Schafer Column: Don't Be Afraid Of Pocketknives On Airplanes


I sure am curious as to why people are so frightened about the FAA allowing a small pocket knife on airliners.

The new rules will allow me to carry a small knife with up to a 2.3 inch blade. I am excited to be able to carry my small Swiss Army knife that has a fingernail file, toothpick, tweezers and small folding blade. It is my “fixit” tool that I carry every day except for when I am flying.

Now the regulations have been changed to allow me to carry that tool and there is an uproar about passengers being allowed to carry “knives.” The cry is that flight attendants will not be safe and other passengers will be in danger by deranged knife wielding maniacs.

I for sure want to be safe on my frequent flying trips, but I am hoping that we don’t continue to make silly regulations that have no effect on safety.

For instance, on a recent trip, I left my constant companion pocket knife at home because some government bureaucrat says it is safer. However, I carried on the plane my shaving kit which included a razor blade, a 4 inch metal nail file with a pointed tip, a 3 inch steel cork screw and a tooth plaque removal tool which has a 3 inch plastic handle with a sharp metal blade on the end. And I also carried a writing instrument and if you don’t think that can be used as a weapon, check out the YouTube videos on self-defense using a pen.

I know some people will say that we should ban all those things too, but let’s get real! Millions and millions of miles have been flown with passengers carrying all these awful things without incident!

We need to stop worrying about the small things and make sure we fly conveniently and safely.