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.”
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?