Just Exactly What Makes Us Secure?

I awoke this morning to two news items dealing with airport security. Both items make me mad.

The first case isn’t breaking news. It has to do with a twenty year old college student, Nathaniel Heatwole, who placed boxes containing box cutters, blocks of clay and bottles of bleach onboard two Southwest Airlines flights. It seems that the government, specifically the TSA, wants to fry his ass over this stunt that has exposed a very large security problem to the public.

I can understand charges being placed against him and even some public service time done for his actions but U.S. Attorney Thomas DiBiagio wants to put him away for ten years. DiBiagio said Heatwole’s conduct “was not a prank. This was not poor judgment. . . . It was a very serious and foolish action.” I can understand and agree with that statement but 10 years for showing us a severe security hole we have? I can’t believe they are serious abou this.

The second one is about a jerk in the airport at Greensboro, N.C. who pitched a temper tantrum over just missing his flight. He made a statement something to the effect of, “What do I have to do to get you to stop that plane so I can get on it, tell you there’s a bomb aboard it?” Well, that did stop the plane and delayed the passengers on the plane for a couple of hours while they searched the plane for the bomb this guy that missed the plane supposedly knew about.

These two stories very vividly illustrates the problem I’ve had with the new tighter airport security since they were implemented when the airports reopened after Sept. 11, 2001. Too much emphasis is being placed on security measures that do not one thing to actually give us more security and are pretty much ignoring the security measures the truely matter.