Recently I flew out of Chicago with my wife and kids. As we went through security, the usual stupid rules applied, and I went first so I could wait for the youngsters. As my 10 year old daughter made her way through the metal detector a special light went off, and a code popped up. She was shifted aside into a plexiglass box while the security officer looked in his manual to see what it was she was being flagged for. I was getting upset and asked him what was happening, and he told me to relax, she was just picked randomly. They then took her flip-flops that had just been x-rayed and tested them for chemical weapons or radiation or whatever they look for with those round, oxyclear pads, while she stood in the plastic box, wide eyed and wondering.
The reason given for me to relax, was that she was chosen randomly. My reason for getting upset was that she was chosen randomly. Right before my kid was "boxed," a lady who looked to be about 70 and was on her way to visit grandkids was boxed and they did something to her. I mean, they didn't grope her like we heard about a few months ago, but she was given the test for whatever random code came up. The point is, this business of choosing people randomly is a waste of time and resources. 70 year old grandmothers on their way to Florida don't fit any terrorist profile I've ever seen, unless you consider leaving your shopping cart blocking the middle of the grocery store aisle when it contains only a few greeting cards a terrorist act. Look grams, your either with us or against us, right? And what can a 10 year old really do to terrorize anyone with a pair of $8 flip flops?
I'm not saying airport security isn't important, it is. However, we need to make a decision in this country about common sense. We need to decide what we are most afraid of: someone doing harm by taking down a plane, or offending someone by not being politically correct.