April 14, 2004

The Things They Carried


We've all had the experience of concealed outrage when watching a airport security guard take grandma or grandpa aside to have a closer look at their walker. How idiotic, how rude, how utterly abhorant to our sense of liberty and freedom, we think. What can a person confined to a walker or feeble enough to need a cane do, we think.

Well, it's time to think again. A brief perusal of the FBI's Guide to Concealable Weapons, 2003 [Illustrated] will give you chills just thinking about some of the edged weapons options available to people. From the introduction:

In the wake of the September 11, 2001, airline hijackings the FIREARMS AND TOOLMARKS UNIT of the FBI LABORATORY has started a collection of small and easily concealed knives. This is the first installment of a continuing effort to collect and distribute information on knives that otherwise may be dismissed as non threatening items. Many of the knives in this collection were commercially purchased and typically can be bought for less than $20. Some of these knives are common items found in most homes and offices. You will notice also that some are made of a plastic material, making them less likely to be considered a weapon. Each of these tools was designed to
cut and is fully functional in that respect. Whether used to cut paper, cardboard, or other material, these knives should be treated as potentially dangerous weapons. Each knife is shown with an accompanying scale for size reference and many include an X-ray photograph to show how these weapons might appear if placed in luggage and passed through a scanning device.
The 2.1 megabyte PDF file can be downloaded from this site.

Yes, there are a lot of silly items shown, but the inclusion of the ghostly images of what things do and do not look like in the scanners packs a whallop. You might even remember them the next time you have to take off your shoes in front of a bunch of perfect strangers.

Pointer via Grow-A-Brain

Posted by Vanderleun at April 14, 2004 11:42 PM | TrackBack
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