Daniel J. Mitchell

I’ve had some fun mocking the bureaucrats from the Transportation Security Administration, including stories such as:

o Confiscating a plastic hammer from a mentally retarded man.

o Detaining a woman for carrying breast milk.

o Hassling a woman for the unexplained red flag of having sequentially numbered checks.

o Demanding that a handicapped 4-year old boy walk through a metal detector without his leg braces.

o Putting an 8-year old cub scout on the no-fly list.

Keep in mind that these are the geniuses who still fail to catch guns and box cutters – even when using the body-scan equipment!

With this track record of incompetence, this next story probably won’t be too surprising. Here are some excerpts from a report showing a freaky combination of brainless stupidity and idiotic political correctness.

Dangerous Weapon?!?

Vanessa Gibbs, 17, claims the Transportation Security Administration stopped her at the security gate because of the design of a gun on her handbag. Gibbs said she had no problem going through security at Jacksonville International Airport, but rather, when she headed home from Virginia. …her preference for the pistol style didn’t sit well with TSA agents at the Norfolk airport. Gibbs said she was headed back home to Jacksonville from a holiday trip when an agent flagged her purse as a security risk. “She was like, ‘This is a federal offense because it’s in the shape of a gun,’” Gibbs said. “I’m like, ‘But it’s a design on a purse. How is it a federal offense?’” After agents figured out the gun was a fake, Gibbs said, TSA told her to check the bag or turn it over. By the time security wrapped up the inspection, the pregnant teen missed her flight, and Southwest Airlines sent her to Orlando instead, worrying her mother, who was already waiting for her to arrive at JIA. …TSA isn’t budging on the handbag, arguing the phony gun could be considered a “replica weapon.” The TSA says “replica weapons have prohibited since 2002.” It’s a rule that Vanessa feels can’t be applied to a purse. “Common sense,” she said. “It’s a purse, not a weapon.”

The moral of the story, needless to say, is that we should listen to Steve Chapman and shut down this counterproductive bureaucracy.

And then listen to Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz, so we can allow the private sector to do a better job at much lower cost.

(h/t: Instapundit)


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.
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