Torontonian Tries to Board Plane at Kelowna Airport while Toting a Gun

Kelowna Airport in British Columbia has bad ass security. They know how to shake you down, and nothing gets past them. And if you don't want a hassle and a half at their security checkpoints, one thing is clear: don't try to bring a gun onto the plane - even if it's under two inches in length, has no moving parts, and is hanging from a necklace around your neck.

On Monday, Marnina Norys, a Toronto resident and PhD student studying Social Political Thought, was put through the bureaucratic and culture-of-fear rigmarole while trying to board a place in Kelowna - all because she wore a necklace with a pendant in the shape of a gun (the classic Colt45, and the actual pendant depicted in the above photo).

Hijacking a plane using a tattoo of a gun or the latest issue of Guns & Ammo magazine are just as likely scenarios.


First she was told by an agent at security that she couldn't wear it, and that the "replica" would have to go in her carry-on bag. But a second agent who was tasked with searching her carry-on bag found the gun pendant and told her that although harmless (and against all common sense) her gun would have to go in her checked baggage.

Racing back to the check-in desk, concerned that she was going to miss her flight, Norys ended up just checking her whole carry-on bag (since her checked luggage was already long gone).

At first she was angered by the experience, and she was concerned that she'd lose the pendant, but now that a few days have passed she's able to joke about the incident. In a telephone interview this afternoon, when asked why she wears a gun pendant, she quickly responded, "I grew up watching Charlie Angels," before adding that her friend Dana, a Toronto-based jeweler made it, and that it's a really well-made piece.

So there we have it. Instead of the folks at Canadian Air Transport Security investing their resources in ensuring passenger safety, they instead end up on the phone today to issue an apology to Norys and cleaning things up after a bit of an embarrassing public relations mess.

Red-tape trumps common sense, and a choice quote from an article appearing in Kelowna's The Daily Courier back up my claim:

"How do you know it wasn't a real gun?" asked Guy, a security agent with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, who also declined to provide his last name.

"Who knows if there is a gun that small that can shoot bullets? You don't know that. They followed the rules."

This silliness serves as just one more reminder - we've lost our ability to embrace logic, and the terrorists have won.

Photo courtesy of Marnina Norys.

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