What scares me more than getting caught with a knife while going through airport security is that I was allowed to keep it and board my plane.

I was flying out of DIA for Thanksgiving Monday night with a normal table knife in my carry-on bag, without realizing it. I had packed it to eat my dinner on campus last week and completely forgot about it until the blue, latex glove of airport security pulled it out of my bag.

“Well look at this,” Dennis Steiner, a lead officer of TSA security, said.

Hysterically, I tried to explain that this was an accident. I was expecting to hear alarms sound and to be tackled to the tile floor any moment. But Steiner stopped me to explain that while DIA defines a knife with a serrated edge, my utensil had only one serrated side; it therefore occupied a “gray area.”

These kinds of blades are not as dangerous as other, sharper knives, even to a Thanksgiving turkey. But this table knife is still better at cutting flesh than the blade on the Swiss Army keychain knife, which was confiscated the last time I went through DIA security.

So is this knife really so ineffective? Everyone has heard stories of prisoners stabbing each other with sharpened toothbrushes.

Single-edge serrated knives may occupy a “gray area” but I’m pretty sure it could cut through white and dark meat this Thursday. So if this knife is dangerous enough for a turkey, it should be dangerous enough for security at DIA, too.

Stephen Kasica


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