Much has been said lately about the TSA and their methods of keeping air travel safe. I fly quite regularly and frankly I don't care if someone sees my quite unremarkable body naked or if they give me a loving vertical massage. I really think this is an excellent method of making the travelling public feel better about their safety.
Of course this is merely illusion but if the people feel safe, they are happy, even if it means tolerating the screams of the offended as they are touched by and looked at naked by, strangers. A small price to pay indeed, for the accompanying peace of mind.
When I flew to Cincinnati last week, after checking the handgun concealed carry reciprocity laws, I decided to take my favorite noisemaker with me on this trip. I checked all the requirements and locked it in a metal box that was cabled securely to the suitcase it was travelling in, then dutifully informed the airline employee that was checking my bag.
The girl that checked my luggage on the way out of town clearly misunderstood what she was supposed to do. She had me unlock and open the gun case, revealing my .45 for all to see IN AN AIRPORT. She had me sign an orange card stating that the gun was unloaded, then placed the card in the gun case and had me close and re-lock it.
Really? So I'm standing in an airport with a handgun, not in a holster. That, all by itself seems more than a little dangerous. I'm glad there were no armed police or TSA officers nearby. Then to lock the orange card IN the case? That pretty much ensures that it won't be seen again until I get to my hotel room. We'll chalk that little fiasco up to inexperience and I hope that particular young lady gets some remedial training.
I went through the normal scanner and went on my merry way. On the return trip, I again declared my unloaded weapon locked in it's metal case. This time, the agent immediately called for a TSA officer on her radio, again had me fill out the orange card, but this time placed the card inside the luggage right on top of my clothes. That made a little more sense. The TSA officer arrived and rummaged through my bag and did his explosives swab, all the while maintaining his very grave demeanor. Good job, Mr TSA guy.
While waiting to board my flight home, I pondered this "security" scenario. A 2nd grade teacher with no previous life contact with guns would reasonably say that this was exactly as it should have been. That guy with the gun Should bear extra scrutiny! You know where this is going, don't you?
Yes, I would contend that perhaps the guy that declares the weapon, is probably the absolute last guy in the world to have evil intent for that flight. Well, me and the 87 year old woman wobbling along on her cane that really should be 5 or 6" taller. The cheerleaders are probably OK too. Nope. Body scans for every 5th cheerleader. Random. Granny got snagged too. (That had to be a rude surprise for the TSA guy in the booth). Cheerleader, cheerleader, cheerleader, granny.
But this post isn't about that. This post is about basic precepts and profiling. If people wearing rubber ducky earrings were responsible for the vast majority of terrorist acts by packing explosives in their butt cheek implants, then I think it would be reasonable to pay special attention to the butt cheeks of all people wearing rubber ducky earrings. If people that declare their weapons at baggage check-in Never commit terrorist acts, then I think it would also be reasonable for them to receive somewhat less scrutiny.
But what if the rubber ducky earring people have Other rubber ducky people do their bidding by carrying poisonous gas in their catheter bags? One or two incidents such as this and we will surely adapt and pay particular attention to rubber ducky earring people with catheters.
Of course this is silliness but it is serious silliness. Our current system, due to its political correctness, doesn't allow us to scrutinize any group more thoroughly than another. (Although you and I would Surely cast an extra glance or two at people wearing that particularly obvious jewelry.)
I would suggest that maybe reacting to technique is not the best way to truly protect our travellers. Political correctness needs to be thrown out the window, people need to put on their big boy and big girl panties and allow those entrusted to protect us, to protect us. They should be allowed to, nay, required to scrutinize every single person wearing rubber ducky earrings more closely than those that are not.
The rubber ducky people can only change technique. They cannot just convince anyone to commit suicide for their cause. That requires rubber ducky people. They will always self-identify by wearing rubber ducky earrings. I don't give a darn whether the Must-Be-A-Ducky-lim religion or CAIR, or whoever, objects or not. Maybe it's time for the non-violent ducky people to exert some peer pressure on those ruining it for all the other ducky people.