Each week the Transporation Security Administration shares a tally of the firearms its officers find at airport checkpoints.
I find that list both fasciniating and frightening.
From June 4 through 10, for example, 78 firearms were found in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints around the country.
Of those 78 firearms, 61 were loaded and 25 had a round chambered.
Alarming? Yes. A record? Not at all.
The guns are scary, but so too are the other prohibited items that TSA tells us travelers try to take on board with them.
For example, last week’s ‘catch’ included the replica Improvised Explosive Device (IED) pictured above that was found in a traveler’s carry-on bag at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
It looks like it could be real and TSA reports that after finding this item, the checkpoint was closed down for almost 20 minutes before the Chicago Police Bomb Squad was able to respond and clear the item.
Most people found with firearms in their carryon bags tells the authorities that they just ‘forgot’ they had their guns in the bags they grabbed on the way to the airport. But that replica IED? What were they thinking???