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Airport Security (or lack thereof)

September 13, 2009 Leave a comment

When you go into an airport, and slug your way through the hordes of slowly moving families with baggage, it’s chaos. A simple term for it would be a clusterfuck. So when you arrive at security, all seems tame. Nice clean order, comforting beeping machines that let you know all is well on the other side of this divider. And yet if we examine what really happens while we go through, all we see is holes.

Take, for example, the lovely recently added liquid and gel rules. The intent behind the rules is noble: Stop the terrorists (or is it turrists, as the previous President Bush would say?) from being able to assemble liquid explosives on board an airplane. The execution is where we see holes. Say we go up to the gate with a bottle of water. We are told that we cannot bring this water through, as it may be some ingredient to an explosive. Instead of taking it on board, we must throw it into the garbage can. A nice, Rubbermaid brand trashcan. So when the security guard claims that your bottle is a threat, the proper threat disposal action seems to be a short toss into a garbage can.

We can look at this as two possible options: Either your water, money, and time is being wasted, or the TSA isn’t taking explosive threats seriously. I for one am tired of this misguided attempt at pacifying the public. The TSA seems to believe that taking some sort of action after a threat will make the public believe that action is underway, to keep the flak off their backs for inaction. How about a new course of action? Instead of making massive amounts of insecure waste, eating up my time and money, and not treating liquid explosive tests seriously, put a shiny new machine that tests liquid and gel. If we want to bring it in, we stick a Q tip in. It goes into a machine, and the machine tells us if it’s dangerous or tame. End of story.

I’m tired of throwing away water bottles and yummy snacks.

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