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Xeni Jardin at 12:54 pm Fri, Jan 27, 2012
My epipen was mistaken for mace last night, but that was by a bouncer at a private club. And at least he was reasonable when I explained what it was.
Better than confusing your gun with an insulin pump though. I’ll never do that again…
More accurate title for the article – LA airport security scare caused by TSA mistaking insulin pump for gun and then letting the woman through anyhow, only to change their minds and chase her down.
TSA – The Barney Fyfe Safety Net .
We’re giving these people badges? My goodness.
Coming back from P- Utah, a TSA dope in the St. George airport told me I could have either my toothpaste or my sunscreen, but not both. He was too stupid, or too poorly trained to understand the rules behind the still-moronic ban on liquids and gels on flights.
He was all too happy to bully me out of a new 12 dollar tube of sunscreen, which I put in a large container of other new items they collected during the day’s shakedown. These people are absolutely the worst, least fit people for their jobs.
“the rules behind the still-moronic ban on liquids and gels on flights. ”
Regardless, you picked pretty much the worst time possible to discuss the topic.
I didn’t “discuss” anything. This was the choice he gave me, up front.
You need to learn not to just fill in what you perceive are blanks when reading, and instead work on your comprehension, Professor.
He wasn’t stupid, he just needed some sunscreen.
A woman I work with, who’s son is diabetic, told me that the best way to get syringes into an aircraft is to just not declare them. Metal detectors and x-ray machines don’t have the resolution to pick them up, while declaring them to security always results in hours of argument.
What’s the point of banning something that can so easily be hidden? If someone’s doing it for nefarious purposes, they’ll easily circumvent the ban … so the ban only affects innocent people.
Obligatory authoritarianism: Any passenger should know that an unusual device such as an insulin pump will arouse suspicion. Arousing suspicion is tantamount to raising a false alarm: it diverts resources that would otherwise be available to respond to real emergencies. For this reason, it’s the passenger’s fault for trying to get the pump through security in the first place, and the passenger should bear all the costs of the ensuing investigation and alert.
We need new legislation requiring a certain minimum standard of physical fitness in order for people to be permitted to fly. Otherwise, we’ll continue to have false alarms raised by passengers who have no choice about what devices they’ll fly with (ostomy appliances, insulin pumps, pacemakers, implants of all descriptions, …). Clearly, these people simply will have to use other means of transportation. It’s no different from requiring medical certificates for pilots (or having sight and hearing tests for drivers, for that matter).
After all, flying is a privilege, not a right.
(Oh good FSM, I feel dirty after posting an ‘obligatory authoritarianism’ post.)
I’m very confused – insulin pumps are rectangular and slightly smaller than a deck of cards. It would take a lot of imagination to think one was a gun.
My son has an insulin pump and has flown a lot, through big airports and small. Not once has it been questioned. I’m thinking this incident involved a screener who is a complete idiot or was very poorly trained. Either way, it’s a proverbial black-eye for the TSA.
I was wondering about this as well – I know there are lots of different kinds, but I’m only aware of rectangular ones…
Google image search doesn’t offer any that look any more nefarious than a pager, nor does it show any guns that are shaped that way.
Well, you see, the TSA can only hire the ignorant and naive…
So glad we’ve reduced the size of these things – here’s the first one. They now look like pagers, which is probably something novel to the younger TSA people.
I’d like to think that there’s a subgroup of TSA employees that wants their agency to get defunded, and are sabotaging it from the inside. I mean, come on man, how can they be so inept if not intentionally?
There’s no way you could do it in today’s (pussified) world, but wouldn’t it be cool to actually have an insulin pump shaped like a gun?
Never mind the War on Terror™ what about the war on fun?
The TSA is quite entirely missing the point, but that’s their job.
From this crowd, though, I expected better.
The point is: it is impossible for the TSA to keep non-obvious weapons off of airplanes.
Any ‘maker’ worth his/her salt could build a lethal weapon in the form-factor of an insulin pump. Or any number of other innocuous-looking objects.
And if you’re not a ‘maker’ kind of guy/gal, you can just board with any store-bought weapon you’d like … as long as it fits entirely within one of your body cavities.
The TSA is just there for show, a cynical fig-leaf of ersatz “due diligence” on the part of American officialdom. It’s nothing but job insurance for our elected officials, a pre-planned talking point for the next post-attack press conference: “we were doing everything we could!”
TSA does a good job of keeping the dim-witted and the deranged from bringing firearms aboard — but the pre-9/11 screening regime was equally effective at that. For a committed individual of average intelligence, bringing a weapon aboard is trivial, TSA or no. There’s no scalable mass-screening process that could prevent that.
America should follow the rest of the world’s lead, and end the indignity of the pat-down, the barefoot parade, the nude-o-scope. Just look for guns, with the walk-through metal-detector and the X-ray, and call it good, just like every other sane country does. Because you CAN’T do any better.
But that would assume that the TSA is an actual security organization, rather than an enormous political theater troupe.
Authorities delayed some passengers boarding for up to an hour, according to sources.
“Look, it’s a gun!”
(five minutes later)
“It’s just an insulin pump. What do we do now, boss?”
“Suspend boarding until further notice. We are in a state of heightened alert!”
In a way, it’s like Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant, shooting his own car radio when the Mets beat the Dodgers, then blaring his siren and driving full speed through traffic.
Which is to say, the only heightened state is adrenaline and embarrassment coursing through your veins, “officer”.
Was it colored black, like a handgun? Because, you know, guns are black.
(My daughter’s is pink, BTW. :-) )
“What’s the point of banning something that can so easily be hidden?”
You just summed up the reason most genuine security professionals think TSA is wasting its time and money and your freedoms to no real end.
As a pilot once said “All I have to do to bring down a place is lean forward.” Yet they continue to search pilots for “weapons”.
an insulin pump looks like a janky old school pager. really? REALLY TSA? can we end this madness? please. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/images/ency/fullsize/18035.jpg