Over in Kim duToit’s forum there is a post about the people in the UK and their anti-weapon hysteria. The comments to the post have been going on for sometime and drifted to airport security. And about how “free speech” in a airport will get you thrown into jail. I started to make a little comment there and it grew into a rant that is better placed here.
Chris Byrne commented (minor spelling error corrected):
FREE SPEECH? IN AIRPOTS?
Joking about bombs, terrorism, security, or weapons will get you thrown in jail in an airport. Including on a t-shirt.
No, I’m not kidding, joking, or exaggerating for effect.
Technically you are right. Joking about bombs or weapons can get you in trouble. But I wear my Boomershoot shirts through airports without problems. They have images and words like this:
And the next time I travel it will be with a Boomershoot coat (that’s Ry, not me).
And of course I almost (I was legal in Chicago when I spent a week there once) always travel with a firearm (legally) in checked baggage and books and papers on improvised explosives in my carry-on computer case (not to mention all the stuff on the computer itself). As my “get out of jail free card” I carry my ATFE license type 20 (license to manufacture high explosives). Sometimes I even deliberately salt my computer case with explosive components. I’ve been ‘sniffed’ for explosives more times than I can count and once (March 20, 1998 in St. Louis) the blind security agent even ran her white swab over several of the books on explosives without noticing the titles of the books. Not once have I tested positive for explosives. Not once have I been questioned about explosives or my choice of shirts. Ask me face-to-face about some of the other tests (some unintentional through just plain forgetfulness) of airport security I have been involved in. In each and every test they have failed. In one case even when they knew I had one of these in the case and they knew where it was in the case! They couldn’t see it on the x-ray.
The only reason we are spending nearly $2 Billion dollars a year (and this doesn’t count the wasted time of the passengers) on screeners at the airport is to make some people feel good. It does NOTHING to make us safer. It’s all about “doing something”. And what it does is erode the U.S. Constitution.