“Federal agents arrested a college student after finding a small explosive device in his baggage as he passed through an airport security checkpoint.” … ” “no apparent connection…to any terrorist group or activity” … “Dreyling’s landlord…said he had created a “glorified firecracker” and forgot it was in his luggage”

The whole story can be found here.

I’m willing to believe that this guy is just a college student who made a “glorified firecracker,” but why is it that so many people fail to remember that they’ve packed guns, knives, and “glorified firecrackers” in their carry-on luggage?

I learned long ago that if I’m going to use the suitcase I normally keep my sharpened machetes and hand grenades in for travel, I should clean it out first. Now I always start with an empty suitcase when packing. And when I reach for my AK-47, I pause and ask, “Will this cause problems with airport security?” Yes. So the AK doesn’t get packed. Really, it’s just common sense. Like my shoes. Few people realize that plastic explosives are the most comfortable shoe cushion you can find. But do I wear my Plastiques to the airport? No. They would cause trouble.

Before going to the airport, inspect your luggage. For each item, ask yourself, “In the unlikely event that any of the underpaid, under-trained security staff actually notice this item in my luggage, will it cause a problem?” Doing so could save you lots of time.