The lighter ban’s lifting bodes well for the TSA become slightly less a giant waste of time and money, but did you know that they’ve actually wanted this for some time? In June, 2006, TSA chief Kip Hawley was quoted in USA Today as saying:
- “The lighter ban does not add to security anymore…”
- “[Forcing screeners to confiscate lighters at checkpoints] is a distraction from the serious nature of finding (bomb) components.”
- “[screeners are] spending time hunting through bags looking for items that are not the serious threat.”
- “[lighters] do not represent a particularly effective ignition source for terrorists…”
In this case, don’t blame the TSA, blame your reactionary members of Congress who just wanted to look tough in the face of terrorism.