back to article US laptops-on-planes ban now applies to just one airport, ends soon

The United States' ban on laptops being carried into airliner cabins is all-but-over, after the nation's Transport Security Administration reduced its list of dodgy airports to just one and signalled that destination awaits inspection before also disappearing from its list. The ban was imposed in March after the Administration …

Anonymous Coward

Minneapolis

That one airport should be Minneapolis, that fails 95% of its security checks.

But seriously: if there was to be a ban, it would have to be ALL airports to be effective.

Otherwise, just travel to another airport and embark there.

The kind of thinking behind the ban makes me doubt the competency of the people in charge.

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Coffee/keyboard

"The kind of thinking behind the ban makes me doubt the competency of the people in charge."

Hahahahahahahahahahaha

Damm that must have been difficult to type with a straight face.

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Anonymous Coward

Riyadh

Ironically Riyadh has really strict security checks on arrival.

They have x-ray screening of all incoming baggage at customs and took apart my wireless keyboard because it had batteries in it.

I assume they are looking for alcohol, porn and bacon - but they did seem quite excited that the keyboard might be a bomb, carefully smuggled off the plane to blow up a desert.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Riyadh

What sort of keyboard can contain alcohol, porn and bacon?

Asking for a friend.

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Unhappy

"Ironically Riyadh has really strict security checks on arrival."

Highly, given how many of the 9/11 bombers were Saudi nationals.

Still no plans to implement this security farce vital security protocol on US internal flights however, which all the 9/11 flights were.

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Coat

Re: Riyadh

What sort of keyboard can contain alcohol, porn and bacon?

A Roland?

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Re: Riyadh

More importantly, why on Earth would anyone want to go to a place without alcohol, bacon or porn?!?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Riyadh

They have x-ray screening of all incoming baggage at customs and took apart my wireless keyboard because it had batteries in it.

That's because your batteries were charged with electricity.

/coat

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Re: "Ironically Riyadh has really strict security checks on arrival."

"Highly, given how many of the 9/11 bombers were Saudi nationals."

And all those people attempting to take guns onto aircraft at US airports are mainly US nationals. This makes one wonder if US airport security meets the standards they are enforcing on the rest of the world and how many guns are not detected and make it onto US domestic flights.

We keep hearing how incompetent the TSA are yet they are discovering many guns every week. If they are so incompetent, they may be missing 100's every week.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Riyadh

Wouldn't a woman with visible ears be porn by Saudi standards?

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Re: Riyadh

"I assume they are looking for alcohol, porn and bacon"

Drugs. So they can behead a few more prisoners...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Riyadh

More importantly, why on Earth would anyone want to go to a place without alcohol, bacon or porn?!?

And lo the call did go out from senior management.

Are any of you developers not Jewish ?

Want to go and demo some kit to a big customer?

I was the only foreskin positive guy who knew enough tech to get the kit working.

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Re: Riyadh

"I was the only foreskin positive guy who knew enough tech to get the kit working."

Wasn't there a fad for circumcision in the US some years ago? Is it still a thing? They can't all be Jewish.

Ah, here we go. It sounds like someone is making unwarranted assumptions.

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Pint

Re: Riyadh

I wouldn't want to go to a place without alcohol, bacon AND porn, and all at reasonable a price too. (This rules out Sweden, porn yes, bacon, well its next to Denmark so probably yes, but beer, have you seen the cost of beer in Stockholm!)

Beer icon because El Reg only allows one icon, and in any case there isn't an icon for bacon or porn (well there may be an icon for porn, but the libel laws prevent me from suggesting one)

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Windows

Re: Riyadh

Wouldn't a woman with visible ears be porn by Saudi standards?

Only if they're hairy.

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Anonymous Coward

Wasn't there a fad for circumcision in the US some years ago

Circumcision was the default for the American male for a long period - still may be for all I know.

When I went to school in England as a boy, we had no idea what circumcision was - we just figured that was the difference between Americans and Englishmen. Not to be jingoistic, but I preferred the fit, athletic look of mine.

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Anonymous Coward

Guns

It's kind of weird that the gun stats were thrown into this article. More than likely, these poor people who are probably now facing federal criminal charges completely forgot that they even had a loaded gun in their bag. It's completely legal to check an unloaded gun into your baggage, so forgetfulness is really the only logical explanation.

Loaded chamber or not, the chances of the round going off are incredibly slim. Most modern firearms have a firing pin block, and the ones that don't, like a Series 70 1911 usually have stiff springs and lightweight titanium firing pins, that make it close to impossible to accidentally discharge.

These were all checked bags, so inaccessible during the flight. The far scarier number is the number of firearms that slimmed past TSA (in)security on somebody's person and/or carry on baggage. The published numbers from their own testing are abhorrent.

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Headmaster

Re: Guns

Article states these were guns found in carry-on bags, not checked luggage.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guns

these poor people

Not the case. Most of these are a case of a jealous wife. Show up home after a "business meeting" with a couple of long blond hairs on your suit and... suddenly... your gun ends up being packed into your briefcase (without you ever putting it there).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guns

Right, so having spoken to a number of US airport security managers, none of them had the impression that guns in hand luggage was the result of forgetfulness. Sure, that's the excuse that's always given (I forgot, or, the wife packed my bag, etc), but mostly it was dumb ass lazy idiots trying out their luck.

For a start, who would normally keep their gun in their carry on suitcase? "That's where I keep it" is bollocks.

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Grenade

Friend of mine had a grenade that had the explosives removed he used as a paperweight. His son was playing with it one morning while he was packing, and it ended up in his carryon.

Fortunately he was active duty National Guard at the time, and when he showed his military ID they believed him when he explained it must have been his son. But he still lost out - they kept it!

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Re: Guns

From the kind of guns used and their size, almost all appear to be concealable small firearms. Glocks 26s and small revolvers are not the kind of gun you would use in a mass shootout, far too few munitions. None of the magazines look to be of high capacity so I presume that they were just for self-defence.

What does surprise me though is why they have a round chambered when entering an aircraft. As mentioned above, the chances of a gun going off are approximately zero until you put it into the hands of an idiot, at which point the odds go drastically up.... and I can't really imagine just how small the odds of stepping into a shooting match at 10000 feet are, but they must be pretty damned small.

And even if there was a "situation" I am not sure that I would want to pull the trigger inside a pressurised aircraft... I have no idea but I imagine that a 9mm wouldn't actually go through an aircraft window but I wouldn't like to be the one that tries and then finds out that it can... Darwin's law would probably play a strong role here...

As much as I am Pro-Self Defense, I don't really agree with the idea of guns in the cabin.. I was absolutely amazed though at a number of firearms found per period...

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Re: Guns

"It's kind of weird that the gun stats were thrown into this article"

Indeed, increasingly few news publications understand the importance of context.

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Re: Guns

"the importance of context"

What does this mean? Potentially-dangerous objects being carried on to planes *is* the context.

People trying to defend the gun side are obviously Americans. No further comment needed.

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Re: Guns

The article says that these were all in carry-on bags so would have been accessible during flight.

That's why guns were thrown into this article. To highlight the cognitive dissonance of being concerned about people smuggling bombs in laptops when 70+ people a day try to take firearms into the cabins of planes. Also perhaps to highlight how Americans are desensitised to the risk posed by guns.

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Devil

Re: Guns

"Americans are desensitised to the risk posed by guns."

no, the rest of the world is OVER-sensitized into perceiving a tool for self defense as an evil instrument of death from hell just WAITING to inflict injury on some innocent person... (like the evil gun controls the owner or something)

(That, and a lot of idiots in California and New York, "oversensitized" like that)

Technically, though, a 'gun' doesn't have rifling, like a shotgun. So mostly it's rifles and pistols. But yeah, I'll call them "gun" for the sake of those who aren't familiar with that distinction. It's not like I'm in boot camp and the drill instructor is going to make me run around all of the barracks holding my rifle above my head in one hand, and my family jewels in the other, saying "This is my rifle. This is my gun. This is for fighting. This is for fun!" because I called my rifle a "gun".

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Def
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Re: Guns

...perceiving a tool for self defense as an evil instrument of death...

A gun is not a defensive weapon. You're confusing them with bullet proof vests, and/or castles.

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Re: Guns

@bob

umm, most of the world is mostly sensitive to idiots thinking that being allowed to carry a weapon in daily life means that it's a good idea to take it on an aircraft in carry-on luggage. Most of the world realises many people carrying guns in the US are way too stupid to safely do so. Most of the world realises it's a bad idea to just allow any untrained idiot to carry a gun. There are plenty of countries around the world where private gun ownership is perfectly possible. Most however are sensible enough to put some limitations on the minimum level of inteligence required to do so. Yes, some countries are more draconian than they should be (like the Netherlands) but given history it's not surprising. We don't actually fear our government like the average gun-toting numbnut in the US seems to do. So we don't need guns to prove to our government how much of a big boy we are.

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Re: Guns

"Article states these were guns found in carry-on bags, not checked luggage."

But anonymous hacks paid by the NRA don't like facts.

But they do seem to love guns and killing people.

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Re: Guns

Surely a responsible gun owner never forgets that he or she is carrying a firearm.

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Re: Guns

@AC most of these are a jealous wife? Most? Keep repeating that and realise how dim this sounds.

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Re: Guns

Japan has one of the lowest rates of gun crime in the world. In 2014 there were just six gun deaths, compared to 33,599 in the US. What is the secret? No secret, it's called gun control. Septics of course say gun control doesn't and can't work. Amazing stupidity.

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Re: Guns

"no, the rest of the world is OVER-sensitized"

Utter BS. Compare crime rates, and try to do so without some special pleading argument that the USA is somehow different from other developed countries.

Let's compare the number of firearm deaths per 100,000 citizens shall we? UK 0.23, USA 10.54 .

The overall homicide rate is something like 4.5 times more in the USA compared to the USA, you're also more likely to get robbed and more likely to get sexually assaulted, so guns aren't keeping you safe, you're more often the victim and you aren't saving yourself with defensive gun use by any measure.

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Windows

Re: Guns

Rifle is a subset of the word gun Bob. A gun is a normally tubular weapon or other device designed to discharge projectiles or other material. Rifling is added to improve accuracy and range. Considering that the weapons found were in hand luggage, I would assume most of them were pistols (with rifling) anyway.

Statistically, the presence of so many guns in the USA makes them far more dangerous to US citizens than the terrorists the laptop ban was meant to stop. While I assume you believe your 2nd Amendment rights are inviolate; I would suggest trying to disarm toddlers and banning lawnmowers, if you want to save more American lives, because they are killing more of your citizens than international terrorists, but still a fraction of the numbers killed by retaining the good ol' 2nd Amendment.

http://dangerousintersection.org/2016/09/08/odds-of-getting-killed-by-armed-toddlers-terrorists-and-falling-out-of-bed/

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Facepalm

Re: Guns

"More than likely, these poor people who are probably now facing federal criminal charges completely forgot that they even had a loaded gun in their bag."

Which is exactly the problem. They actually forgot that they were carrying a loaded gun? And this is what the USA considers is responsible gun ownership?

A loaded gun is something to just shove in your bag and forget about? When you are checking through your bag before travelling to make sure you have everything, the detail that there is a loaded gun in there doesn't even register?

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Re: Guns

"far more dangerous to US citizens than the terrorists the laptop ban"

Has there ever actually been a "laptop bomb" incident or is this one of those "we have received intel so will ban laptops" things? If the latter, the terrorist just have to keep coming up with ever more ludicrous schemes, drop a hint to the "enemy" security services and watch the results as it "terrorises" the intended targets for little to no effort

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Re: Guns

@ Bob

Bob, cheers for clarifying "rifle" vs "gun" for those who aren't familiar with the distinction.

Favour for a favour, I shall distinguish for you "over sensitised" with "an understanding of faintly responsible gun ownership."

"Over sensitised" is a borderline manically paranoid response to a stimuli, for example, thinking that despite all the laws, you need (and are allowed) to pack a firearm into your carry on, that is not only loaded, but also made ready.

"An understanding of faintly responsible gun ownership" means we get that you like guns, we know that guns are simply a tool but we tend to think that giving every yahoo who wants a gun, with limited checks on them and no training, isn't, perhaps, quite the best thing to do.

Anyone, short of a sky marshall I guess, who thinks it's fine and dandy to bring a bloody firearm in their carry on onto a plane, and frankly I couldn't give 2 hoots whether it's loaded or unloaded at this point, is, IMHO a f***ing bellend and deserves being slung in the clink without being told why and left to guess why. Once they figure it out, then they can be released, given some basic bloody training in fireamrs (and Not Being A Bellend 101) and sent on their merry way.

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Windows

Re: Guns

@ John Brown:

After the whole yellowcake incident, that is exactly what they've been up to. Its how they won.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guns

"A gun is not a defensive weapon. You're confusing them with bullet proof vests, and/or castles"

Where would you include Martial Arts ? As both a previous practitioner of Martial Arts and as a current "Sports Shooter" I personally don't see the difference when used defensively or offensively Both are deadly. When used properly, with restraint and with sufficient self-control both can stop a small incident from becoming major incident very quickly... ( I also have professional training in defensive/offensive situations).

Owning a firearm does not make automatically make someone a cowboy killer. I agree that there are idiots with guns but the majority of firearms owners are sensible people.

Like most car drivers, most people are sensible but not all... I would also consider Drunk driving is far more dangerous than firearms, yet there are almost no controls to stop someone getting into a car absolutely blind drunk.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guns

"As mentioned above, the chances of a gun going off are approximately zero until you put it into the hands of an idiot, at which point the odds go drastically up"

So gun manufacturers are doing their bit for population control by giving guns to Americans?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guns

"As much as I am Pro-Self Defense"

By owning / carrying a gun, you make yourself much more likely to die from one - and so maybe Darwinian evolution will eventually solve the American gun problem...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guns

"the rest of the world is"

Erm, sure - so the whole rest of the planet is wrong and America are correct?!

"perceiving a tool for self defense as an evil instrument of death"

Remind me how many die of gun shots in America each year versus say the UK?

"to inflict injury on some innocent person"

And how may of those US dead each year were accidentally or unlawfully killed?

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Re: Guns

"Owning a firearm does not make automatically make someone a cowboy killer."

But are you the sort of person who would be carrying a loaded gun onto an aircraft and forget that you had it with you? I suspect not, but the sort of person who does do that is far less likely to be a well trained user. THAT is the problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guns

@Anonymous Coward: "By owning / carrying a gun, you make yourself much more likely to die from one"

And by applying your "logic", owning a sharp knife makes me more likely to die from one....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guns

The majority of that number includes suicide by gun, which completely inflates the number. Taking away the gun doesn't end suicide, they just find other means to their end.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Guns

"And by applying your "logic", owning a sharp knife makes me more likely to die from one...."

That owning a gun increases your risk of dying from one is not based on logic, but on facts, as per numerous studies on the subject:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17922-carrying-a-gun-increases-risk-of-getting-shot-and-killed

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24054955

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2014/01/111286/access-guns-increases-risk-suicide-homicide

https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/160/10/929/140858/Guns-in-the-Home-and-Risk-of-a-Violent-Death-in

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Re: Guns

Do bear in mind that the americans have a good reason to fear their own government. The average U.S. police officer is likely to have zero firearms training on any sort of regular basis. So if a police officer draws a weapon and you stand still, you have a high risk of ending up collateral damage. And if you run to cover, you have a high risk of being shot at. So the only safe response is to shoot the police first. </joke>

Jokes aside, unless TSA agents have a much stricter training regime than the american cops, you can't really hold them accountable for missing stuff in luggage. After all, with no education towards real explosives, you can't demand that they'd recognize one when presented. Nevermind something more exotic, like a properly hidden blade. So it is perfectly understandable that passengers would want to carry some extra security with them. On the off chance that the terrorists try to hijack the planes, like they did on 9/11.

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Anonymous Coward

The average U.S. police officer is likely to have zero firearms training

Used to know an ex-Navy Seal that provided fire arms training for one of the local police departments. His opinion was they shouldn't be allowed to carry guns.

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Re: Guns

"What does this mean? Potentially-dangerous objects being carried on to planes *is* the context." -- bloodbeastterror

That's exactly what I meant ... one of the great things about El Reg is that it's one of the few publications that bothers with context whilst others sensationalise terrorist threats, Tesla crashes, SpaceX failures, vaping "risks" etc.

Perhaps I should have used a <sarc> tag...

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Def
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Re: Martial Arts

As both a previous practitioner of Martial Arts and as a current "Sports Shooter" I personally don't see the difference when used defensively or offensively...

Good question.

When fighting someone in unarmed combat, what's the difference between merely parrying incoming strikes, and actively attempting to knock out/disable your opponent with strikes of your own? Obviously you do need to strike at your opponent in an offensive manner to disable them, but there is still a clear distinction between just defending and attacking (albeit with a goal to disabling or preventing further attacks).

Which was my original point: At the end of the day there is nothing defensive about launching projectiles at supersonic velocities towards someone else. :) You can argue the need to disable or prevent further attacks, but doing so with a gun is never a defensive manoeuvre.

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