TSA Takes Nail Clippers From Armed Soldier

Nov. 19, 2010

File this one under “Non Compos Mentis.” Several hundred National Guard troops were flying back home from Afghanistan when they ran into the TSA at Indianapolis. As one of the soldiers described it, “That’s where the stupid started.”

The soldier said, “It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.”

Any sane person would be reasonably sure this contingent didn’t include any would-be terrorists. Not the TSA.

One soldier had a Gerber multi-tool confiscated, and a TSA agent insisted that another turn over his finger nail clippers. According to the soldier reporting the story, “The conversation went something like this:”

TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f–k out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns – but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

There, don’t you feel safer?