It is one of the oldest pieces of technology known to human beings. It is the technology that, arguably, makes virtually all other technologies possible. It is the means through which humans begin to shape the world around them. It is one of the most important items in any field survival kit, in any soldier's utility gear and in any first responder's pockets. It is a knife, a cutting edge – a technology so simple that it's one of the first tools purpose-made by ancient human beings. The knife is so important that it is hard to imagine life without access to a blade, from opening your mail to preparing your evening meal. And we, as human beings – because we are stupid – are still arguing about banning them.
Last week, Newsday weighed in on a minor scandal at Kennedy Airport. "On six occasions, Newsday reporter Bill Dedman, who had bought one-way tickets, ordered steak dinners at one of two high-end establishments [located beyond security checkpoints]," reads the report. "Five times Dedman was able to slip a serrated-edge knife with a rounded tip into a briefcase with no one noticing or inquiring about the missing utensil. After 10 minutes each time, Dedman returned the knife to his table. The sixth time, Dedman left the airport with a knife, but he just as well could have boarded his flight to San Francisco. ... The Transportation Security Administration told Newsday it has detailed rules for handling knives at airports, requiring utensils to be removed when meals are done. The TSA said if a knife were missing, airport authorities would be notified and the traveler located. But that's not what happened to Dedman."
Newsday's editorial called for a ban on steel knives at all airports – because, if there's one thing the TSA should have, it's more power over the lives of Americans who happen to be anywhere remotely within proximity to a TSA agent. Come on, people, these supposedly free citizens of a supposedly free country aren't going to grope themselves or traumatize their own children. "Just hours after the investigative story was posted online," the Newsday piece continues, "the Port Authority banned metal knives, imposing a plastic-only rule for utensils, the norm at many airport eateries. The TSA should make the same cut and prohibit such knives at all airports."
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Since the Transportation Security Administration was empowered to grope you to humiliating new depths (under threat of placing you on a no-fly list or, at the very least, forcing you to miss your connecting flight while you waited in a windowless interrogation room for hours), any number of horror stories involving this agency have come to light. Quite honestly, TSA employees are frequently ill-educated thugs who, because they possess almost total and unchallenged authority over travelers in the nation's airports, can get away with any crime as long as it takes place on airport property. Whether that crime is terrifying your child or fondling your wife, you had better not say anything. You don't want to be pulled out of line for additional screening, do you?
In Salt Lake City, for example, a mortified 8-year-old boy was forced to remove his shirt in front of other passengers. In Detroit, TSA thugs covered a bladder-cancer survivor in his own urine when they ruptured his urostomy bag during an invasive pat-down. A flight attendant for U.S. Airways (who is also a breast cancer survivor) was forced to show her prosthetic breast during her public TSA fondling. An employee of ABC complained that when she opted out of a full-body scan, the TSA agent felt inside her underwear. In Tennessee, a terrified, screaming 3-year-old girl demanded that a TSA agent stop touching her. And of course there is the constant junk-touching. Your choice is either to submit to a scan by a machine that is logging your naked pictures (even though we were told from the outset that this does not happen) or to let some pedophile shove his hands down your pants. Yes, by all means, let's give these people more control over what technology you can possess in airports.
In recent years, TSA employees have been charged with everything from theft and child molestation to rape, prostitution and murder. "The TSA's dismal record of properly recruiting and screening its employees is the subject of a ... report from Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn. … Blackburn writes that the TSA's response to practically every incident detailed in her report was 'The unacceptable behavior of a few individuals in no way reflects the dedication of our nearly 50,000 Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) who work tirelessly to keep our skies safe.'" In other words, every time it happens, it is an "isolated incident," no matter how frequently these incidents occur.
In an attempt to rehabilitate its image, the TSA maintains an often hilarious Instagram account in which it chronicles the various guns, knives, dummy grenades and at times bizarre weaponry (ranging from ninja tools to throwing blades and even inert rocket launchers) people have tried to bring onto airplanes in their carry-on luggage. The account consistently downplays the often felonious consequences for these "mistakes." The message is that anything you might choose to take through airport security the TSA will find and confiscate. The fact that you will go to jail shortly thereafter (perhaps with your junk ungroped, perhaps not) is usually left unstated.
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Politically correct hysteria over one of humanity's most ancient tools is the reason "zero tolerance" policies punish good students who bring to school items as harmless as butter knives. A round-tipped steak knife is not a broadsword or an assassin's dagger. It will not facilitate a hijacking.
Our overreaction to this "threat" only points to the self-destructive folly of progressives: They will vilify and ban any piece of technology, no matter how useful, if this furthers their goal of total control over your lives. Progressives will not be happy, in fact, until their jackbooted thugs can grope and bully you in every aspect of your life. The "security" of our airlines is just the starting point.
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