Most government agencies are controversial. Chances are good that if you just start throwing out letters - EPA! IRS! DHS! - you'll touch on something that could easily cause a Thanksgiving dinner argument.
Of course, the Transportation Security Administration is no exception. After 9/11, the TSA was created to "strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce." But if you ask many Americans, you'll find that the TSA was actually created to infringe upon our basic rights and make air travel that much more of a bitch. Yes, members of the TSA have done some terrible things. I have my opinions, you have yours. This post isn't about the validity of the TSA as an agency.
Instead, I'm just shocked by some statistics they just revealed in a blog post.
According to the TSA, 1,813 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints last year. Of those firearms, 1,477 (or 81%) were loaded. This marks a 16.5% increase in guns discovered from 2012.
That seems like a ton of guns, no? I don't want to wade into the TSA debate, but that's a shit-ton of people trying to carry loaded guns onto airplanes. It's a mind-blowing statistic. That's 5 a day, by the way.
The TSA also provides us with a "worst-offenders" list, or the top 5 airports with the most firearm confiscations. In order you have ATL (Atlanta), DFW (Dallas), IAH (Houston), PHX (Phoenix) and DEN (Denver).
If you want to keep track of all the loaded guns the TSA finds, you can follow them on Instagram. Yep, the TSA has an Instagram account and it's kind of fascinating. This loaded gun was found in a carry-on bag in Houston, Texas a few weeks ago:
Image via TSA