Man Got Loaded Gun on Plane, Proves Security Still Bad

Airport security screeners will grab your crotch, raise your risk of cancer, feel your boobs, and palpate your urine bag if it means they catch a terrorist trying to board a plane. And, with few exceptions, we generally let them do so. We think we are safer. But recently a man got a loaded handgun onto a flight at LAX.

The gun was only discovered when it fell from the man's luggage and toppled onto the ground after it had been checked. Three days earlier, the man had flown from Portland to Los Angeles with the same gun. Even though guns ARE allowed on flights, they must be declared and placed in a lock box. Though it was unclear whether he declared it, the gun was clearly not in a locked box.

Makes you feel super safe, right?

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At some point (one hopes), the powers-that-be need to start to recognize that they are harassing the good people while the bad people will always find a way to get around those security measures. In Israel, they psychologically profile people and there have been no recent hijackings or problems on El Al in recent years.

We need to employ a similar system here. The fact is, the guy who brought the loaded gun had checked it. He didn't have access to it and likely didn't have any nefarious plans. He was able to complete his flight later in the day (after the gun was confiscated). But there will be people who do have bad intent and they will be able to get through.

So we have to get smarter about security at airports in this country. We have to look at other countries and stop being so reactionary. We only implement new security when something happens. In their words, the bad guys are one step ahead of us.

In 2003, a person I know smuggled a dog on board a plane. They had told my friend that her dog had to ride cargo, but she didn't think her high-strung Chihuahua could handle the stress. So she put him in his cage, walked through security as though it had been cleared, and boarded the plane.

Afterwards, she laughed about it. But it scared me. If a person can sneak a living dog onto a plane, why could they not get a weapon on? We don't need better x-rays. We need smart, well-trained security professionals to ask the right questions.

Do you think this is a problem?

 

Image via The Consumerist/Flickr

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