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Editorial: Thanks, TSA

Any American who flies regularly knows what a pain it is to take off their shoes and belts, open their bags, get rid of “sharps” and large liquid containers.

Even water bottles, for heaven’s sakes!

But... we also know that the Transportation Safety Administration — those TSA minions in blue uniforms — are trying to keep us safe.

Nobody wants their aircraft to be attacked by some fanatic — so we put up with it.

But is it effective?

Well, here’s one recent week’s national haul, according to the TSA’s blog (http://blog.tsa.gov/):

Fifty assorted firearms — 44 of which were loaded, including 13 with a round chambered and ready to fire — 80 pounds of marijuana, a double-edged knife hidden in a cane, three knives hidden in fake keys and a “realistic” inert grenade.

Fifteen stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags!

According to the TSA, its agents regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, BB and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, hunting knives, switchblades, ammunition, batons — and recently, a speargun in a carryon.

That’s one week’s worth of potentially lethal hardware that would have otherwise wound up aboard an airliner — perhaps yours. To be sure, most of it would probably have stayed safely in a bag, but ...

In addition, there are no hard statistics on how many would-be passengers are caught during screen for their behavior, or perhaps because they are on a “no-fly” list.

Frankly, we’re glad — we all should be glad — that the TSA is on the job.

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