Even with box cutters, it’s highly unlikely terrorists would be able to replicate mass murder.
If the security of airliners and their passengers depended on the elimination of everything that could be used as a weapon, then we haven’t gone nearly far enough. They still allow ballpoint pens, don’t they? How about all those in-flight magazines? Rolled up, they can become deadly weapons in the hands of a trained assassin.
As for other agencies, I remember that Shasta Dam in California bans pocket knives from its tours. Maybe it too will now relent. As for air transportation, I can understand the feelings of the critics of the decision to allow small pocket knives. But if you’ve carried one all your life as a matter of everyday routine because it is such a useful and necessary tool, taking a flight will soon be less upsetting to you, because you won’t have to give it up. (hh)

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