Advocacy groups continue tilting at the TSA’s windmills

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by TSA News Blog, May 7, 2013.

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    Advocacy groups are renewing their push to keep small knives off planes, and the TSA couldn’t be happier about it.

    Yesterday, nine groups threatened to sue the TSA to keep it from changing its policy, which was delayed from being implemented during the sequester-related furloughs.
    The organizations, including representatives for TSA officers and air marshals, filed a legal petition with TSA and the Department of Homeland Security to prevent any return of knives into plane cabins, according to USA Today.
    But what’s really going on here? Pull back a little, and it’s pretty obvious. The new knife policy is shaping up to be nothing more than a diversionary tactic to siphon public attention away from the real issue.
    Focus on small, sharp objects — items that, oh, by the way, are already more or less permitted in the cabin — and you won’t have to worry about the bigger issues.
    And those are? Well, as my colleague Wendy Thomson points out, the agency is fixated on how it will probably have to change its screening practices after a comment period on a court-ordered public rulemaking. Incidentally, you can still file a public comment, and if you haven’t already done so, you should.
    By deflecting the public’s attention away from its its Constitutionally-challenged scannings and friskings, and focusing on a fairly inconsequential knife fight, TSA is trying — and, alas, succeeding — at drawing the public’s attention away from an even more important debate.
    So go on, advocacy groups. Keep tilting at those windmills.
    The TSA loves you for it.

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