“The person who missed this in the screening was terminated.” – Sarasota airport CEO Rick Piccolo quoted in Rocker in airport bust says he often flew with gun [via seattletimes.com]

41 Responses to Quote of the Day: Rick Derringer Reveals Airport Security Theater

  1. Honestly … Does anyone who’s flown commercial in the past 15 years think it’s not just security theater? And maybe a way to increase airport vendors’ profit margins on beverages?

    • It goes beyond that, it is a test run for door to door “papers please” checks. It desensitizes people to giving up their freedom and privacy; and maybe we are and have been importing so much violence from other countries to give the future rationale to go door to door. The .gov would find it hard to justify such a measure if there are not droves of “unregistered” immigrants. Either Trump is throwing a wrench in that plan by cutting it short, or he is just phase two.

      • It is clearly either the Trump plan or…..Europe, in the real world at least. In the minds of many who think they are some kind of libertarian (whatever the blazes that may mean anymore) or “above the fray,” there is a choice to “go it alone” or join “militias.” For me, this is pure nutcake stuff, the kind that brings broad smiles to the faces of Obama, Clinton, Schumer, Warren, and other neo-Communists. They know that unless pro-gun people participate in politics that have a chance of strengthening the 2nd Am, real politics that is and not the fanciful Gadsden Flag kind, they –i.e. the neo-Commies — will win in the long run. The Commies count on Bloomberg’s money and their own fanaticism and tenacity to prevail eventually. Join the NRA. Now.

    • Someone had to post it.

      Anyways, many years ago I worked security at Orange County airport. (Long before TSA.) We discovered, by accident, that a passenger was attempting to carry an NAA .22 short pistol onto the airplane. He had inserted the pistol into a flip-top Marlboro box. They were lined with foil and it did in fact obscure the pistol from the x-ray machine. He was only discovered because when he picked up the box the pistol slipped out onto the table. Much hilarity ensued.

      • I’m a bit surprised about the foil. I experimented with lead flashing and found that it did little to disguise the outline of my Seecamp. (I used an X-Ray machine at work for my experiment.)

        • Try it with foil. lead absorbs, foil reflects. Of course, the foil will set off metal detectors like you would not believe. It’s like the 4th of July, or tossing a piece of fried chicken wrapped in foil into the micronuke and watching the sparks fly.

        • Sorry, Dave, but aluminum foil won’t do a thing. X-rays at the energy level used in those scanners will go right through foil like its not there..might even clean up the image a bit. We use 1-2mm of aluminum in the beam to filter out the “soft”, lower energy x-rays, which makes for a better image.

  2. A few years back, I swapped out my laptop backpack. Found a soldering iron and a pair of wire cutters. I had flown at least 6 times with these in the bag. imagine the damage I could have done if I only knew.

  3. Personal experience while traveling:
    My wife and I flew from the Bay Area to Kalispel with our small dogs. Screening at the TSA checkpoint consisted of our taking them from their crates and holding them in our arms. The TSA agent took a swab of our hands and inserted the swab into some kind of machine, waited 15 seconds and then waved us through- AROUND the traditional body scan. I realized that my car keys and belt were still with me during this procedure and I was not checked for any kind of weapon based on their need to not put my dogs through the body scan.

    • As it should be. No firearm or bladed instrument will be sufficient to take over or bring down an aircraft. Even a minor incendiary would still give the pilots time to safely respond. Explosives are the threat.

      Granted, you or the dogs could have had explosives implanted into your bodies, but the naked machines wouldn’t reveal that. Heck, they wouldn’t reveal a shiv stuffed where the sun don’t shine. The best that can do is a swab and explosive residue check.

      It’s still theater, but at least it’s more effective than the rest of the wasteful nonsense.

      • A firearm could bring down an aircraft. The cabin door might resist rounds, but the adjacent wall won’t (oops, terrorists please don’t read this). Depressurization would also be a serious threat; while it wouldn’t be the ‘explosive’ type that you see in movies there have been crashes caused by it.

        • Sorry to be “that guy” but you’re incorrect. This experiment was conducted on a pressurized aircraft, with a variety of calibers and rounds. Sure, it put a hole in it, but all that did was create a whistling and didn’t even result in pressure loss. The Mythbusters did it, I’m sure it’s on Youtube.

        • “A firearm could bring down an aircraft.”

          Yep, it’s possible a handgun with a decent ammo capacity could bring down an aircraft.

          Aim through a cabin window and poke enough holes in the turbofan in the right place and the imbalance will grenade the engine in a spectacular fashion…

        • Aircraft engines are designed to be very safe. Before the aircraft engine ever “grenaded” it would either automatically shut down or be shut down from the cockpit and became a paperweight.

          And since every aircraft manufactured after 1958 is designed to fly with one engine inoperative the aircraft would come down, slowly and under control until the pilot landed uneventfully on the runway and came to a stop.

          Best way to bring down an aircraft is to incapacitate the pilots. It’s a long shot but the only way to reliably do it.

        • As a pilot of pressurized aircraft for 20 years, I can tell you that one man cannot carry enough ammunition onto an commercial airliner to even minutely affect the pressurization, after he fires every round through the skin. And no, you cannot open the door from inside a pressurized aircraft. Pressurization is simply not a player, on top of which if some misadventure does cause a rapid decompression, the pilots will don oxygen masks and perform an emergency descent, after which there will be zero injuries of anyone, a situation which has been continuous for over 40 years. The silliness of “pressurization” scares is beyond description.

  4. Just scanned the article from Seattle paper. Mr. Derringer is either a total idiot, a liar, or has done a bit too many drugs in his rock & roll career. No one who has obtained a Florida CCW can possibly claim with a straight face that they did not know it was illegal to carry a loaded pistol through security and onto the airplane! What exactly did he think all those TSA people and their fancy machines were doing there? When I worked airport security in 1979 it was already known by EVERYBODY that we were looking for guns and explosives. Every gun we found (not a lot, but more than a few) belonged to someone who either knew damn well they were breaking the law or knew it was wrong and had somehow forgotten to take the pistol out of their bag before they got to the airport. That was 38 years ago!

    Point # 2: How lucky is this moron that the pistol was discovered in the U.S. and not in Cancun? He would have had to learn to sing “Hang on Sloopy” in Spanish to pass the time over the next ten years or so in a Mexican prison.

    • It was only a 6 magazine clip so we’re letting it slide. Besides, the article was from the Seattle paper. It’s amazing they didn’t describe the weapon as a fully automatic KelTec AR-15 assault pistol.

  5. Forget the gun, how did the name “Derringer, Dick” get past his manager? It’s like some kind of reverse-pornstar monicker.

  6. “In 2015, some U.S. Congress members said fake weapons, explosives and other contraband went unnoticed in 67 of 70 tries — about 96 percent of the time — at TSA airport checkpoints.”

    4% of the time, it works all the time.

    • I’m always curious when I hear about those tests. Do we know what firearm analogs were used? Did they have explosive/powder residue on them? Was simulated ammo present? I’m sure there are reasons they don’t give us details, but I’m still curious….

      • I have no idea what they use these days, but it obviously isn’t a Deagle. Back 38 years ago when I was doing it they would randomly pass a bag or briefcase through the x-ray machine with a Raven Arms .25 encased in a block of Lucite. They also had something with a bunch of loose wires and a block of clay attached to a clock (before cell phones existed, much less could be used as triggers) that was supposed to be a bomb. The only time we missed that pistol it went through the machine straight up and down so the profile was not obvious. The “bomb” might as well have had a label on the bag and flashing lights.

        • 38 years ago was before we had the TSA, a federal bureaucracy hastily cobbled together from whoever couldn’t find a job delivering pizzas or licking stamps.

  7. About six months after 9/11 I had to take a business trip. The very astute screeners noticed a P38 (can opener for C rations) that I had carried on my key ring since I got out of the military. It was a big deal to them and even though I showed them my DOJ ID, I was given the choice of missing my flight or throwing it away. Not much of a choice. Guess I could have used it to open that cockpit door?

    • I’ve carried a P38 since at least 1997 and TSA has never once said anything about it. However, even with my military ID and our $100million body scanners I still have to take my boots and dog tags off.

  8. Rick is a terribly underrated guitarist, song writer and producer. I hope he beats the rap and keeps on rockin’.

  9. Do you think the nekkid scanners would detect it if I drew a big middle finger on my chest with that super duper zinc oxide sun block?

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