Airport Security – A Personal Story

This anecdote pre-dates the current security rules, but only by a few weeks.

I wear a leg brace so I always get “special” treatment at security. I always make the metal detector go off and always have to go to the little holding pen for further scrutiny. I am used to this and I am not complaining. There is a reason to single me out.

In San Francisco a few weeks ago I was asked to stand to the side for a minute while they waited for a female TSA employee to do my pat down. I was standing in a corner area by the x-ray machine for the next line. There were 4 foot “office cube” type walls in place to keep the lines separate. The gentleman working that x-ray machine could see me standing there, but couldn’t see my leg brace because of the wall.

This is where we get to the funny part.

“You armed?”, he asked.

I told him no, I wasn’t armed. I was “legged”, leg brace.

The point here being that I do not look like someone who would require extra scrutiny. Without the leg brace, I probably would not get any extra scrutiny.

At San Francisco, I was swabbed, patted down, my feet were checked, and I was even put in the puffer machine. It’s been 112 days since I quit smoking so there wasn’t even any sulfur or butane or lighter flint on me anywhere.

Going through security is really a minor inconvenience especially as compared to the major inconvenience of dying. The terrorists mostly match a certain general description, you need to start giving those people the extra scrutiny and stop giving 70-year-old grandmothers the same scrutiny.

When your suspect is a 6 foot tall, 300 pound, 50-year-old red haired male with a beard you really don’t need to be looking at 5 foot tall blonde females of any age. You don’t need to be looking at grandmothers of African descent, or grandsons of African descent for that matter.

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