Books Are Threatening National Security

In a bizarre twist following the foiled Christmas Bomber (in case you've been under a rock since December, you can read the story here), Transport Canada has now limited all carry-on items to a restricted list (which includes medical equipment, laptops, musical instruments, and small purses). Ok, I guess that makes sense. But - and you knew there had to be a but - the list of allowed items quite blantantly excludes books, magazines and newspapers.

What? Really? Books and newspapers aren't allowed, but laptops and laptop cases are? Musical instruments pose less of a possible threat than printed matter? I'm not sure what kind of reading materials these authorities are used to seeing, but I'm going to venture to guess that most of it probably isn't going to harm fellow passengers. Ok, having to watch a woman bawl her eyes out while reading Nora Roberts might be harmful...

Don't get me wrong, I am all for safe flights, national security, baggage screening, limited items in carry-ons, etc (although it's a pain to find 3-oz cans of hairspray sometimes). At the same time, however, there is a point where it has gone too far - both because it starts to get absurd, and it makes for a really lousy flight.

Really, between the prospect of no snacks, $8 drinks, $20 baggage fees (mind you, carry-on luggage is now extremely limited even outside of Canada) and only an in-flight movie to keep me entertained, Amtrak and it's absurd prices are starting to sound more and more appealing.

For more information: National Post article, January Post blog.

Thanks to LitDrift for posting the link!


  1. That is crazy, especially considering I read somewhere in an article last week that a good old fashioned book was a better bet than an e-reader or laptop as those electronic items were bound to be restricted.
    Although a crisp paperback does make for quite a projectile weapon...

  2. I would have thought bound books would have been safer for security than electronic ones... e-readers seem to me like one more thing you have to take out of the case, turn on, etc. Books are just... books. Aren't they?


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