Monday, July 23, 2007

Some questions, answered

USA Today worries that the lighter unbanning on airplanes is an issue, because lighters might still be dangerous.

The TSA has a very helpful Qand A on the subject, but USA today has some questions only a smart person can answer. Lucky for you, I'm smart.
When and how was it decided (and who decided) that lighters were no longer a "significant threat"? Less a threat than 4 ounces of shampoo or toothpaste or breast milk? Help us out here, TSA.

Lighers never were a significant threat. They were banned in response to someone using matches to light his shoe, so naturally, they banned lighters, but not matches. This is what happens when you Must Do Something, you just come up with something to do.

• What's the deal with smokers? Why do they continue to pack lighters in carry-ons, knowing they'll be taken? Willfulness? Constitutional issues? Nicotine-induced amnesia? Or is it just addiction? (Are screeners also confiscating heroin-junkies' "rigs"?)

The article points out that over 11 MILLION lighters were confiscated last year. I flew several times last year, each time with a lighter. Only lost one. Why? Because airport screening is a joke. Smokers who travel regularly know that it's easy to make it through screening with your lighter. So you pack it, take some matches just in case, and you'll probably get to your destination with your Bic. In my case, my wife and I also made it to our destination with a screwdriver and a canister of mace (which was attached to my wife's keychain IN PLAIN VIEW).

• Why is breast milk not a threat? (See below)

It never was.

No comments: