Knives OK on planes; soft drinks still a terrorist threat

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The man and knife in question.

The Derby Telegraph in Derbyshire, England, reports that a man got a 7-inch knife past the security checkpoint at Birmingham Airport, while his daughter’s soda was confiscated.

The man, Nick White, says he’s a construction worker and he forgot he had the knife in his pocket when he and his 13-year-old daughter went to the airport. He realized it was with him when he approached the security checkpoint and, not knowing what else to do (he didn’t want to just throw it away), put it through the scanner along with the other stuff from his pockets. And no one said anything.

His daughter, meanwhile, had her soda taken away due to the ban on liquids on airplanes.

Once they were on the plane, White thought the whole thing was pretty funny, and he and his buddies took pictures of him posing with the contraband. According to one of his friends who was traveling with them and who snapped the photos, “The air stewards were walking past and saw me taking the pictures. We were talking and laughing about it, not trying to hide it. They didn’t say anything.”

Now, to you and me, this looks like a clear case of the security personnel completely failing to do the ONE THING they’re supposed to do: keep weapons from being taken on airplanes.

But check out the magnificent spin put on it by a spokeswoman for Birmingham International Airport:

“Both the airport company and airline partners feel that Mr White’s actions were incredibly foolish and cautions against anyone thinking of copying such behaviour. There will always be people who either act recklessly and endanger others, or seek attention through the media.”

See that? It’s the guy’s fault! He’s the problem here, not the security guards who didn’t notice a 7-inch knife moving across the conveyer belt in front of them. They’re suggesting he did it all on purpose as a means of testing them. He insists that’s not the case, that he truly did forget he had the knife with him. But guess what, airport? Even if it was just a test: you failed.

Our planes remain free of soft drinks, though, thank goodness.

(BONUS: Because the news article was written by British people, it contains delightful British terms such as “holidaymaker” and “fizzy drink.” Jolly good!)