It has long amazed and puzzled me that people think they can get away with taking guns and other weapons onto airplane flights. On Monday, a woman was  caught at the Richmond airport with a loaded .380 caliber handgun in her carry-on bag. The Transportation Security Administration  (TSA) reports that, as of Nov. 13, 18 guns had been caught at Richmond International Airport checkpoints. Nationally, TSA intercepted nearly 6,000 firearms at airports last year, the most on record.

One of the more inventive methods of trying to smuggle a weapon onto a flight at Richmond was the recent attempt by a Williamsburg man with a double-bladed knife hidden in the interior of his laptop computer. After X-ray machines detected the knife, TSA personnel used special tools to disassemble the computer to get the knife.  The owner of the laptop initially had the standard explanation: he had no idea that there was a knife hidden inside his computer.


Opening day on the Silver Line Extension. Photo credit: Washington Post

After many, many years of delays and hundreds of millions in cost overruns, Dulles Airport and eastern Loudon County are finally connected to downtown D.C. via Metro. The Silver Line Extension opened with much fanfare.  Officials expect that, in addition to residential and business development along the line, the direct connection between the airport and downtown will result in additional airport passenger traffic at Dulles.

Washington Post reporters tested the line and determined that it took about the same time to drive from downtown to the airport as it would take using Metro.  However, using Metro was considerably cheaper than driving, especially if one assumed a three-day stay in the parking garage, and it was more than $100 cheaper than using Uber.

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17 responses to “Potpourri”

  1. How clueless does one have to be to walk through airport screening with a handgun in one’s handbag? Oops, I forgot.

    As for the knife in the PC, how dumb does the guy have to be to think that anyone would believe that he didn’t know how it got there? What an imbecile.

    There are no limits to human stupidity or depravity.

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      And he could have checked the knife in a suitcase without any issue. Did he anticipate needing the knife on the flight?

  2. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

    TSA employees get a cash bonus when they find a weapon. And, indeed, they should.

    The Silver Line will likely be useful for business travelers without much luggage coming and going from Downtown D.C., Tysons or Reston. As for pleasure travelers with more luggage, not so much.

    Parking at RDU ranges from $11 to $26 per day when booked online and prepaid with a card. Big savings from the D.C. airports.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      Did the Park and Fly option at a hotel outside IAD last month and that worked great, very reasonable.

    2. energyNOW_Fan Avatar

      That’s why so many Marylanders and WaPo wanted NoVA to build the Silver Line…alls I can say they better use the darn thing, it was not cheap.

      And also I say we get FBI in Virginia as reward for Virginia doing more to build roads (new HOT lanes) and Silver Line.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        You want MORE traffic? 😉

  3. It is just not TSA. Most federal buildings that xray, mag, or screen entrants has a locker full of confiscated materials. At one federal building, they security contractors showed me their locker full of knives (generally kitchen knives that visitors had brought in with their lunch box.

  4. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    I know one way it could happen. Don’t let your spouse pack your bags if you’re having an affair with your secretary.

    1. That sounds like the voice of experience…

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Would have been easier on me.

        Just kidding.

  5. Matt Adams Avatar

    You can take firearms on flights. All you have to do it notify the airline in advance and make sure you follow the proper procedures. People fly with firearms every day.

    If you want your knife, check your bag. It’s fine and dandy to have a knife, just not on ones person.

    1. Yes, but the firearm has to be in checked baggage. You cannot have it in your carry-on luggage.

      1. Matt Adams Avatar

        True enough, but just pointing out to most on here who were likely unaware everyday individuals can indeed travel with firearms, legally.

  6. LarrytheG Avatar

    Makes me wonder if the ones that are “acting up” sometimes are the same loons that try to carry weapons?

  7. FAA says 2,900,000 commercial airline passengers fly “in and out” of U.S. airports every day. That implies 1,450,000 individual passengers per day, which equates to 529,250,000 individual passengers per year.

    So, with 6,000 weapons discovered, that means 0.0011% of people trying to board flights had weapons confiscated. Not even statistically significant.

    Oh, and the guy with the knife should have gone with a ‘CIA Letter-0pener”

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      It was 6,000 firearms. All the knives, box cutters, etc. were in addition to those.

      1. I stand corrected.

        With 6,000 firearms discovered, that means 0.0011% of people trying to board flights had firearm(s) confiscated.

        Still not even close to being statistically significant.

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