Washington, DC -  Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee and co-sponsor of the “Leave All Blades Behind Act” to reverse the recent decision by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to lift a ban on razor-sharp scissors and other weapon-usable objects in the passenger cabins of commercial airliners, joined with members of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) today for a national day of action in support of the bill. Rep. Markey made the following statement at the event: 

"Good morning.  I am proud to be here today, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Pat Friend, Jim Moran, and the men and women who work hard everyday to keep us safe and comfortable in passenger planes traveling across the country and the world.

"I don’t have to tell you that it’s an incredibly demanding and difficult job to be a flight attendant these days. But the Bush Administration has made it even more challenging and - I believe – more dangerous by allowing sharp scissor blades and other tools back into the passenger cabin.

"Mr. President, this decision is wrong - deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong!

"We are here to tell President Bush and the Department of Homeland Security that sharp scissor blades and tools have no place in the passenger cabin.

"It makes absolutely no sense to keep knives like this one from being carried aboard, while, at the same time, giving a boarding pass to blades like this one.

"The 9/11 Commission said that our government’s lack of “imagination” contributed to the failure to prevent the September 11th attacks.

"It doesn’t take much imagination to see how these scissor blades could be wielded by a suicidal terrorist or a deranged passenger to take over an airplane.

"The next Mohammed Atta could simply use sharp scissor blades instead of boxcutters to launch a deadly terrorist attack.

"Congressman Joe Crowley and I have been joined by Congressman Moran and others in Congress in saying “No” to the Bush Administration’s misguided decision to lift the ban on sharp metal scissors and tools in the passenger cabin.

"We have introduced H.R. 4452, the “Leave All Blades Behind Act” to restore the ban on these dangerous objects.  Thanks to the efforts of the Association of Flight Attendants, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and others, we currently have 30 co-sponsors and counting.

"You are the experts on the frontlines at 30,000 feet.  With your help, we will send a message to the Congress and the White House – leave all blades behind!  Keep razor-sharp scissor blades and tools out of the passenger cabin. 

“TSA” should stand for “Transportation Security Administration”, not “Take your Scissors Aboard”!

"When Congress reconvenes this week, we will keep up the pressure to restore the ban.  With your help, we will prevail!

"Thank you."

January 30, 2006


CONTACT: Tara McGuiness
Mark Bayer