I was brought up always to have a pen knife, a length of string, a pencil and a 'last ditch' fiver in my pockets. You'd be surprised how often these things have saved the day! Also, I was a Scout and a Scout always carries a sharp knife on his belt.
I miss carrying a proper pocket knife on my keychain. But after losing so many to the post-9/11 TSA, I stopped carrying them. (I'd usually forget to take them off my keychain before a flight.)
A few years ago I bought a very tiny Swiss Army Knife with a single blade, and it usually skirted thru the TSA checkpoints. Ironically, it was flagged and confiscated earlier this month in the San Jose Airport -- *after* the TSA announcement about the upcoming changes. So I forfeited yet another pocket knife in the name of stopping international terrorism. The most annoying part to me is the fact that the little pocket knife was nearly useless as a knife. It could cut thru tape to open a package, but it couldn't open one of those modern plastic cases that so many small products are sold in. I used to use pocket knives to cut and eat oranges, but this tiny thing was really only big enough to slice into the rind so I could peel the orange by hand.
It bothers me that so many people hear the word "knife" and assume it's a weapon, even though most Americans use knives far more dangerous than mine every single day to eat steak. And somehow, they manage to do it without killing anyone. Knives have been useful tools throughout human history, and they are still useful today. And for those of us who travel a lot but don't check bags, the rules are extremely inconvenient without making me feel the slightest bit safer.
I plan to wait a few months for knife manufacturers to create quality maximum-allowable pocket knives -- the Aeronauts of pocket knives? That's when I'll buy another knife and put it on my keychain for good. Hopefully it'll be big enough for me to cut and eat a thick California orange.
(Apologies for the rant, but the TSA ban on pocket knives has always been their most inconvenient policy for me, even compared to 3 ounces of liquids and taking off our shoes at checkpoints.)
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