Few people who were alive on Sept. 11, 2001, need to be reminded of the dangers that small knives can pose to air travel. So the Transportation Security Administration’s recent decision to begin allowing non-locking knives less than 6 centimeters long to be carried onto planes was truly stupefying: Hopefully, as the outcry grows, the TSA will quickly reverse itself.
The terrorist acts that brought down four planes, destroying the World Trade Center and damaging the Pentagon, were committed by assailants who slit the throats of pilots with knives and box cutters. So the TSA, which took over airport security after the attacks, focused on keeping knives and knife-like cutters off of planes. It was a reasonable move, and there have been no further problems with knives. Now, the TSA seems to feel the threat has passed: Its blog said the agency was relaxing its rules in order to better focus its efforts “on finding higher threat items such as explosives.” Various sporting goods, such as souvenir bats, ski poles, and golf clubs will soon be allowed on board, as well.