I hear a lot of complaints about the TSA, especially since the liquid bans were put into effect, but I’m usually pretty gentle with them. Most of the TSA officers seem to have the right intentions and are willing to work with you. Most of the time they’re just enforcing rules set by the DHS and you have no reason to give them a hard time.
This instance, however, is not one of them. Last week a guy traveling through London‘s Heathrow airport, a notoriously strict hub, got stopped and questioned for wearing a t-shirt with Megatron on it. If you’re not familiar with the program that was on the telly, Megatron is a fictional evil alien cartoon robot that’s on Transformers. A fictional cartoon robot with a gun for an arm.
Airport security didn’t like the fact that there was a gun on this guy’s t-shirt, so they made him change it, saying that they would arrest him if he put it back on.
Hey Chertoff: I know you don’t like depictions of weapons onboard your flights because someone could get confused and mistake it for the real thing. That’s fine. But this is a CARTOON ROBOT DRAWN ON A T-SHIRT. Don’t you think we could let this slide?
[Mind you, I realize that the TSA, proper, is not responsible for security at LHR — several commenters keep pointing that out. The UK’s own homeland security take care of screening at British terminals. The point is that the US & UK (and their respective agencies) share many ridiculous rules about prohibitions onto airplanes. Check out this article for a similar instance in the US. — GM]