Through the looking glass

flare gun by Mental Halitosis
“I suggest you look on this as an opportunity, not a burden.”*:
[Via Unscrewing The Inscrutable – .]

I try and keep an open mind about things, avoiding falling into the trap of allowing others to define my reality as much as possible. Because sometimes if you define things for yourself you can turn what is ostensibly a limitation into an advantage.

And so it is that I find the following approach towards air travel to be . . . ingenious.

Only the first fifteen minutes or so are necessary to understand his approach, and for those who want just the gist of the matter here’s a summation from his website:

– Abstract –

Many of us attend cons and other events which involve the transportation of computers, photography equipment, or other expensive tech in our bags. If our destination if far-flung, often air travel is involved… this almost always means being separated from our luggage for extended periods of time and entrusting its care to a litany of individuals with questionable ethics and training.

After a particularly horrible episode of baggage pilferage and tool theft, I made the decision to never again fly with an unlocked bag. However, all “TSA compliant” locks tend to be rather awful and provide little to no real security. It was for this reason that I now choose to fly with firearms at all times. Federal law allows me (in fact, it REQUIRES me) to lock my luggage with proper padlocks and does not permit any airport staffer to open my bags once they have left my possession.

In this talk, I will summarize the relevant laws and policies concerning travel with firearms. It’s easier than you think, often adds little to no extra time to your schedule (indeed, it can EXPEDITE the check-in process sometimes), and is in my opinion the best way to prevent tampering and theft of bags during air travel.

Basically, it comes down to using a secure hard-sided case for all your valuable items, and including a firearm in that case. This requires a non-TSA-compliant lock, knowledge of the relevant laws (available on his website or from the TSA), and filling out the necessary paperwork when you check in for transporting a firearm (it doesn’t have to be a valuable firearm or even an actually functional one). Some additional hassle up front, but your possessions will be a lot more secure.


That’s right. Your luggage is more secure if you are transporting a firearm, even if it is not functional. You can put what you want in the same case, lock it up, declare it and no one with TSA will open it after it has left your possession.

So, don’t try to protect your luggage with those “TSA-approved” locks that anyone can open. Transport a weapon and you can keep everything safe.

Is that weird thing to find out? The best protection against stolen luggage could be a gun. But not one you are holding. Just an unloaded, non-functional revolver (or even better, a flare gun as mentioned in the video) you place in your bag, allowing you to use the best locks around.

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