The title of a recently released CBS News article is “TSA DELAYS its move to loosen restrictions on small knives on planes” (Web-site/URL: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57580853/tsa-delays-its-move-to-loosen-restrictions-on-small-knives-on-planes/?tag=socsh).
“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it is delaying the implementation of a new CONTROVERSIAL policy that would allow small knives on planes”. This is indeed HIGHLY “controversial”.
“In March (2013), TSA Administrator John Pistole announced passengers would soon be allowed to carry previously-banned pocket knives and other items onto planes. The Prohibited Items List was originally scheduled to go into effect April 25 (2013), but the start date was pushed FORWARD to an unspecified date “in order to accommodate further input from the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC)”, which, again, is interesting and important, because one of the reasons people are difficult with us is: “We don’t value their INPUT or ideas” (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h7cmuRLwME)..
In a statement, the TSA said: “This timing will enable the TSA to incorporate the ASAC’s feedback about the changes to the Prohibited Items List and continue workforce training“.
“The new policy would permit folding knives with blades that are 2.36 inches or less in length and are less than ONE-HALF-inch wide. It also includes some sports equipment, like SOUVENIR BASEBALL BATS and GOLF CLUBS. Items like BOX CUTTERS and RAZOR BLADES ARE STILL PROHIBITED“. Why are “razor blades…still prohibited?”
“Transportation safety officials say the policy reflects the reality of airline safety concerns”.
“when the news first came out, Mark Rosenker, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (TSA) and a CBS News consultant, told CBS News correspondent Bob Orr”, “THIS REALLY IS A GOOD DECISION. We’ve seen UNDERWEAR that can blow up. We’ve seen people that have SHOES that they’ve attempted to blow up. We’ve seen people that have all kinds of CHEMICALS that could POTENTIALLY blow up“. Again, “potentially” is FRIGHTENING/SCARY because this is the latest signifying/suggesting UNCERTAINTY. “And they (the airlines) really need to be looking at the kinds of threats that are SIGNIFICANTLY more lethal than a two-and-a-half-inch blade”.
“But the announcement came with a lot of BACKLASH. Flight attendants, pilots, federal air marshals and insurance companies were a part of the growing chorus that OPPOSED the policy“. It’s NOT as if we need any more “backlash” or OPPOSITION.
According to the Flight Attendants Union Coalition, “Our nation’s aviation system is the safest in the world thanks to multi-layered security measures that include prohibition on many items that could pose a threat to the integrity of the aircraft cabin. The continued ban on dangerous objects is an integral layer in aviation security and must remain in place“.
“John Adler, who represents federal air marshals as national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said he and other “stakeholders” weren’t consulted by the TSA and the association would ask Congress to block the policy change”. Is Congress WILLING to do this?
“Some 9/11 families were also angry over the loosened rules. The sister of the pilot on American Airlines Flight 77, Debra Burlingame, told CBS News last month (March, 2013) she thought the TSA’s plan was DANGEROUS. Charles Burlingame was killed when his plane was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon”. “Do you really think a terrorist CAN’T make deadly use of these permitted items?” Of course, Burlingame is implying that terrorists CAN “make deadly use of” small knives IF the ban on those items were to be lifted.
To conclude, “knives” are clearly still a controversial and HIGHLY emotional/sensitive topic because let’s not forget that these are the weapons that were used to ATTACK PLANES back on September 11 2001