Keeping America safe

From Friday’s Strib:

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A weight may soon be lifted off a Maryland woman charged with carrying a concealed weapon in an airport.

It wasn’t a gun or a knife. It was a weighted bookmark.

Kathryn Harrington was flying home from vacation last month when screeners at the Tampa, Florida, airport found her bookmark. It’s an eight-and-a-half-inch leather strip with small lead weights at each end.

Airport police said it resembled a weighted weapon that could be used to knock people unconscious. So the 52-year-old special education teacher was handcuffed, put into a police car, and charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

She faced a possible criminal trial and a ten-thousand-dollar fine. But the state declined to prosecute, and the Transportation Security Administration says it probably won’t impose a fine.

The AP version in today’s Miami Herald adds:

“It was a bookmark,” Harrington, a special education teacher, told The St. Petersburg Times. “It’s not a weapon. I could not understand why I was being handcuffed and put into a police car. I cried for hours.”

Tip to Homeland Security and the TSA: these weapons are readily available on the Internet. In fact, style-conscious terrorists can even get one personalized.

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