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Wed, Sep 03, 2003

TSA Reports 'Millions of Weapons' Seized

Kinda Makes You Wonder...

The Transportation Security Administration says that it has been extra-efficient: it has seized over seven and a half million weapons that were headed for aircraft, in the past year and a half. Among those weapons are 1437 guns, 2.3 million knives, and over 49,000 boxcutters.

The weapons are consistently better-concealed, too, the TSA says.

Hmmm...

Of the roughly 900 million emplanements in that period, the TSA found 1437 guns. They don't know, of course, how many they missed. One can safely assume they must have missed some... yet there were no hijackings.

In the 900 million or so emplanements, TSA says it found 2.3 million "knives."  They don't know, of course, how many they missed. One can safely assume they must have missed some... yet there were no hijackings.

Who's getting 'smarter?'

TSA says the smugglers are getting better, more inventive. One might wonder if perhaps the screeners are actually getting smarter, and now are catching the better-concealed weapons. If the TSA says its screeners are getting smarter, then it's safe to think they missed even more weapons in the earlier days... yet there were no hijackings. If the TSA says its screeners haven't improved... then the agency has wasted our tax money, as well as our time at the airport; and the TSA is saying its screeners are just a bunch of uneducable morons.

Yet, for all the weapons the TSA has missed... there have been no hijackings.

Is it likely that one of every 125 passengers [7.5 million weapons, 900 million emplanements -- a rough cut at the possibilities] is carrying a weapon -- that there are that many potential hijackers? Or, could it be that the definition of some of the "weapons" is overly-broad, so that the TSA can inflate the perceived threat, and further justify its existence?

Could it be that American travelers really aren't that bent on destroying airliners, that they really don't have such malicious intentions? Or is the TSA simply trying to panic us into giving them more power, more money?

Or -- here's a mild stretch -- since the TSA's figures and claims aren't subject to anybody's scrutiny or verification, is it possible that the TSA is just making up its own figures? You'll never know.

FMI: www.tsa.gov

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