It is ludicrous that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may now permit sharp objects, such as scissors and screwdrivers, on commercial aircraft as a way to speed the screening process [front page, Nov. 30].

To start, who needs scissors or screwdrivers on a plane? Not the good guys. Everyday travelers don't carry "throwing stars (a martial-arts weapon), ice picks and knives," which The Post reports that the TSA may also permit back onboard. How many of us really need to carry those things?

Looking for these items in bags isn't what slows down the screening process. Having to strip down to your socks for slow, inexperienced and uncaring screeners, many of whom display bad attitudes, and passengers who don't pay attention are the culprits.

If the TSA really wants to speed up screening, it should hire more educated screeners, train and manage them better, and start focusing on things that matter.

It seems that the likelihood of someone using a knife, box cutter, ice pick or scissors is greater than his having an explosive in his shoes. And screeners have confiscated more sharp objects than shoe bombs from passengers.

Let's use some common sense. If the government permits that stuff on aircraft, I'm taking the train.

STEVE BASSETT

Laurel

I was heartened to see that the Transportation Security Administration is finally relaxing its rules on sharp objects. These rules were created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, when politicians were more eager to appear to be "doing something" than actually bolstering security.

To all those who say that allowing scissors on commercial planes will be a grave security threat, I ask: If a fellow passenger pulled out scissors, would you sit complacently? Of course not! And even if potential hijackers did somehow subdue all passengers, the cockpit doors are securely locked and reinforced.

ERIC LEVIN

Fair Lawn, N.J.