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TSA Takes on Sock Monkey

A year or so ago, the TSA confiscated my NRA membership keychain because it kinda sorta looked bullet-like. It was clearly supposed to resemble a bullet but, at the same time, it was clearly not. I asked if they could just swab it to prove that it was not a live round but, alas, they would not. My beloved NRA keychain was taken, and I had my own story on how crazy the TSA is. I thought it was a pretty good story until yesterday, when I heard they took a toy gun away from a sock monkey.

This sock monkey, known as Rooster Monkburn, was made by one Phyllis May.  He was made as an homage to the True Grit character Rooster Cogburn, played by John Wayne (or Jeff Bridges, if you prefer the remake). As such, this cowboy sock monkey carrying a tiny holstered gun. 

She was flying with the monkey and some sewing supplies in her carry-on bag when TSA agents stopped her at security. May was hoping common sense would prevail, but the TSA agent reportedly told her “If I held it up to your neck, you wouldn’t know if it was real or not.” Considering the fact that it is tiny (because, as you may recall, it is a toy for a sock monkey), this seems highly unlikely. 

What’s up with the TSA? I understand that their job is to keep us safe, but things like tiny toy guns (or my NRA keychain, darn it) are not dangerous, and I have to believe they’re smart enough to know that. At least, I sure hope they are. This kind of stuff makes me think that they’re just bored so, every once in a while, they decide to flex their muscles a little bit. What do you think? What’s with these TSA agents?