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If Things Can Go Wrong, They Will

Reading is a great pastime, and I do a lot of it. It’s part of my job. For fun, I read, but not the usual news; I like to focus on obituaries (just checking to make sure I’m not there) and lists. I like the Top Ten lists of just about anything.

Favorites include best pizza in every state. I’m sure the choice in New York or maybe Illinois is difficult, whereas, in Wyoming—where I’m from—the choice might not be too difficult. What does this have to do with security? Nothing.

Another one of my favorite topics is crazy things that TSA officials have found in carry-on luggage. Here are some serious security concerns.

10. Atlantic City International: Bullets in deodorant. The passenger must have been sweating bullets when this was discovered.
9. Newark Liberty International: An Old West-type firearm. Like one from the movies. Is your one-shot worth a mug shot?
8. Houston Hobby International: A meth burrito. You can’t speed your way through security with this one.
7. Honolulu International: A belt buckle with a gun attached. Imagine if this weapon accidentally turned upside down—and then fired. Words cannot explain the pain. What a waist of a Hawaiian vacation.
6. Harrisburg International: A meat cleaver. Seriously, not a clever idea in anyone’s luggage. This traveler wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.
5. Destin-Fort Walton Beach: Bear spray. This is not a bear necessity on any flight.
4. Reagan Washington National: Machete. This is about 24 inches of stupid.
3. Syracuse Hancock International: Fireworks. This could have been an explosive situation.
2. Sacramento International: Wine holder. No big deal, right? Not when this caddy was made of two hand guns. Talk about a pour decision.
1. You’re not going to believe this. New Orleans International: A chainsaw.

Don’t try to take something illegal through security. You can’t stump the TSA.

TSA makes it abundantly clear what travelers can bring on a flight. None of the above items appear on any “approved items” list I’ve ever read. We are all starting to travel a little more these days, and the rules about carry-on items haven’t changed. Keep security forefront in your thoughts when traveling.

This article originally appeared in the March 2022 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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