A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Airport

Fun Fact: A couple of forgotten loose rounds of pistol ammo in your carry-on bags will cause the TSA to lose. Their. Minds.

I suppose a little backstory is in order, so, in the parlance of my assault patients, “See, whut had happen wuz…”

I bought a tactical man purse at the NRA annual meeting to carry my camera, pistol, business cards and schwag in. It’s a neat little messenger bag with oodles of pockets, molle webbing, and a hidden handgun pocket. Over the past few months it has morphed into my EDC gear bag. Whenever I’m hauling around more stuff than my pockets can hold, I usually have it slung over one shoulder.

So, headed to the airport this morning, en route to an EMS conference in West Virginia, I not so carefully sanitized my bag. My knife and multi-tool came out, and got stashed in my truck.

What got missed was the round of .45 ACP hardball rattling around in the bottom of the pistol pocket.

I swear, it rattled them so bad they totally forgot the de rigueur swabbing of my CPAP for explosive residue.

I was pulled out of line and questioned.

Stern and disapproving looks were cast my way.

Supervisors and sheriff’s deputies were summoned.

My bag was emptied, the offending round removed, and carefully catalogued for posterity.

Then they scanned my other bag, and found another round, this one a 9mm JHP.


By this time, they were all convinced I was a cleverly disguised Al Qaeda agent, or even worse, a libertarian who thinks their agency should be abolished and all their asses shipped to the Wal Mart Greeter Academy or Jiffy Lube University for re-education and re-integration into the workforce.

The whole ordeal lasted 45 minutes, during which they all moved at the blistering pace of a geriatric sloth on Quaaludes mired in a molasses bog, and the deputy ran a computer check for outstanding warrants, apparently on a 28.8 modem over the last extant AOL dialup connection in North America.

Were it not for a sympathetic United Airlines gate agent, I’d have missed my flight. I literally boarded the plane at eight minutes until scheduled takeoff, and a full two minutes after they were supposed to have closed and locked the cabin doors.

Police your carry-on bags, people. Apparently, pistol ammo (without a pistol) is more dangerous than, say… a box cutter.