My Flypaper Mind Brenden Schaaf's opinions, ideas, comments, rantings, & minutiae

27Dec/100

TSA power trips don’t keep us safe

Like a lot of other folks, I've grown tired of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration). I'm writing this from the Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) where I have just witnessed more idiocy by the agents that are tasked with keeping us safe. My wife inadvertently packed two jars of jam in her carry-on bag and it was detected at the security checkpoint when the bag passed through the scanner. So far so good.

At that point, in my opinion, the bag and the traveler should both be subject to more advanced screening. Instead, though, my wife was allowed to take her bag (which they reversed back through the x-ray machine) and remove the offending items. She was given the option, by a TSA agent, of checking the bag (remember, this is supposedly dangerous stuff) or mailing the goods to herself (do we want explosives  in the mail) or just tossing them in the trash. In the interest of time and money, she chose the latter. So now the jam (which could be an explosive agent) is sitting in a trash bin right by security. Does this make sense?

If people are just allowed to remove offending items from their bags when they are detected, all the terrorists need to do is keep trying until their items get missed by the scanner and/or the agent. And it will happen.

After this charade, my wife was prohibited from locking her bag with a TSA approved lock before the bag was scanned again. The agent barked at her not to lock the bag in case it "needs to be opened." This is despite the fact that right before her I had a locked bag pass through the scanner without incident and i was standing on the "secure side" of the scanner with that bag.  What is the point of a TSA lock if the TSA makes you leave the bag UNLOCKED?  Surprise...another TSA agent on a power trip.

These little TSA power trips are doing nothing to keep us safe. It is time change from this charade-based security to something that is actually effective. Having to throw out gifted jam does nothing for aviation security and makes me want to fly less and less.  Let's start investigating further the people that need to be investigated and let grandma go through with her bottled water or hemorrhoid cream. I would actually be less upset if my wife had been subjected to further scrutiny for not following the rules rather than just allowing her to dump the offending jam in the trash.

Terrorists know that it works this way...they will just keep trying until something gets through and the rest of us will be left to suffer.

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