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[aus.aviation] Not quite a terrorist.

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David Bromage

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Aug 28, 2005, 8:15:19 AM8/28/05
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Subject: Not quite a terrorist.
From: Sylvia Else <syl...@not.at.this.address>
Newsgroups: aus.aviation, aus.legal

I fell foul of the Aviation Transport Security Regulations today, when I
attempted to take a set of small screwdrivers into the sterile area at
Ayres Rock Airport.

These are a prohibited item by virtue of both items 1 and 2 of table
1.07 in the definition:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/num_reg/atsr2005n18o2005540/s1.07.html

Mind you, the same is true of the cute 'gecko' ball-point pens sold in
the shop in the sterile area. The lizard body makes a convenient handle
when stabbing someone with the pen.

I'm probably lucky they didn't look too closely at my finger nails. I
hadn't cut them recently, and they're certainly sharp enough to
penetrate skin, which must constitute an injury.

Looking further down the list, I wonder whether it's as well that I
didn't raise my fist at the security guard, because he'd have wanted to
confiscate that too (Item 3 - Blunt things able to be used to bludgeon
or threaten to bludgeon a person). But it wouldn't really be a problem.
If my fist had been forfeit, I could have bought a boomerang from the
shop for the same purpose. Also, aren't they hunting weapons?

The screening officers saw, but apparently overlooked the potential of,
the leads I use to connect my laptop to hotel phone sockets. They're
clearly prohibited items (Item 5 - Things capable of being used to
restrain a person). My panty-hose would have been up for grabs too, on
the same basis.

On the wall in the departure lounge there are some framed photographs
relating to the history of the airport. Four of these have glass in
front of the picture. They're just hanging on picture hooks, so removing
one and retiring to the ladies room is all that's required to convert
the glass into a handy sharp dagger, particularly as my diamond wedding
ring had escaped attention (surely prohibited under item 1). Clearly the
pictures are prohibited (item 2 - Sharp things that are not weapons, but
are capable (with or without modification) of causing harm by penetration).

But I think I've finally come to understand the purpose of these
regulations. They're there to protect people from suffering serious
injury. No - I haven't lost my marbles. Think about it - anyone who
tries anything with a screwdriver or pair of nail scissors on board an
aircraft these days is going to get a severe kicking from the other
passengers. The state has a duty protect such people from their own
stupidity, by preventing them from taking such stuff on board.

At least, that's the only rationale I can come up with. The only other
possible conclusion is that the state is trying to make it impossible to
commit an offence against the person on board an aircraft. That cannot
be achieved, and if anyone on board wants to disagree with me, I'll poke
him in the eye with my finger.

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