Texans love their guns so much they want to fly other places just to show them off.
(all images via blog.tsa.gov)
There are two groups of people who justify the existence of the Transportation Security Administration: terrorists and idiots. Probably thanks to the all-seeing security state and their worldwide spying apparatus, most terrorists don't get all the way to airport security gates. It's been a while since someone like the would-be Shoe Bomber or the would-be Underwear Bomber was in the news. Idiots, however, are much harder to detect with NSA algorithms, and they show up heavily armed to the airport all the time.
According to their just-released annual report on airport security seizures, the TSA collected an average of six firearms from carry-on luggage every single day in America in 2014. That came out to a total of 2,212 guns found in carry-on bags, 83% of which were loaded. Again, just to be clear: these are only carry-on numbers, which should make them even more insane.
For some reason, they don't also post pictures of all the seized Gatorades they take.
2014 also included a new record for the number of guns seized from carry-ons in one day: 18 firearms seized on June 4, 2014. This shattered the previous record of 13 guns from the previous year. Sometimes these guns are simply clipped to a passenger's belt like it's the Wild West, or strapped to their ankles. Finding these at metal detectors is pretty straightforward. Less-forgetful people hide them in other metal-containing objects like PlayStations.
The Toybots aren't f-ing around, apparently.
Not all of the guns fall into the "personal protection" category...
Yeah, but who has the time to check their sub-machine guns and then have to wait 20 minutes after they land to use them again?
Explosives are exploding on social media.
While almost nobody likes the TSA in real life, their frequent firearms and explosives seizures have landed them a popular Instagram account—with 205,000 followers, only a few government accounts like the White House, NASA, and the Dept. of the Interior are more popular—and people like the President, Space and pretty landscapes a whole heckuva lot more than the TSA. But while photos from the International Space Station are nice, where else are you going to get pictures of live grenades that people thought would be totally cool to bring on a flight?
Seized at LAX in May, this delayed flights for hours while explosive teams destroyed it.
Other fun stuff included containers of black powder, an avalanche-triggering bomb, fireworks, and various stun grenades, smoke grenades, and flares. That's just the live stuff. Americans also like to keep the TSA on their toes by bringing lots and lots of inert explosives and antique bombs onto planes. Take this huge pile of inert C-4, for example:
I don't know how to turn inert C-4 into explode-y C-4, but I bet the guy who owns it does.
Are inert grenades the new rabbit's foot? Because way too many people take them everywhere.
Inert grenades make fun paperweights. Who brings a paperweight on an airplane?
Everyone knows Americans love guns, but did you know that much like our British counterparts, we also love hiding blades?
"What? You expect me to cut airline meat with the plastic crap they give you?"
While a single bullet does provide fast and permanent itch relief, it's not doctor-approved.
Just what air travel needs: people who need canes having sword fights in the aisles.
And no list would be complete without the favorite accessory of weapons-obsessed weirdos of all ages: throwing stars and knives.
Behold, the weapon of choice for unemployed nerds who write anime fan-fiction.
Although the single best TSA category is definitely "Miscellaneous":
That wooden sledgehammer has "let's see them try to recline their seat on me this time" written all over it.
People bringing drugs on planes, however, is totally unsurprising.
The only surprising part is that people still try to fly with pounds and pounds of weed in an age when many states let you grow and sell it legally. Oh, and with guns.
"I'm nervous about bringing weed on the plane. Maybe guns will make me feel safer."
Well, the fact that they stuff cocaine in gross raw meat is still a little surprising.
I'm even happier than normal that I don't do cocaine.
If this has made you too terrified to board your flight today, take heart in the fact that your flight will probably be canceled by the giant blizzard hammering the East Coast. That will give you a really good excuse to start traveling by bus like John Madden without having to explain to your fellow passengers why you don't trust them enough to fly with them anymore.