The Transportation Security Administration made us all a little safer this week by confiscating a gun. The "gun" was actually a toilet paper roll, but surely that's just a small detail.
"How not to roll through a checkpoint…" the agency joked in a Thursday press release. According to the release, a passenger attempted to board a plane with a gun in his carry-on. But it wasn't just any firearm! This gun was actually a replica of a revolver, outfitted to, as the press release states, "spin toilet paper" instead of bullets.
The Associated Press reports that the passenger was given three options: to put the item in a checked bag, give it to a friend outside of the airport, or give it to the TSA. He went with the third option.
The TSA's website includes a list of restrictions on toy guns. While there is some leeway for fake weaponry, the agency prohibits "items that resemble realistic firearms or weapons." TSA officers also have the discretion to confiscate an item they believe "poses a security threat."
It is ridicuous, of course, to claim that a toilet paper holder—even one fashioned from an old and defunct gun—is a legitimate threat to national security. It's about as dangerous as a drag queen's fake boobs. But that didn't stop the TSA not just from seizing it but from patting themselves on the back for everyone to see. They can't help it. The agency rarely misses a moment to post its quirky catches on social media. Just a few weeks ago, it showed off a gun-shaped radio with captions to the tune of "Wonderwall."
Meanwhile, federal reports in 2015 and 2017 have shown that the agency misses the overwhelming majority of contraband smuggled onto planes. I hope the TSA is enjoying its latest catch. I wonder what it missed in the meantime.