no shit, einstein.

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology figures out what some of us have known all along: you can’t get rid of everything on airplanes that can possibly be used as a weapon.

(They stabbed a few dead pigs with various everyday items, such as pens and broken glasses. Shockingly, all of them can inflict lethal wounds.)

Your weapon is that squishy grey mass between your ears—everything else is just a tool.  I know people who are more dangerous with a paperclip and a hand towel than your average soft suburbanite would be with a loaded machine gun.  You can kill someone with a freakin’ paperback, if you have the attitude and the will.  Trying to make society safe by taking away all the sharp, shooty, or pointy things is a fool’s errand.

(Via BoingBoing.)

25 thoughts on “no shit, einstein.

  1. Steve says:

    Many years ago my friend’s dad showed me how to fold the New York Times into a club.
    I wonder if they know that they are selling a deadly weapon?

  2. Sir Limerick says:

    Great Marko, after this post TSA’s gonna prevent bringing paperback books on planes… thanks!😛

  3. Madrocketscientist says:

    I got a bum knee (and the scars to prove it), so I always get to fly with my walking stick.

  4. williamthecoroner says:

    Pedantically, it’s the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, a.k.a. the orange journal. This differentiates it from the blue journal.

    But yes, between weighted straps, pens, chopsticks, and canes, there are plenty of weapons on planes. TSA is security theater, and a prime example of shutting the barn door after the horse is gone. And one reason why I hate to fly.

  5. Wesley says:

    Soon enough we’ll all be stripped, sedated, and secured into our seats, for our safety.

  6. Mark B. says:

    Which airline, of all the hundreds on the planet, would Muslim extremists most like to highjack?

    And which airline, of all the hundreds on the planet, has almost NEVER been highjacked?

    El Al security doesn’t so much look for means — although their security procedures are by far the most comprehensive in the industry — as they do for highjackers.

    You’d think TSA would take a page from their book, but then Napolitano’s Nimrods would be accused of being tools of the JOOOOOOOS!!!111!!! . . .

    ‘Berg

    • George Smith says:

      Has anyone thought of a capital expansion plan for El Al? Just think if this airline (with its onboard security) were to fly from the US or Canada to every capital city’s airport. TSA and its equally dumb and brain dead types here in the Great White North would be instantly out of a job. In Toronto, they’ve even solved the drop off passenger problems; you’re safe there, too.

      On the other hand, there was a time when every industrialized country had its own nationally owned airline … and provided national security. None of those aircraft were ever hijacked.

      Finally … the pen is mightier than any other potential weapon.

      Regards.

      • Tam says:

        On the other hand, there was a time when every industrialized country had its own nationally owned airline … and provided national security. None of those aircraft were ever hijacked.

        El Al 426
        JAL 351
        Swissair 100
        BOAC 775
        Aeroflot 244
        Air France 139
        Lufthansa 181
        LOT Polish Airlines 165
        Finnair 405

        That’s just some of the more notable instances from 1970-1979.

        Anyway, what were you saying about national airlines never getting hijacked?

      • Tam says:

        On the other hand, there was a time when every industrialized country had its own nationally owned airline … and provided national security. None of those aircraft were ever hijacked.

        This statement is bullshit.

  7. kris says:

    Going to the local courthouse (legal sec) and not being allowed by nail clippers or file (on keyring) but I can take in an umbrella, pens, pencils and large, heavy, solid files? I can take in hand sanitizer in gel form (semi-solid rubbing alcohol) but not in aerosol form? Yeah, I agree, it’s really about the grey matter…….

  8. Phil says:

    Uniball Micro 0.5mm roller ball.

    If there’s a more innocuous looking stiletto on the market, I’ve not found it.

    • R W says:

      Handcuff key on key chain – court security says no.
      Juror pin that is sharp and can unlock handcuffs in no time – issued by court and A-ok through security.

  9. Kristopher says:

    If you insist on using a brain as a weapon, use someone else’s. Fine motor control is difficult without one in place.

    If you mount the brain on a stick and freeze it first, it works even better.

  10. scaramouche says:

    My personal favorite pen is the zebra F-701.🙂

  11. Mithras61 says:

    My preferred pen is a stainless steel Retro51 Tornado, which makes a dandy kubotan with the roller-ball retracted, and a pretty good stabby device with the roller-ball out.

    It doesn’t write very well after being used for stabbiness, though, until the cartridge is replaced. I think someone ought to make a pen that writes well afterwards. It would be handy for filling out all those forms and statements…

  12. T.Stahl says:

    2006, Paris CDG, about to board the A330 that would take me to Detroit:
    I was only a bit surprised that they checked carry-on luggage again in the ‘finger’ between the gate and the cabin door. When they took knitting needles from the (probably) American lady in front of me I got a bit worried, considering the suspicious stuff in my daypack. I was almost disappointed when they found nothing.

    Apparently knitting needles in the hand of an old lady were much more deadly than the sharp pencil in the front pocket of my daypack. Ok, the pointy end was covered by a spent .30 carbine casing but shouldn’t that be even more suspicious?

  13. misbeHaven says:

    It doesn’t write very well after being used for stabbiness, though, until the cartridge is replaced. I think someone ought to make a pen that writes well afterwards. It would be handy for filling out all those forms and statements…
    A good argument for carrying a backup. Or at least a reload.😉

  14. Skip says:

    Martial course way back in the day.
    1. How to cut a throat with 8.5×11 sheet of paper.
    2. #2 pencil as a weapon.
    3. Where and how to bite.
    Etc.,etc.
    It’s the grey stuff.

  15. Mike says:

    Sorry, such a late reply, but I was away at Disney with the family. Talk about pretend security! I could have smuggled eight feet of 80gr detcord, nonel and a blasting cap and I’m sure they would have thought it wasa pretty jump rope! C’mon folks lets stop searching Gramma, Grampa and the kids because of political correctness! Criminal profiling works and does not equate to racial profiling!!!

  16. Rick in NY says:

    Guns, knives, clubs, etc are just tools.

    The real weapon is the person who knows how to use them.

    • MarkHB says:

      *ponders*

      I’d actually say that the person is someone who realises their own intrinsic potential lethality, researches it and learns it inside and out, faces the bloody-toothed caveman living inside them – and then decides to control it as a conscious act of will.

      Otherwise, they’re not really in full command of their personhood, and can be taken by shocking surprise by their bloody-handed forebears without warning.

      Though that’s just personal opinion.

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