Of course, the Transportation Security Administration is not going to let anyone through security with a homemade weapon that could hurt someone. Heck, you can’t even bring a big snow globe or your Mamaw’s cranberry sauce. But that doesn’t mean you can’t whip up a homemade shotgun using only products purchased after security. Say what?
We would never condone building such a thing (or any of the weapons in his DIY arsenal), but a programmer who is also somewhat of a “security researcher” by night did just that to show that well, it can be done.
He spoke to FastCompany about his efforts using things like dental floss, a can of Axe body spray, condoms and magazines to create the BLUNDERBUSSiness Class, saying the object of his research is to show in a somewhat silly, albeit scary kind of way, that weapons are everywhere and that the “security theater” of the TSA is ill-prepared to keep us safe.
“If we’re trying stop a terrorist threat at the airport,” he says. “It’s already too late.”
He says he started the project as a reaction to the ubiquity of body scanners at airports around the country.
“It just seemed so invasive, really expensive,” he says. “And if you’re going to go through all that trouble getting into the terminal, why is all this stuff available in the terminal?”
Perhaps because most people have neither the knowledge or the desire to go through the effort to make a homemade crossbow? At least, we hope most people don’t want to do that. It’s also worth noting that he didn’t assemble or test any of these weapons at an actual airport, but at his home.
He’s also been sending reports to both the FBI and the TSA to show his work before he publishes it online, just so they know what he’s up to. As a result, the FBI stopped by one day.
“That was really the first time that I knew someone had looked over the material and put together a report on their end,” he says. “That was encouraging.”
What if Terrorists See This?!
That’s a great question. An even better question is: What if they already know all this? All of these findings have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security (TSA) to help them better detect these types of threats. Furthermore, the next time you fly, you’ll be flying as a more informed consumer (and taxpayer, possibly) — one who is more equipped to demand better, more appropriate airport security.
While the FBI turned down his request for research funding, so he could test weapons on actual airplane parts and the like, he’s going to keep working as a freelancer in the future.
Again — don’t try this at home. Or at the airport. Or anywhere.
As he notes on his website, “Don’t break the law. Don’t build weapons if you don’t know how to do it safely. Don’t be stupid.”