Red State reports the story of a company of gun-toting soldiers who recently returned to the United States after a tour of Afghanistan. Despite the fact that U.S. Customs had already inspected the solders’ possessions and separated them from their ammo before putting them on the flight out of Afghanistan – and the soldiers hadn’t left the plane before touching down in Indianapolis – TSA confiscated nail clippers from one of the soldiers once the plane was on U.S. soil.
The threat of nail clippers versus an M4 carbine rifle
While TSA was technically following the rules, the tiny nail clippers that were confiscated pale in comparison to the M4 carbine rifle the solder was carrying. Even without ammo, the butt stock of the weapon in the hands of a highly trained soldier would clearly be more disabling to an opponent than a pair of nail clippers. Such as it is, this incident is yet another opportunity for the media to have a field day with TSA, an organization that has been in the news quite a bit lately for full body scanners, groping pat downs and the people who are fed up with it all. Now there’s even a Twitter-based contest called #touchedbytsa, where the prize is an iPod Touch.
More of the TSA nail clippers story
According to Red State, when the plane landed in Indianapolis, all 330 people on board were evacuated by airport security and taken to a holding area. All the soldiers on the flight – at least 100 – were carrying firearms, from M4 carbines and M9 pistols to M-240B machine guns. The weapons weren’t loaded, and all ammo was cleared and secured by U.S. Customs. TSA reportedly considered making all the soldiers unpack heir baggage for piece-by-piece re-inspection, even though Customs had already screened it.
According to Red State, it took an hour for bomb-sniffing dogs to go over the soldiers’ luggage. Then the soldiers sat for a couple of hours before TSA inspected them again –and the nail clippers were discovered. TSA hadn’t known about them up to this point. So far as Red State and other media sources can tell, this was a thinly disguised TSA power trip. The nail clippers were perhaps just a bonus for them, sources suggest.