The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is at it once again. In a typical reactive move, you can now no longer bring printer cartridges over 16 ounces on an airplane. If this weren’t so sad, it would be downright comical. There has to be a better way to do this.
You all know about the recent terrorist plot, right? Terrorists in Yemen shipped bombs via cargo aircraft to the US. It’s unclear what the ultimate target was, but it is clear that the goal was to blow something up. It didn’t happen. These bombs were disguised in large printer cartridges. Did we really need to guess what the TSA reaction would be?
As of now, cargo from Yemen has been banned completely to the US, and the feds threw in Somalia as well just for kicks. And yes, printer cartridges over 16 ounces are banned. But get this, they’re only banned on domestic flights and international flight inbound to the US. Really? What a pain.
Now, I can’t imagine there are too many people trying to lug around 16 ounce printer cartridges; these are not the ones you find in your standard inkjet. But they are out there and now you can’t ship them. But, uh, how exactly is the TSA going to enforce this? Let’s say you’re traveling to London. It should be fine to carry your cartridge, right? But not if you go to Detroit. Remember, you go through the same security checkpoint as everyone else, so does this mean that the TSA is going to start enforcing rules by destination? Sounds like just what we need to slow things down even further. And how are they going to pick out a boxy-piece of plastic on the x-ray anyway?
Let’s not ask questions and just realize that we are now safer. How? Well, the next time someone tries to ship a bomb in a printer cartridge, there’s now a small chance the TSA would actually detect it. Just forget about the fact that it’s unlikely they’re going to try to use printer cartridges again anyway. We can, of course, all sleep easy at night because this is clearly going to keep us safe.
I mean, there’s no chance that terrorists will just laugh and move on to something else. Knowing that the TSA will just ban anything that the people try to use as weapons, you’d think that the next bomb will be in a toothbrush, or maybe in a razor. Next thing you know, Schick will try to put razor-bombs in Gillette razors to see if it can get only Gillette razors banned.
Of course, the terrorists (and no, I’m not calling Schick a terrorist) could go too far. If they try to put a bomb in a laptop, then business travelers around the world will revolt. Just imagine what would happen if the TSA tried to ban laptops . . .