Friday, December 2nd, 2011

The TSA continues to find new ways to make itself look ridiculous.

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.

“It’s my style, it’s camouflage, it has an old western gun on it,” Gibbs said.

But 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.”

A TSA official at JIA said it’s not that uncommon for passengers to wear something that could be considered a gun replica, but the official encourages everyone to check the prohibited items list, which can be found online or at the airport before going through security.

Mull that over for a sec. TSA isn’t budging . . . over a design of a gun on a handbag.

These are the people charged with keeping us safe.

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37 Responses to “Speechless”

  1. #1 |  CyberLizard | 

    That’s it, TSA, show us exactly how far you can shove your heads up your asses. *facepalm*

  2. #2 |  MRK | 

    TSA: Proudly giving everything the terrorists want since 2001.

  3. #3 |  Mattocracy | 

    Incompetance has always been a greater threat than any terrorist.

  4. #4 |  Difster | 

    It’s the girls own fault. She should have anticipated that it would be a problem. In fact, everyone, in order to appease the TSA should go to the airport wearing burlap sacks, flipflops and carrying nothing but their identification in a clear plastic bag.

  5. #5 |  Chris | 

    Good thing she didn’t stick out her finger and thumb in a “gun” gesture… She’d be arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.

  6. #6 |  Roho | 

    Difster – Also need to make sure the bag for your ID is in an indeterminate quantum state. Last time I went through security, they had one TSA agent barking orders at everyone, “Keep your ID and boarding pass out and ready!” The next TSA agent: “Make sure all papers and IDs have been placed in your bags on the conveyer belt!”

    Response to pointing out that the TSA agent *10 feet away* was telling people to keep their IDs and passes on them:
    “That’s back there, you’re dealing with me now.”

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Keep your ID and boarding pass out and ready!” The next TSA agent: “Make sure all papers and IDs have been placed in your bags on the conveyer belt!”

    Shhh!! How dare you spill the beans about how the real agenda
    of TSA is to fuck with your head.

  8. #8 |  Bergman | 

    A replica gun is an object that is intended to look like a real gun. It looks real, except it doesn’t actually function. If it’s obviously a fake, then it’s not a replica.

    Too bad the TSA screeners are using their replica intelligence and common sense, eh? They only appear to have either, neither actually functions.

  9. #9 |  SJE | 

    Of course, a real gun that looks like a normal handbag is OK

  10. #10 |  Difster | 

    @Roho, I think you’re on to something with the quantum state thing.

    Perhaps the TSA agents themselves exist in a quantum state. Perhaps if no one looks at them, they will simply vanish.

  11. #11 |  Aresen | 

    Also need to make sure the bag for your ID is in an indeterminate quantum state

    I thought Ohio was the indetreminate quantum state.

  12. #12 |  Scienceguy | 

    This is a complete success. Now that they know we’re on the lookout, the terrorists will have to scrap their plans for guns sewed onto the sides of their handbags.

  13. #13 |  Bren | 

    What’s next TSA? Are you gonna stop all infantry and cavalry soldiers for their sabres or musket insignia? …and Buffalo Hockey fans, you’re all federal offenders! Wait, don’t those blue uniform guys at the airport have an tiny arrows in the eagle on their shoulder? Tackle ’em!!

  14. #14 |  Jeff | 

    I’d have flagged her purse too. I’ve see smaller and just as odd looking real firearms built into belt buckles. However, it sounds like it was pretty trivial to determine it wasn’t real, and if it doesn’t detach from her purse, I don’t see how they can call it a replica.

  15. #15 |  Z | 

    I hope nobody is deluding themselves into thinking that either the TSA, or the patriot act or the war on terror have anything to do with terrorism.

  16. #16 |  Debi | 

    The TSA is obviously being managed by former high school principals.

  17. #17 |  SJE | 

    Note to Federal Politicians looking for budget savings:
    TSA $8.1billion/yr; Homeland Security $55billion/yr. When you consider that they are looking for 1.3 trillion budget savings over a 10 year period, $550 billion is just under half.

    So, when it comes to election time and you can’t explain why you can’t cut the budget, you aren’t thinking too hard.

  18. #18 |  Whim | 

    I think I’ll wear just thong underware next time to the airport TSA checkpoint. The TSA security agents will be s
    o grossed-out that they’ll forget what they are even doing.

    I saw a picture of the girl holding the gun purse. The gun did actually look sort of real, except that it was a miniature of a real cowboy six-shooter, and thus not really believable to any discerning adult.

  19. #19 |  Doubleu | 

    It makes them look like they are tough on security. Had it been an actual gun the unionized TSA agent would have said, “not my job, not my worry.” and let it go through.

  20. #20 |  Nando | 

    Someone needs to get these TSA agents a dictionary so they can look up the word “replica.” If it looks real but doesn’t work, it’s a replica. If it’s just an item in the shape of another, it’s not a replica, it’s just an item in the shape of another object.

  21. #21 |  primus | 

    Require them to write the definition of ‘replica’ in its entirety—-500 times.

  22. #22 |  Phelps | 

    Replica. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  23. #23 |  Phelps | 

    I wish that we could substitute a replica of a security check for the TSA.

    Of course, we’ve already done that.

  24. #24 |  (B)oscoH | 

    They’re worried about a gun design on her handbag when she is carrying a potential terrorist in her womb. WTFingF?

  25. #25 |  FelurianRed | 

    @Z (post #15) Oh, but they do have something to do with terrorism: the terrorism being perpetuated on the populace by the State and its agents.

  26. #26 |  Dorothy | 

    Charles & Marie (online store) sell a collection that is actually shaped like guns. They even have a holster-style purse/wallet. I would like to see what the same TSA agents would do with that collection.

  27. #27 |  jb | 

    It looks like the “image” of the gun is fashioned out of pleather! JFC!

  28. #28 |  the innominate one | 

    When I was flying back from the Reno airport the Sunday before Thanksgiving, they had signs up stating that as a result of heightened security, snow globes could not be carried on. I know I felt safer just reading that.

  29. #29 |  Guido | 

    See!? I got a badge on my sleeve.


  30. #30 |  Balloon Maker | 

    “Common sense,” she said.

    Hahaha. Common sense. Nice try.

  31. #31 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “Common sense,” she said. “It’s a purse, not a weapon.”

    Yes, you and I know that. So do the TSA agents. But the agents are acting as unthinking drones.

    This is common behavior in most large institutions, public and private. Mindless, incessant rule-following for the sake of rule-following. Nevermind the implcations of the rules. Who gives a shit if the rules are unfair or ill considered. “We don’t pay you to think” (My boss almost came right out and said that some time ago). Who cares if following the rules makes you appear to be an incompetent ass? And if you don’t even understand the rules, pounce on anything that your confused, drone head thinks might violate some all important rule passed down by the “great minds” at the top of the bureaucracy (again, public OR private). If you do, your poor wage slave self might get a thirty cent raise. Or maybe a pat on the butt from some management hero. Yippee!

  32. #32 |  derfel cadarn | 

    So if one points ones index finger while extending the thumb upwards while curling the other fingers into the palm you will be shot on sight? There is never any satisfactory excuse for STUPID and in this the TSA has set a new level of STUPID. The TSA is worried about replica guns,a more pressing concern should be the replica brains they have been using for the past ten years. Land of the FREE home of the brave,my ass!

  33. #33 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Clearly the TSA has added “Must have intellectual capacity of a boiled potato” to their entrance requirements.

  34. #34 |  jimc5499 | 

    It’s not just the TSA. In 1988 I went through security at an airport when I was stopped for a replica of a Luger pistol. It didn’t matter that it was 3/4 of an inch long. I twisted it off from my key chain and threw it in the trash, then the screener handed me back my 3 inch Buck knife.

    I guess that it depends where you go. I got stopped in Dulth MN two weeks ago because my shoes had explosive residue on them. The screener asked where I’d been and I told him. He looked the shoes over handed them back to me and told me to have a nice day. It wasn’t a false positive. I had been witnessing a blast at a stripmine the day before.

  35. #35 |  Mannie | 

    The T&A mopes were upset because they hadn’t had their daily quota of gropes, as required in their contract. I swear, there isn’t sixteen brain cells between the lot of ’em.

  36. #36 |  NAME REDACTED | 

    Actually thats what the law says.
    In this case, its not the TSA at fault but the idiots in the legislature.
    This sort of thing will only get worse so long as the Supreme Court continues in its dereliction of duty.

  37. #37 |  Jim | 

    You mean until the Supreme Court comes down, as it always does, on the side of law enforcement, rather than the Bill of Rights and liberty.