TSA confiscates a toy ray-gun belt buckle. Because security.

posted at 9:31 pm on October 29, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

To go along with yesterday’s story about the public getting served good and hard, the tale of a friend who flew to Los Angeles with the temerity to wear a belt buckle that looks like a mid-century toy ray gun. This is, of course, a grave threat to America because it was a “replica” of a gun, according to TSA.

What kind of gun, exactly? From my sometime video producer Sean Malone and owner of the belt buckle: “A 1950s Flash Gordon-style RAYGUN!! A fictional weapon. A child’s toy.”

The #TSA at #DCA tried to take this belt buckle this morning. For safety.

A photo posted by CitizenA Media (@citizenamedia) on

Malone was able to leave Washington, D.C. with his buckle after protesting long enough to get a supervisor involved who let him keep his little toy ray gun, despite the obvious threat it posed.

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.”

But this is honestly my favorite belt buckle, and I’m me, so – realizing I was speaking with a woman with the brainpower of a block of Parmesan cheese – I looked at her and said, “You understand that this is a belt buckle, right? It is not a danger to the safety of anyone nor is it against the law to carry. I have also traveled with this belt buckle all over the country and it’s never been a problem. So please explain to me how exactly you would justify taking it.”

Her response was to suggest a hypothetical scenario. “What if”, she postulated, “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.”

Now… Let’s leave aside for a second that the entire premise behind this argument is that police officers are too dumb and hopped up on their own power that they can’t recognize a dangerous weapon from a belt buckle in the shape of a 1950’s toy ray gun. I’m glad she recognized this reality, but I don’t think she really processed what it says about law enforcement in America. But leaving that aside… Why in the hell would I ever take my belt buckle and point it at a police officer?

On his return flight he was not so lucky, nor so early to the airport, and couldn’t afford to fight several levels of TSA authority to maintain ownership of his favorite novelty belt buckle, which again, is obviously a dangerous weapon.

As Malone rightly points out, the TSA is really bad at actually doing things to keep you safe, but great at stealing stuff from people.

Meanwhile, in Utah, six uniformed police officers show up because someone throwing a “Monster Mash” party at a private facility had a permit, but not the correct permit for dancing. The dancing was unauthorized. Enjoy your Halloween, people, and just pray you come back with all your stuff. Who knows what could “pose a threat” out there on the streets?


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Comments

Ruled by the totally brainless. Must be the 10th level of hell.

VorDaj on October 29, 2014 at 9:35 PM

They don’t teach students about Rayguns in public schools…

workingclass artist on October 29, 2014 at 9:35 PM

TSA confiscates a toy ray-gun belt buckle. Because security. MORONS!

.
FIFY

PolAgnostic on October 29, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Wait, they got it? That’s total horse hockey. They probably would have stolen it out of his checked luggage.

Cindy Munford on October 29, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Why would anyone in the TSA give a crap if you point something at a cop, are they our personal nannies now? Plain and simple, the TSA dork let her mouth get ahead of her brain and instead of apologizing for the mistake, just kept going using her temporary power to cover for herself.

OT: O’Keefe is saying another shoe is going to drop tomorrow and that David Corn and Donna Brazile aren’t going to happy. O’Keefe has a pic of a building with a ton of campaign signs out front, anyone know what this refers to?

Bishop on October 29, 2014 at 9:41 PM

The TSA serves a valuable purpose by ensuring that people who are too dull-witted to hold down a job at a toll booth or a carnival still have a place where they can earn a federal paycheck.

Cicero43 on October 29, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Haven’t you watched those 1950s science fiction movies? Ray guns are dangerous!

Besides, Ray guns sound too much like a certain president, and thus the FEC has to ban it.

rbj on October 29, 2014 at 9:42 PM

They don’t teach students about Rayguns in public schools…

workingclass artist on October 29, 2014 at 9:35 PM

.
You just used the words “gun” and “public school” in the same sentence . . . . . POLICE … HELP ! . . . . . . . . . someone trace workingclass artist‘s IP address, QUICK …..

We can’t let workingclass artist get away with this flagarant POSSIBLE (maybe) breach of security.

listens2glenn on October 29, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Land of the aggrieved, home of the enslaved…..

ThePrez on October 29, 2014 at 9:45 PM

TSA should have a system to ship confiscated items to an address. Use US postal services, FedEx, UPS… whatever.

Karmashock on October 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM

Why in the hell would I ever take my belt buckle and point it at a police officer?

You’re in San Francisco?

malclave on October 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Obviously MKH doesn’t know a Q-36 Space Modulator when she sees one.

RickB on October 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

I suppose they’d get really upset if I tried to board a plane with my phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range. But then again they’d find it difficult to confiscate that.

Oldnuke on October 29, 2014 at 9:47 PM

they stole it and didn’t give it back to him? woooow that is just so ridiculous. they have no right to own that. that’s theft, plain and simple.

Sachiko on October 29, 2014 at 9:48 PM

For once, I’m with the TSA. That belt buckle looks big enough to conceal something else. It isn’t just a regular flat belt buckle.

They shouldn’t allow fake-bomb belt buckles either. Or a belt buckle that looks like a big knife. Or knitting needles.

Put ’em in your luggage if you just can’t leave home without these items.

Toocon on October 29, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Toocon on October 29, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Probably why the TSA people have hands, so they can look at the belt buckle, turn it over, inspect it, see that it isn’t a real gun and doesn’t have a block of C4 taped to the back.

Really?

Bishop on October 29, 2014 at 9:53 PM

What really ticked her off was when she learned it was named Ronald.

Bat Chain Puller on October 29, 2014 at 9:54 PM

They should have Priority Mail boxes and a drop box available in that area so you can send your stuff home before letting those thieves keep it.

Cindy Munford on October 29, 2014 at 9:54 PM

For once, I’m with the TSA. That belt buckle looks big enough to conceal something else. It isn’t just a regular flat belt buckle.

They shouldn’t allow fake-bomb belt buckles either. Or a belt buckle that looks like a big knife. Or knitting needles.

Put ‘em in your luggage if you just can’t leave home without these items.

Toocon on October 29, 2014 at 9:48 PM

rotf

Axe on October 29, 2014 at 9:56 PM

TSA confiscates a toy ray-gun belt buckle. Because security.

How about we send TSA (clueless) over to fight Ebola, and use our National Guard (which is staffed by part-time citizens who will be sympathetic to airline passengers and vigilant against real threats) at the airports?

This would solve TWO problems…

/fond_dream_of_comeuppance>

landlines on October 29, 2014 at 9:56 PM

They don’t teach students about Rayguns in public schools…

workingclass artist on October 29, 2014 at 9:35 PM

.
You just used the words “gun” and “public school” in the same sentence . . . . . POLICE … HELP ! . . . . . . . . . someone trace workingclass artist‘s IP address, QUICK …..

We can’t let workingclass artist get away with this flagarant POSSIBLE (maybe) breach of security.

listens2glenn on October 29, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Funny that…

Of course down here in Texas we say “Come and Take It!”

God Bless Texas!

workingclass artist on October 29, 2014 at 9:58 PM

It’s that damned common core, now look where we are.

warmairfan on October 29, 2014 at 9:58 PM

How to travel with a ray gun belt buckle. Pack it in a TSA approved firearms container like I do when I bring my Browning Hi Power or M1911. Be sure to show the ticket agent that the Ray gun was fully discharged and safed. Then fill out the firearms form and place the card in the box before you lock it. They will bring to the TSA luggage screener for you and you wait for the thumbs up. Then proceed to your gate.

jerryofva on October 29, 2014 at 10:00 PM

TSA-Prohibited Items
——————–

Download the Prohibited Items brochure (383kb, pdf)

http://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/assets/prohibiteditems_brochure.pdf
=============================

Guns & Firearms
Item Carry-on? Checked?

Ammunition – Check with your airline or travel agent to see if ammunition is permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. Small arms ammunitions for personal use must be securely packed in fiber, wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. Ask about limitations or fees, if any, that apply. Read our Firearms & Ammunition section.

Realistic Replicas of Firearms

Starter Pistols – can only be carried as checked baggage and MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. Read our Firearms & Ammunition section.

NOTE: Check with your airline or travel agent to see if firearms are permitted in checked baggage on the airline you are flying. Ask about limitations or fees, if any, that apply.
(more…..)
===========

http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items

canopfor on October 29, 2014 at 10:01 PM

@Bishop 9:53, there you go, injecting common sense into things.

I bought a letter opener in Delft, Netherlands, 1990. Had to convince the Dutch airport security to take it on board. Meanwhile, in America I could, at the time have my Swiss Army Knife and Leatherman tool.

Priorities are screwed.

rbj on October 29, 2014 at 10:01 PM

God help you if you have a tattoo of a nuclear plume.

Axe on October 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

The holidays are coming up. TSA agents get first dibs on the stuff they confiscate.

Happy Nomad on October 29, 2014 at 10:03 PM

I’m going from experience and out on a limb but I bet the TSA person was black. Most likely a black woman. Not a racist, just a realist.

jukin3 on October 29, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Ahh, nine years and counting since I last stepped foot on a commercial airliner.

And see what I’ve missed.
//

Bitter Clinger on October 29, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Symbolism over substance, the battle cry of the progressive left and equally mesmerized, politically obtuse TSA agents.

Dan_NV on October 29, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Another reason why I’ve not flown since the TSA was established.

Too bad people “HAVE TO FLY”. If enough voted with their feet, the airlines would face bankruptcy within a week.

Guess what government agency would be out of a job?

GarandFan on October 29, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Crockett said the announcement was even made over the center’s speakers that there was to be absolutely no dancing that evening.

The rest of the event – the music, rides and mini golf – were allowed to continue unhindered.

“It was the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” Crockett said. While officers stayed and observed the event, he said, one of them was taking video.

Is it just me or does it seem extremely inappropriate that the cops stayed and took video?

But I don’t know, maybe there was a legitimate safety concern. I’m a fan of Utah and have visited the SLC area, but it is a fairly conservative state so there is a better than usual chance that it’s religious nanny-statism.

FloatingRock on October 29, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Wait a minute, you’re telling me that he was harassed not once but TWICE over this, and the second time had to let them just take it because he didn’t have time to argue with them? Two different sets of TSA thought this was a weapon and needed to be confiscated?

I can’t type the profanities that this situation requires.

I haven’t had reason to board a plane since 2000 and I don’t think I ever will as long as this situation persists. I am not going to put myself in a position where I have to hand over random pieces of my personal property to some uniformed thug just to board an airplane flight that I paid hundreds of dollars for.

dkmonroe on October 29, 2014 at 10:29 PM

religious nanny-statism.

…Or it could be secular bureaucratic nanny-statism.

FloatingRock on October 29, 2014 at 10:34 PM

Nice to know it wasn’t a fake ceramic knife. Those things can be sharp. Even the fake ones.

Bmore on October 29, 2014 at 10:35 PM

The last time I flew commercial, about ten years ago, there were TSA goons lined up eyeballing the serfs as we shuffled up.
They actually looked like large, fat, mentally challenged children in ill-fitting Halloween costumes & I laughed out loud. My wife jabbed me in the ribs and a couple of other people laughed too, but the rest kept their eyes down and prayed MasterBlaster wouldn’t pick them out.

Sad.

Tard on October 29, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Went through Boise and Denver a couple of weeks ago, intentionally wore my NAGR “It is my right” t-shirt. With an AR bold and upfront printed on the front. Wanting, no HOPING for one of the TSA dorks to say something. The only comment I got was in Boise from a female TSA agent saying “Nice shirt”.

TXChas on October 29, 2014 at 11:06 PM

Now… Let’s leave aside for a second that the entire premise behind this argument is that police officers are too dumb and hopped up on their own power that they can’t recognize a dangerous weapon from a belt buckle in the shape of a 1950′s toy ray gun.

Uh…I think he just blew his argument all to hell.

Jaibones on October 29, 2014 at 11:10 PM

It’s stupid that TSA would make a fuss over a belt buckle that doesn’t resemble any functioning weapon.

It’s equally stupid to intentionally provoke the TSA with it and whine when you get a reaction from them.

And it’s even more stupid to do it a second time.

James on October 29, 2014 at 11:17 PM

That Geico commercial where the group decides it’s better to hide behind the chainsaws than escape in the running car???

They’re TSA agents.

WhirledPeas on October 29, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Hypothetically, every person could threaten, injure or kill every other person. So let’s lock everyone up now just to be safe.

jangle12 on October 29, 2014 at 11:25 PM

Before you can work for the TSA, you have to be a member of one of the below:

1. Fail the minimum ASVAB score to get into the US Army.

2. Have a signed affidavit from a parent attesting that you are the result of a failed abortion.

3. Registered as a sex offender.

Hammie on October 29, 2014 at 11:35 PM

TSA should have a system to ship confiscated items to an address. Use US postal services, FedEx, UPS… whatever.

Karmashock on October 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM

They do (amazingly enough), at least in my local airport.
Overlooked my usual 1.5″ long penknife one time, xray caught it, agent took me to a little kiosk and I put it in an envelope with my credit card info on a ticket inside (iffy, but we’ve had cards cancelled and replaced 4 or 5 time due to internet, Target, Home Depot, etc, so we watch pretty carefully).
Cost $21, which it wasn’t worth, but I wanted to see if the system actually did work, and it did.
So, now you know.

AesopFan on October 29, 2014 at 11:37 PM

Many times, these stories (not this one) include caveats such as ‘don’t blame the frontline agents, they’re just doing their jobs.’

Sorry but there’s more than enough blame to go around, from the knees jerking post-9/11 that created the execrable Dept Of Homeland Security to the usual overkill associated with government ‘doing something’ i.e. failing to address the problem in any real way but spending billions and annoying millions in the process.

But frontline staff deserve their share and more. They are the appalling product of our so-called education system. They are the product of our safety culture, our police state, and our government-is-good brainwashing, to say nothing of being the sort of dysfunctional creature that would take on such duties simply to gain access to pay, benefits and retirement they do not merit.

(Humorous aside: did you notice that these revoltingly obese lumps had their uniform shirt color changed from white to blue? The white accented every acre of their corpulence – to say nothing of the ubiquitous sweat stains.)

Choosing to work for the TSA is indisputable, undeniable, ironclad proof of a character flaw and many of these tinhorns are happy to demonstrate those flaws on a daily basis.

jangle12 on October 29, 2014 at 11:37 PM

TSA should have a system to ship confiscated items to an address. Use US postal services, FedEx, UPS… whatever.

Karmashock on October 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM



Canadian border security does this. My Dad crossed into Canada with his firearm and they took it from him. It was waiting for him at his nearest gun shop when he got home. Postage was due, but he still got his pistol back.

Hammie on October 29, 2014 at 11:44 PM

I’m stowing my cereal box decoder ring in the suit case next time I fly.

docflash on October 29, 2014 at 11:45 PM

Hypothetically, every person could threaten, injure or kill every other person. So let’s lock everyone up now just to be safe.

jangle12 on October 29, 2014 at 11:25 PM



Don’t give them any ideas. You may end up in a FEMA camp sooner than expected.

Hammie on October 30, 2014 at 12:09 AM

If only we had elected Republican Presidents, who would no doubt veto feel good security theater boondoggles like the TSA …oh wait.

Thank You George Bush, may I have another?

Fenris on October 30, 2014 at 12:21 AM

The Husband had a P-38 he had carried since Vietnam and the TSA took it from him.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2014 at 12:29 AM

Look for this collectable item on Ebay.

Damn thieves!

FOWG1 on October 30, 2014 at 12:52 AM

listens2glenn on October 29, 2014 at 9:43 PM

.
Funny that…

Of course down here in Texas we say “Come and Take It!”

God Bless Texas!

workingclass artist on October 29, 2014 at 9:58 PM

.
Yes … indeed ! … : )

listens2glenn on October 30, 2014 at 1:27 AM

He obviously wasn’t black. Black men get shot reaching for wallets, hair brushes, car keys, water guns lol…we wouldn’t even dream of taking a chance with anything that remotely resembles a gun lol.

I remember growing up in D.C. I had a friend get shot because the cops thought his cap gun with the orange barrel was real :-/

Politricks on October 30, 2014 at 1:44 AM

I’m going from experience and out on a limb but I bet the TSA person was black. Most likely a black woman. Not a racist, just a realist.
jukin3 on October 29, 2014 at 10:06 PM

I noticed that no one refuted you. And I’m not going to either. I’ve had my share of run ins with meter maids, toll takers, check out ladies, and various hospital department receptionists.

Cleombrotus on October 30, 2014 at 4:42 AM

“Up yours, Gordon!”

BobMbx on October 30, 2014 at 6:57 AM

I remember growing up in D.C. I had a friend get shot because the cops thought his cap gun with the orange barrel was real :-/

Politricks on October 30, 2014 at 1:44 AM

What time of day did this occur, and how old you were guys?

BobMbx on October 30, 2014 at 6:59 AM

I’ll take ray gun over the tin foil hats.

Sherman1864 on October 30, 2014 at 7:13 AM

It’s that damned common core, now look where we are.

warmairfan on October 29, 2014 at 9:58 PM

It couldn’t be Common Core. It’s obvious these TSA employees have never been near a school.

Nomas on October 30, 2014 at 7:20 AM

Footloose was a dystopian Utah biography, and the TSA will now begin confiscating copies of the Foo Fighters first albulm, but it’s the Isreali Prime Minister who is the chickensh!t.
What a wonderful world.

frost_ on October 30, 2014 at 7:28 AM

1) Liberal Madness & Political Correctness has replaced ‘Common Sense’

2) Alert the media – Liberals are waging a ‘War on Nerds’! :)

easyt65 on October 30, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Yeah, when I was flying to Ft. Bragg once the TSA confiscated a keychain because it had a bullet on it with an inscription. Nevermind that it was inoperative and had a hole drilled through it for the keyring. What did they expect me to do, throw it at someone really hard?

JamesB on October 30, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Hammie, I still like Neal Boortz’ description the best: The TSA is what happens when you give a badge to people McDonald’s wouldn’t hire.

SDN on October 30, 2014 at 9:17 AM

I overlooked my survival kit with a small scalpel in it one time. It was in my carry on:

Which I realized after I got safely home.

Sherman1864 on October 30, 2014 at 10:27 AM

Really?

Bishop on October 29, 2014 at 9:53 PM

You’re just jealous that he out-Bishoped you. ;)

TSA should have a system …

Karmashock on October 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM

TSA doesn’t, but Colorado Springs had a shop just outside security that would do that (it was slightly outrageous pricing). And *some* of the security guys knew about it and would let you go back out of security and ship whatever the offending bit was, then return. (You did have to go through the line again.)

Hammie on October 29, 2014 at 11:35 PM

You forgot:
4. Criminal record that would disqualify you from other jobs.

jangle12 on October 29, 2014 at 11:37 PM

*slow clap*

GWB on October 30, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Hmmm. So, if I were a policeman in some middle American town like, say, Ferguson, Missouri, and someone appeared to point this belt buckle at me, then I would be justified “take action” against the buckle wielding threat. And it would be alright. Because it’s a gun.

Jay Bee on October 30, 2014 at 11:28 AM

The Husband had a P-38 he had carried since Vietnam and the TSA took it from him.

Cindy Munford on October 30, 2014 at 12:29 AM

Your husband tried to take an airplane on board? Well, no wonder it was confiscated! ;)

GWB on October 30, 2014 at 1:48 PM