The other day as I was entering a store I held the door for an elderly couple to enter, and then followed close behind into the store.
Immediately the alarms went off.
Almost at the same instant both the lady ahead, and I said ,"don't worry it's just me."
We both had a little laugh as I explained that for some reason I often make the alarms go off either entering or leaving some stores. The lady then told me she had a prosthesis that had just caused her all sorts of trouble at the Vancouver Airport YVR. She was body searched, which included the humiliation of having her panties pulled and snapped, all evidently in front of several onlookers. She and her husband were still fuming, weeks after the incident.
I have been mussing lately about airport security. What specifically bothers me is the obsessive, intrusive, and callus attitude most of these people exude. It appears to this observer some of these workers are just a little too enthusiastic, exuberant, and thorough
in their work.
I have just read an article from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, about among other things, the actions of airport security personnel at Canadian Airports. The situation is similar in all of North America.
Evidently at Calgary a four year old Saskatoon girl was forced to put her doll through the scanner, and then was told to proceed alone for a full body scan or submit to a pat down.
In this same article it mentions an 84 year old breast cancer survivor, who when asked if she carried any fluids said no. Despite this they forced her to submit to a pat down. They then humiliated and embarrassed her as they fondled the gell in her prosthetic breast.
As I mentioned I have been thinking about this whole ridiculous situation for some time. The following thoughts keep popping up - in no particular order.
The odds of being in an aircraft downed by a terrorist is probably about twice high as being hit by lightening.
Not very many Caucasian (at the risk of being called a racist) Canadian grandmothers have been convicted - or charged- with being a terrorist.
Not many Caucasian (at the risk of being called a racist) Canadian men, women, children, or even teenagers, have been charged with being a terrorist.
Very few Canadians of any color or religion have been charged with being terrorists.
Virtually all those involved with 911 were from Saudi Arabia - all were Muslim.
Most of the suicide bombers in the world are Muslim.
The Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv has probably the best airport security in the world. Evidently they do not hassle every passenger - they only pay special attention to a passenger if he or she gives them reason for suspicion Evidently they concentrate on close observation, some sort of profiling and general airport security.
Very few Canadian carry bombs - even if they did I assume the super detectors at all our airports would find them - without anyone having their underwear touched.
The overwhelming odds are, a terrorist (at the risk of being called a racist) will not be a Caucasian.
The leaders - if there is actually a cohesive world leadership of terrorists, must be extremely satisfied with the situation at airports throughout the western world. I imagine they are thrilled by the inconvenience, frustration, anger,lost time and,delays innocent travelers the world over suffer because of them (with lots of our help). Maybe the worse part of this whole frustrating situation is the feeling of helplessness millions of people feel, every single day of the year.
Maybe we should use common sense at airports.
Because we as a nation feel we must be fair to all (which is good) we must never acknowledge the obvious - it may hurt someones feelings. so we will gladly inconvenience millions instead of maybe inconvenience a few - and I do sympathise with the few.
A person about to enter an aircraft, that through no fault of his/her own, resembles persons known to to be terrorists should maybe expect just a little more attention than a four year old child that has no resemblance whatsoever.
Well I feel better now!