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Toy Story ‘Gun’ Confiscated at Airport

Another example of how government proves absurd.

by
Walter Hudson

Bio

February 13, 2014 - 8:30 am

o-WOODY-SEIZED-AT-HEATHROW-570

Amidst the vortex of impressions known as social media, some things fail to receive the attention they deserve. When I first saw the above picture of airport security confiscating a toy gun from a cowboy doll, I dismissed it as too absurd to be real. Turns out, as reported by National Review Online, it really happened:

Another gun-wielding toy has had its weapon seized by airport security. After a cowboy sock monkey Rooster Monkburn had his tiny harmless weapon seized last year, a Woody doll underwent similar probe at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Healthrow traveler John Hazen posted a picture of his son’s figurine to the social-media website Reddit on Tuesday showing a security official removing the doll’s gun. “At Heathrow, security just confiscated his ‘weapon,’ keep the world safe boys,”​ Hazen wrote on the site. The doll does not usually come armed with gun — it was an accessory the family added.

How could anyone be so stupid you ask? In a word, government.

Surely, people make dumb decisions in the market. However, the market quickly checks and balances dumb decisions by subjecting them to the individual judgment of competitors, consumers, and stakeholders – all free to associate or disassociate at will. Government, by contrast, deals in force. It mandates compliance instead of judgment. Ergo, when you tell a security officer to confiscate all guns, he’s going to confiscate ALL guns. Common sense be damned.

Let us imagine a world where government was constrained to its proper role of protecting individual rights. In such a world, functions like airport security would be private, as would airports, air traffic control, and the entire aviation sector. Competitors in that environment would remain incentivized to prevent terrorist attacks and other disasters which would adversely affect their business. It turns out having your customers die in your care does little for your brand.

Sensible security precautions would develop, tempered by the demands of consumers who would vote with their dollars on the best overall solution. No doubt, the security realized in a free market would require some assumption of risk on the part of consumers. But the flip side would be getting your kid’s cowboy doll on-board without triggering a federal case. Market judgment outperforms government edict in the development of best practices every time.

Walter Hudson advocates for individual rights, serving on the boards of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota, Minnesota Majority and the Minority Liberty Alliance. He maintains a blog and daily podcast entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of conservative Minnesotan commentary, and regularly appears on the Twin Cities News Talk Weekend Roundtable on KTCN AM 1130. Follow his work via Twitter and Facebook.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
That sure taught that boy a lesson.

The lesson is that government bureaucrats are idiots.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
In this case I think "Zero Tolerance Policy" means "We tolerate IQs as low as Zero in our security officers."
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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It would seem logical to offer mailing packages for sale at the airport security areas, so that the owner of these "dangerous" items can mail them home, rather than have them confiscated. Of course, the reason that they are not offered may be that all these confiscated items get sold at auction.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
be nice to post a picture of the security guy's face, too, in addition to his pudgy little fingers. so he can be very proud of himself and his job performance and get wonderful reviews from his superiors.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's a good thing that they didn't know Woody had a AK-47 in his checked baggage.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
wow Woody a potential threat with his toy gun, Wonder why Woody wasn't taken into custody for packing heat.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
That sure taught that boy a lesson.

The lesson is that government bureaucrats are idiots.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
What on Earth could a gun like that shoot? Grains of salt, perhaps?

"Security to Gate 4. Security to Gate 4. We have a 10-year-old boy with a toy plastic gun. Looks like a .005 caliber."
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
It sounds like the British equivalent of the TSA is no brighter than the TSA itself....

That's not too surprising really. All bureaucracies are alike in that the primary rule is "Cover thine own backside": if there is even the remotest risk to your own career in showing a smidgen of common sense, don't take the chance and just follow the rules in as restrictive a way as possible. That means if it can even remotely be said to be a gun, treat it as if it were a real gun.

In the long run, I hope this sort of nonsense backfires on them and makes citizens angry enough to oppose all of this in favor of common sense. I'm not holding my breath....
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
In this case I think "Zero Tolerance Policy" means "We tolerate IQs as low as Zero in our security officers."
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
lol- tolerate??? Its mandatory
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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