Airport Security and AEnima
On a recent trip to Washington, I had to go through airport security with my crippled mother. As it was only a two day trip, we brought small bags packed lightly our luggage was packed for efficiency in security. My mother, who is currently unable to walk because of an injured ankle, breezed up to the scanner and put her crutches, shoes and ankle brace on the conveyor belt. As she hopped on one leg through the detector, the light went up a level, and the TSA agent asked her to go back through, after removing a penny from her pocket. As she went through again, the same thing happened. She was moved aside and searched by another agent. There was nothing. She put her shoes back on, grabbed her crutches and we went on our way. I reached in my bag for my wallet. Fumbling through the contents of the upper pocket, I pricked my finger on something, and pulled out a four-inch-long folding knife, half extended. It had been left in my bag from a backcountry outing at least six months ago.
Then I got angry. Not only had my mother been pestered unnecessarily, but I was able to bring an instrument of fatality through without a sideways glance from “security.” If such a feat was easily possible, then the heightened inspection of airline passengers serves no purpose but to annoy, and give a false sense of safety to poorly-educated, middle-aged housewives. I easily at any point in the flight could have killed someone aboard the 52 passenger CRJ-900, but I chose not to.
Fareed Zakaria says we as a people need an crisis to enact change, and uses the September 11th bombings as an example of swift change to airport security policies. He thinks
There is something about America—the system, the government, the people—that allows us to react to a crisis with astonishing speed. Think of Pearl Harbor, or even 9/11. Whatever one may think of the Bush administration's later strategy, in the weeks after 9/11 both parties came together and put in place important policies—getting international cooperation in making counterterrorism a top priority, improving safety on airplanes and in airports, tracking terrorists and their money, chasing Al Qaeda. These actions have helped to keep terrorists on the run and continue to make it difficult to plan and execute spectacular attacks.” Source
His article continues about how the United States needs to have a crisis to get anything done. This may be true, but thats meaningless if the resultant change doesn't work. I'm beginning to think the only way to fix problems in the U.S. is to flush it all away.