So it turns out the TSA documents some of the weapons, fake weapons, and other prohibited items it takes off people passing through airport security and posts them on the agency’s Instagram account. With more than 650,000 followers, Rolling Stone has ranked it as the fourth best account on Instagram. (Clicking on each of the photos below will take you straight to how it appears on Instagram).
#TSATravelTips – Don’t pack your homemade replica suicide vest. The traveler who packed this vest in his checked bag at Richmond (RIC) stated it was a prop intended for use in a live-action role-playing game (LARP). TSA explosives experts raced to the checked baggage room and the airport police were called immediately. Fortunately, the explosives experts determined the vest posed no danger. It has yet to be determined if the officer who searched the bag needed a change of clothing.
This 4-bladed throwing star was discovered in a carry-on bag at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO). These must be packed in your checked bags. Sorry Prince Colwyn. #Krull
Is this some kind of confangled rotisserie contraption for turkeys? Nope. These are Sai. If you’re a #TeenageMutantTurtle fan, you’ll know the Sai as Raphael’s weapon or choice. If you still have no clue, a Sai is a weapon used for striking, bludgeoning and punctures. Whatever it is you use them for, please know they must be packed in checked baggage. These were discovered in a carry-on bag at Boise (BOI). #TheMoreYouKnow
While about to receive a pat-down after opting out of body scanner screening, a Chicago O’Hare (ORD) traveler remembered that he had a throwing knife necklace under his shirt. All knives are prohibited and concealed knives can lead to fines and arrest. #TSAGoodCatch
At many military training facilities, spent shells from years of firearms training remain buried in the ground. The US Government has now began to consider if it is possible to create biodegradable bullets containing embedded seeds that won’t harm (and perhaps even benefit) the environment.
The pollutant issue may seem small when measured by the shot, but it builds up, reports Popular Mechanics. So the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory has created and tested seeds for a biodegradable composite, engineering them to sprout months after being embedded in the ground, per Live Science, which adds that the word “bullet” applies to the 40mm rounds that are more like grenades and the 120mm rounds that are used in tanks. Once biodegradable versions of these bullets have been worked up, a prototype will be made and a way for it to be mass-manufactured determined.
Police departments are testing a new gun-mounted camera technology that may become a competitor to the body cameras that are increasingly being deployed in agencies around the country.
Cameras on guns provide a better point of view than body-worn cameras, since they are usually aimed directly at the suspect and are less likely to be blocked when an officer shields their torso behind something, say proponents of the technology such as Centinel Solutions, one of the first companies to deliver the devices to police departments for testing.
The camera, mounted on the underside of the gun barrel, starts recording automatically whenever the firearm is drawn. As an additional safety feature, the drawing action also triggers an alert that is sent to the shift sergeant back at police headquarters, so officers can immediately signal when they are in trouble.
In 2016, TSA confiscated 3,391 firearms from carry-on bags at more than 200 airports around the country, averaging more than nine guns per day. Of those, 2,815 (83 percent) were loaded. This represents a 28 percent increase in firearm discoveries from the 2,653 guns confiscated from travelers in 2015.
This video by the Oregonian, set to classical music, shows what happens when a handgun is fired. The weapon used was a a Sig Sauer SP2022 .40 caliber S&W pistol. The video was meant to demonstrate the environmental and health impact of lead-filled dust from fired guns as part of a series they wrote on allegedly improper cleaning of National Guard firing ranges and armories.
Lead bullets and lead primers leave residue every time a gun is fired. Toxic lead dust collects on the floors of indoor shooting ranges. In National Guard armories, improper cleaning of the ranges allowed the dust to linger and spread, endangering soldiers and armory visitors alike.
We’ve all seen guns fired, at least on screen. But who’s witnessed the stuff that emerges from a weapon once the bullet’s on its way?
First, it’s important to note that much of what’s visible in gunsmoke is vaporized gunpowder. The lead vapor itself is indistinguishable from the gray cloud. But we wanted to help readers to see what it looks like as this mixture forms.
An excellent recent article explaining why Japan has so few gun-related deaths. In 2014, Japan recorded only six (6) gun deaths, while the U.S. had more than thirty thousand! Two equally modern societies, but in this respect they could hardly be worlds apart. What accounts for the dramatic difference? The answer is that in Japan, it’s very difficult to obtain a gun, as gun ownership is not considered a basic right the way it is here in the U.S. For starters, handguns are completely banned for the average person to own. Only shotguns and air rifles are allowed. And if you want to get your hands on one of those, you have to take a class, followed by a written test and a shooting skills test with at least a 95 percent score. That’s in addition to a mental health test and drug test, as well as criminal history checks. The number of gun shops in the country are also severely limited, from one prefecture to the next.
The result is a very low level of gun ownership – 0.6 guns per 100 people in 2007, according to the Small Arms Survey, compared to 6.2 in England and Wales and 88.8 in the US.
A number of companies are out there that promote bulletproof consumer goods. These can range from stylish attire that doesn’t scream “ballistic vest” – President Barack Obama was rumored to have worn such a bulletproof suit to his inauguration before his first term – to briefcases and bags that are supposedly explosive proof. British firmTerrapin Technology has a new line of briefcases and bags it says protects against shrapnel from a bomb blast. Other products that have come to the market in an era of terrorism fears include bullet resistant backpacks for high school students, ball caps and school whiteboards.
Although numbers and statistics offer little solace as even one on-duty officer death is one too many, policing has become safer in recent years – this despite media reports of officer deaths from shooting incidents would make things appear.
The number of full-time, sworn local police officers increased by 35 percent from 1987 to 2013, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. During that same period, the number of officers killed declined by 34percent. And a growing share of officer deaths are happening in accidental or deliberate car collisions.
According to the visually stimulating though oddly named website HeyJackass!, there have been 795 homicides in Chicago for 2016, though this number may cross 800 due to “due to late passings and reclassified death investigations.”
DNAInfo has additional statistics/infographics presented in a similarly visual format, though their numbers are currently slightly lower with 741 reported homicides for 2016.
An article in the Washington Post from earlier this year offers a good rundown of five countries – Britain, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, and New Zealand, where the police do not normally carry guns. In Britain, since 1991 they have had specialized armed response units for incidents that require one, but as of a few years ago armed officers only represented approximately four percent of the total police force. Why this is appears to be largely cultural and historical, as even most British police officers do not want to carry guns in the course of duty. This seems to be true across all of these countries. Remarkably Iceland is the 15th most armed country in the world, with nearly a third of the population owning firearms, but the violent crime rate is still very low in the Nordic country of 300,000. Are Icelanders simply more peaceful than Americans? According to sociologist Guðmundur Oddsson, an assistant professor of sociology at Northern Michigan University, as quoted in the Post, “Iceland’s low crime rates are rooted in the country’s small, homogeneous, egalitarian and tightly knit society.” Norway also has an extremely low murder rate. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, “only a dozen or so” police officers nationwide carry firearms at any given time, and in Ireland, only a quarter of Irish police officers are even qualified to use firearms.