I’ve fancied myself a libertarian for a decade and a half. Notwithstanding my laissez-faire philosophy, I’ve never had much angst about the TSA in contrast to my libertarian counter-parts. Until now.
I was at the airport to fly back from Disneyland with my two youngest girls. I was planning to carry on a toy bow and arrow for my son because it didn’t fit in my suitcase. Just after removing my shoes, the TSA agent informed I wouldn’t be able to take the toy on the airplane.
“Oh, you mean this toy bow and arrow with the suction cup tips?”
“What am I gonna do, shoot the pilot in the back of the skull and drag him out of the pilot’s seat with the combined strength of the suction cup and plastic shaft before getting Mr. Potato Head from my bag to assist in piloting the aircraft?” I inquired.
“No,” she replied. “You could remove the suction cups and sharpen the arrow’s tips.”
“Right, you mean with the knife I don’t have?”
“Listen, sir. I don’t make the rules. I just follow them.”
“Somewhere a Nazi soldier just uttered those same words,” I muttered under my heated breath.
“Do you need me to escort you out of here?” she asked.
“So you’re gonna kick me out of here because you have a [blankety blank] policy?” (Sorry, honey. I may have forgotten to tell our sweet little girls “ear muffs.”)
“No, I am going to escort you out so you can check your bag with the bow and arrows.”
“Oh. My bad.”
As I struggled to contort the bow in a way that’d allow it to fit in the suitcase, I noticed a group of cheerleaders stroll right on through the checkpoint carrying a trophy much larger than the person toting it. I considered handing the TSA agent the bow and arrow and grabbing the trophy so we could determine which would prove to be a deadlier weapon. A rare moment of good judgment prevailed.
I then did the walk of shame to the baggage counter until I realized I did what more Americans should be doing: Standing up to ridiculous policies.
I felt like a patriot. For years I let the TSA grope my crotch and rummage through the dirty underwear in my suitcase. No big deal. It was a small sacrifice to ensure America remained safe.
But the line has to be drawn somewhere. If the TSA starts taking away kids’ toys the terrorists have won. And papa bear is gonna get angry.
It’d be one thing if this lapse of common sense was an isolated incident. In a country with astronomical debts and deficits, the government is paying somebody to determine a product the free market rightfully deemed suitable for ages three and up is a threat to humanity, or at least to the plane’s passengers.
If common sense in the Beltway continues to be as rare as a Subaru at an NRA convention’s parking lot, a revolution is on the horizon. And that bow and arrow will sure come in handy.