TSA Confiscates Toy Gun – What Next?
September 11 was a tragedy which will remain a major event in our nation’s history. It changed many things in the US, including regulations surrounding airport security. They were important changes designed to keep flights and the people on them safer. However, when you start to mix the strict TSA regulations with the growing talk of more gun control, you get some interesting results!
Earlier this month, a woman was traveling on an airplane with her kit for making sock monkeys, when a prop for one of them was confiscated by the TSA. The sock monkey was designed to look like John Wayne’s character from the movie True Grit, so naturally he was carrying a little six shooter with him. The TSA agent who was scanning luggage confiscated the prop because, regardless of it being fake, it was a gun nonetheless. The monkey was eventually allowed to board the plane but had to do so without his revolver.
Now, it’s understandable that those tasked with upholding the security of the airlines want only to do their best and keep all passengers safe. However, there comes a point in time when there needs to be a line drawn between safety and absurdity. The TSA agent made the justification that if the toy were put against someone’s neck, they may not realize that it’s a toy. When the sphere of what’s safe and what’s not gets pushed out that far, there is the potential to lead to a slippery slope. Some could even argue that if a tiny toy gun is being confiscated as “dangerous,” we are certainly already on that slippery slope. The word “gun” has developed such a negative connotation lately, especially with all of the anti-gun rhetoric in politics, that it seems some people have begun to fear everything about it. Even if no real danger is actually present.
Having steps put in place to ensure the safety of the general public (like not bringing guns or bombs onto airplanes) is a common sense effort. However, those safety measures need to stay within the realm of realistic. When it gets to the point that anything that looks like, could possibly be, or sort of sits in the shape of a firearm is considered dangerous, a phenomena is created which leads to the absolute fear of firearms instead of an understanding of them. The TSA has an important job, and people need to trust that TSA agents are going to be expending their efforts on serious tasks of keep the airlines safe.
If you’ve flown frequently, you’ve likely had some form of run in with the TSA, whether it be because of your own belongings or the guy ahead of you in line. If you’ve seen some form of commotion due to stricter, post-9/11 guidelines, we’d love to hear about it. It could be a time when you saw that the TSA was really doing their job and keeping the airlines safe or a time when the whole process was held up because of something nonsensical (like a sock monkey’s toy gun!) Leave your story in the comments below!