March 12th, 2013
11:59 AM ET

What a pocket knife could do on a plane

By Lisa Desjardins, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Capitol Hill (CNN) – The TSA is standing by its decision to allow small knives on planes.

Flight attendants and some powerful allies, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, are digging in on their position against the change.

But few are talking about the specifics and what the small knives could or could not do on a plane.

Could one of these pocket knives be used to cut someone’s throat?

[2:00] “Probably not because you’d have to hit it so perfectly in order to do it, it’s going to be tough. What they’re allowing is just over two inches, it’s so small. And no one is going to stand there and let it happen” says Dan Delava, owner of Plaza Cutlery, one of the largest knife stores on the West Coast.

Listen to our story for more on the passionate debate over knives, including how the TSA change is affecting the knife business. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

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soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. tsabob



    Bob Burns
    TSA Blog Team

    March 20, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mitt Romney

    The weapons used on 9/11 only had about 1" blades.

    March 20, 2013 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. denny

    you can kill quick wit a pencil why do i need knife? I wonder what is this discussion really about?

    March 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney

      OK ill grab a knife, you grab a pencil, lets go.

      March 20, 2013 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan

        I'd much rather have the pencil. It can stun you for an instant, which in a real fight is about all you'd get out of the knife too, the extra cut might hurt more later, but won't help you win the fight. Also the pencil doesn't need a hilt to keep it from slashing my hand much more than it slashes you, and it won't fold up on me. A pocket knife is the last thing I'd reach for in a fight. You're better off with the food tray. With the knife you'll be focussed as much on not hurting yourself as controlling the other person.. and the knife won't control the other person anyway, only p!ss them off.

        March 21, 2013 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ted Ward

    Today if a bunch of Islamic murderers tried to take over a plane, the passengers would filet them before they got very far.

    March 16, 2013 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. ksingleton101

    I don't believe this garbage. Contacting a person that sells knives and asking him/her is ludicrous. They are not going to tell you that their knives are deadly, if they do they might as well close up shop. Come on people, you can use your own brain and figure this out. Your jugular vain isn't more than 2 inches below the skin nor is it protected by body armor, or bone. The reason this idiot gives for them being safe can be the same reason a box knife would be considered safe and yet it is band along with lock blades. I can only hope and pray nothing happens because of this new ruling. If it does I hope the victim sues the hell out of our TSA and the Airline for allowing them on their planes. I will not fly ever again.

    March 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Be Reasonable

      It's ok. You sit in movie theaters, concerts, meetings, other mass transit all the time, and no one's checking your neighbors for knives. The TSA is doing the correct thing.

      March 16, 2013 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Mitt Romney

        Ever try to fly a movie theater into a building Jethro?

        March 20, 2013 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
    • SkepticalOne

      If you are counting on the TSA to keep you safe on your flight, you might as well stop flying now.

      March 18, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. richard miller

    You need a knife very simply for 1 reason.The next time say there are a hundred passengers on a plane,and a guy tries a hijacking with a knife.He will have likely at least 99 stab wounds in him,probably killing him

    March 15, 2013 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • ksingleton101

      And if this hijacker has your son/daughter with a knife to his/her throat what are you going to do? Are you going to believe this idiot knife salesman that these knives are to small to slice someone's jugular vain but as we have seen a box knife with even a shorter blade can? Do we all need morons telling us what is safe and what is not?

      March 15, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan

        My cell phone has a metalic battery cover, about 3 inches long, easy to sharpen and it won't fold up on me or need a hilt. I can come up with a hundred more, many are better. People who want to cause harm don't care if knives are banned. You can stranlge someone with strong stockings, and frankly in a fight I'd rather have the stockings than a swiss army knife.

        March 21, 2013 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Big Jim

    I would let you carry any kind of knife you want
    if you can tell me why you need one on a plane.
    you've had the food you dont need a knive for that.
    so why would you need one?

    March 14, 2013 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jason

    Ask Crocodile Dundee what consititutes a knife.

    March 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. AZPete

    9/11 hijackers used box cutters which are smaller than the pocket knives allowed.

    March 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simon`

      Yes boxcutters were used in 9/11 because the standard procedure during a hostile takeover of a plan was to cooperate with all hijackers. I somehow don't see people making that mistake again.

      March 13, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • ksingleton101

        Can you guarantee someone won't get their throat slit before he/she is stopped?

        March 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      Says The government. In 11 years the government has put forth zero evidence to suport their story.

      March 14, 2013 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • SkepticalOne

      And box cutters and all locking blade knives are still banned. You are more likely to cut off your own finger than seriously hurt someone else with a small folding blade. I could do more damage to you with a Bic pen.

      March 18, 2013 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mitt Romney

        OK I will take my 2 inch razor sharp knife and you can grab your pen and lets see who wins?

        March 20, 2013 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Phil

    I don't fly, so maybe my opinion is invalid..but, I am an avid hunter/fisherman. I get a kick out of these other hunters that carry the big "Rambo" looking knives. I have been carrying a Swiss Army Knife for over 40 years, the Tinker (small/medium one) I keep it filthy sharp, and have cleaned Elk, Deer, Bear, Small Game and many fish with it. I prefer the smaller blade, it is just over one inch long. With it, my index finger pretty much becomes a scalpel. Also, without intending to, the knife is completely concealed when using it this way. Someone with ill intentions, using a knife this way, could sever a femoral, or a carotid so quickly that it would be a done deal before the victim even knew there was trouble.

    March 13, 2013 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      The point the TSA is making, is even if that were to happen, the rest of the plain would go bonkers. You could not use said knife to down the plain. Wether you agree with the TSA or not about the safty of a 2 inch knife, there is no debate, that you could not down a plain with said knife.

      March 14, 2013 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Right then

    You there. Take the banana. Now, come at me with the banana . . .

    March 13, 2013 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  12. Torm Terrible

    A knife is a knife whether the blade is 2 inches of 6 inches. Someone who wants to can do damage and take hostages with a small knife just as easily as with a large. Picture a child snatched off a mother's lap of someone surprised as they leave a bathroom. It is possible should someone desire it. That being said, you could do the same with a sharpened pencil or an number of other everyday items thought of as "harmless". In addition to banning the "obvious" weapons, plane personel need to be trained. Not only in terms of talking to people to calm them down or to spot possible "problem people", but also in self defence and in offensive fighting techiques for when the stuff hits the fan. Armed, undercover agents should also be re-added to flights.

    March 13, 2013 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lance

    Evidently this knife store "owner" is nothing but. If a guy is trained to use a knife then he or she could inflict some very serious damage. Even kill somebody and yes, there are those that still will not stand up for themselves or others. TSA messed up, give it time.

    March 13, 2013 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. AGrey

    Last time I measured a box cutter blade, it was less than two inches.

    March 13, 2013 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. walt

    well, heck. I saw jason bourne beat the snot out of a guy with a magazine. maybe we should ban those on airplanes ?

    March 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  16. emmi

    A pocket knife is still a knife.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |