Knives have no place on planes


Sometimes the government does listen.

In March, the Transportation Security Administration announced it would again allow commercial fliers to carry small knives (blades 2.36 inches or shorter) with them onto planes. That would have ended a ban that has been in place since knife-wielding terrorist hijackers took control of four U.S. jetliners on Sept. 11, 2001 and killed thousands of people.

On Wednesday, TSA Chief John Pistole reversed that course after flight attendants led a fight against the relaxing of the ban, which also would have allowed passengers to board with hockey sticks, golf clubs and pool cues.

Pistole, in defending his proposal in March, told lawmakers that the TSA confiscates about 2,000 knives a year from passengers, but that given budget constraints the agency was spending too much time dealing with small knives that could be better spent dealing with larger security issues.

The fact is, knives are weapons that terrorists have proven have no place on jetliners, and we can't fathom why golf clubs, hockey sticks and pool cues shouldn't be checked baggage that's stowed away.

Pistole's original plan was ill conceived. Passengers and the people who work on jetliners are safer now that it has been scrapped.

— The Albany Herald Editorial Board