Fear not, air travelers. If you were worried about a 1950s superhero hijacking your airplane, the TSA has, once again, leaped deftly to your defense.
On a recent flight, videographer Sean Malone had his Flash Gordon ray gun belt buckle confiscated by the TSA because apparently toy belt buckle guns are an imminent danger to the traveling public.
While he was stopped for the toy on both legs of his journey, the TSA made no mention of the straight razor he was carrying because, you know, it’s not like anyone has ever used razors to hijack a plane and then fly it into a landmark or anything.
Malone took to his blog to vent his frustrations.
When I walked over, the guy said, “Yeah, there’s something in there that’s kind of shaped like a gun,” to which I replied, “Yeah. It’s a belt buckle,” he wrote.
He pulled it out of the bag and looked at it. Yep. Belt buckle. He didn’t seem like an idiot, but he called his supervisor over, who instantly made it clear to me that she was one of those petty authoritarian, logic-impaired idiots you often come to expect in positions of middling power in law enforcement. Her word was law… Even when, you know, it wasn’t actually law. She said, “Listen, you can either go back out of security and put this in your check luggage (which I don’t have), or we’ll confiscate it.”
He argued with the woman and asked how his toy belt buckle could be considered a threat to anyone. According to Malone her retort was mind boggling.
“What if you take this object out of your bag and point it – like a gun – at a police officer? He would have no choice to assume that it was a gun, and take action against you,” she said.
This would, of course, put no one other than Malone in danger.
After the woman spoke with her supervisor, at Malone’s request, he was able to keep his incredibly dangerous belt buckle but he was not so lucky on the return trip, according to his account.
I was super late at LAX and I basically got to stage two where a mid level supervisor said I couldn’t take it on the plane and didn’t have enough time to argue up the chain of command.
The agent at LAX said that it’s policy to reject all replica weapons.
I pointed out that even if it was a “replica”, which is dubious, it would be a replica of a fictional weapon used by Flash Gordon… Which, you know, makes confiscation of the belt buckle even MORE insane than it already was.
So if ISIS or Al Qaeda were thinking of hijacking a plane with, say, a Batarang, they better think again.
Saviors of the Universe
They’ll save every one of us
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