January 26, 2004

Oh, but you want ME to take off my shoes?!?

Okay, if this article isn't evidence that the "new" security screening protocol in airports just plum doesn't work, I don't know what is.

Had I been that woman (though I couldn't be, as I don't own a stun gun and doubt I would have been brainless enough to leave it in my purse before boarding a plane in this day and age if I did) I would have taken the same position I do on those rare occasions when I get home from a store and find that the cashier didn't ring up one of my items, but put it in the bag anyway: I did what I was supposed to and in no way did anything purposely to act in a criminal way. There's harm because the store loses revenue, but it happened because of an error by their employee so I don't feel compelled to go all the way back there and say, "Hey, you didn't take my money for this!"

The same way I didn't intend to deprive the store of a sale, the woman knew she didn't intend to hurt anyone using her weapons. Calling it to the attention of a flight attendant was like holding up a sign that says, "Please arrest me and make me fill out all sorts of paperwork and spend a bunch of time being questioned!" Okay, she wasn't arrested, but I can't imagine that being taken "into custody" feels a whole lot different when you're an average citizen whose knowledge of the criminal justice system is comprised of watching all three flavors of Law and Order every week!