As the National Terror Alert Response Center puts it, “So much for the friendly skies!” Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees “have caught fliers trying to take everything from a grenade launcher to live cannonballs onto flights this year.” The terrorism response center notes a “jaw-dropping” list of seized weaponry in a story from The New York Post. The list also includes “chain saws, a spear gun, nunchucks, an anti-tank warhead and bear mace — strong pepper spray that someone in Newark tried to hide in a sock.”
Even if travelers packed most of them in innocence, the array of items that could have caused harm seems mind-boggling. How much of the same array might be packed away in vehicles arriving at plant and office park gates? We don’t know, but the proclivity for stowing dangerous devices in suitcases or vehicles explains why it’s so important for security officers to be continually vigilant at well-protected entry points. Efficient barriers to stop vehicles and observant guards to check them clearly provide desirable protection against the unexpected.