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2003-10-19 | 7:02 p.m.

[S]ecurity expert Randy Larsen told CBS News Correspondent Dan Raviv, "It's safer to fly on U.S. airlines than it was two years ago or five years ago. It is the safest it has ever been."

Larsen says screening at the nations airports is working: "Since the creation of the (Transportation Security Administration), they've confiscated 2.3 million knives, more than 1400 firearms and more than 47,000 box cutters." --From Student: I'm the Cutter Planter

The knives I can understand, actually. Most of the men in my life--and many of the women--carry a folding pocket knife with them wherever they go. A Swiss Army knife, a penknife, a Buck knife, that sort of thing. I suppose there are also people who favor the Leatherman "tool," which is most likely classified as a knife by airport security. People carry these things around so much that they forget they have them; or perhaps they want to have them for convenience and hope they won't be discovered. Yes, I can see that.

Even the guns I can fathom. It wouldn't occur to me to take one on a trip, but my father brought one with him when he visited me back in the late '80s. I'm pretty sure he flew out on that trip, too. It made me nervous, knowing there was a gun in my house, and I thought about making a fuss. But I wouldn't have called him a gun nut, then or now. Having it just made him feel secure. I think most people know not to bring a gun to the airport. That 1400 figure just represents the duh factor.

But 47,000 box cutters doesn't make sense to me. Who the hell packs a box cutter before an airplane trip? "Honey, did you remember the box cutter? We might need it when we get to Cancun." Even accounting for people who are moving cross-country OR checking their personal belongings in cardboard boxes taped to within an inch of their life AND who also don't realize that it's called a "box cutter," thereby failing to connect it to the heinous events of September 11th, 2001, even accounting for them, it seems like a high number.

But then again, there's always some joker who gets on a plane and makes a joke about having a bomb, then acts surprised when they get arrested by the FBI. Maybe the box cutter people are all doing it on purpose. Maybe it's some sort of attention-seeking, passive-aggressive thing. Let the staff psychologist sort it out.

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