TSA to US soldiers: take your guns but leave those nail clippers

Americans have found something in politics to unite around at last. All Americans– red state-blue state-purple state Americans– everyone hates the Transportation Security Administration.

Contributors to top national lefty blog Firedoglake and top national righty blog RedState are equally pissed off at the ratcheted up half-baked airport safety scanning and groping going on across the nation. No one wants security people “touching their junk” or making full body scan “child porn pictures” of their kids.

RedState’s Erick Erickson Friday passed on a dispatch he received from a U.S. soldier returning to the country from Afghanistan. The tale told by the soldier is a gem. Is it true? Who knows. Sure sounds true. It’s also sure to fuel the all-around hating on the nation’s beleaguered TSA workers.

So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:

TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns–but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic
jtomasic@coloradoindependent.com | 720-432-2128 |

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