Okay, here's what happened when a friend of mine took a trip recently. Things were going swimmingly until he got to the security line. Just as he was about to reach into his pocket and remove his change, he realized that he was carrying more than change. He was carrying his pocket knife. Now my friend really likes that knife, but he knew his clear duty was to tell the screener that he had it in his pocket. If he did that, however, the screener would take the knife, and my friend would never see it again.
What to do, what to do? If he tried to sneak the knife through security and got caught, he'd lose the knife and probably be put through a cavity search and all kinds of indignities. The knife isn't giant-sized, but it's sharp, and it can do a lot more damage to someone than, say, a box cutter. My friend considered this. He didn't want to be sent to Gitmo and waterboarded.
But he really likes that knife, so he decided to go for it. He dumped his change in the little bowl, put his jacket, shoes, and laptop in the plastic tray and headed for the metal detector.
And waltzed right through. Nary a peep. He and his knife were together as they boarded the plane and as they got off at their destination. When he got to the hotel, he put the knife in his shaving kit, which would be in the big bag that was checked through on the return trip. He didn't want to take any chances.
Don't you feel safer now that a billion-dollar government agency is protecting you? My friend's not so sure he does.