A friend from Colorado recently took a trip by plane and was informed she could have nothing in her hands for the entire trip. It inspired me to write the rant below. I thought it was a bit too inflammatory for a comment on her space, so I posted it here and put a link to it in my comments on her post.
Airport security should not be someone's retired aunt Mertyl with a metal wand asking you, "can you take off your shoes dear," while trying to keep her dentures from falling out because the Dent-u-Cream stopped working an hour ago and she still has ten minutes before her next break. Nor should it be the fuck-wit who sat next to you in high-school history drawing pictures of boobies in his notes, who dropped out and ultimately had to get a GED so he could hold a job, and only has the job in the first place because the entrance exam for entering into public service jobs basically consists of:
A.) fog a mirror
B.) pass a drug test
I have not once found the presence of either of the above (who are otherwise lovely people) remotely reassuring. I'll put it to you another way, someone working a security position without law-enforcement or military training, that I could disable with my bare hands without breaking a sweat, does not make me feel safe. I have the benefit of martial arts training. Their entire job is about keeping me safe. They should have more than that.
What would make me feel safer? Burly guys with badges, uniforms, and guns watching every. single. person. who passes buy. Visible drug and bomb sniffing dogs doing their work. A uniformed U.S. Air Marshal on every flight. Plus knowing that all of this is just a hustle. A bait and switch to draw attention away from the guys who aren't in uniform, but are mixing in with everyone else, listening to chatter, picking up leads, and genuinely working what is a very dangerous job to keep us safe. The mistake being made is in thinking that we can be safe without a visible and effective enforcement presence. Everyone wants to feel safe, but no one wants to get their hands dirty doing it. It's not possible, people.
Even with that, will bombs still make it on to planes? Sadly yes. Will we be attacked again?...yes...yes, we will. What we should not do is make it easy for those who would harm us, and a burly law enforcement agent (male or female) with a HK-MP5, training, and ice in their veins is a better deterrent than my sweet retired auntie.