Representative and head of the Homeland Security committee Peter King of New York wants better airport security. How much better? Well, better enough to protect against shoulder-fired missiles. In fact, let's look at the transcript of what he said on Fox News (yeah, we know, Fox News...) since he mentioned a NYC neighborhood while talking to Chris Wallace:
Well, I'm not saying we should be targeting people, Chris, but I think we should put political correctness somewhat to the side and say that a screener or even an airline should have the right to factor in a person's national origin.
We know that the threat is coming from Islamic terrorism and from Islamic terrorists, and obviously you can have a Richard Reid. You could always have a Timothy McVeigh coming through.
But the fact is the overwhelming odds are that it is going to be someone of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent and of the Muslim faith. And I think a screener should be allowed to factor that in as one of many factors.
Like if we were told that the Ku Klux Klan was going to attack Harlem or Bedford Stuyvesant, I think we'd spend more time looking more closely at whites than we would at African-Americans. Or if it was the IRA, you'd look more closely at Irish Americans.
So I'm saying it's a factor that should be in there and a screener or an airline shouldn't be worried about being sued, or losing their job or being hit with a civil rights action if they factor that in as one of a number of other issues they look at.
We were at the airport this weekend and were impressed with how smoothly bag checks went - both travelers and screeners seemed very mellow and eager to cooperate. We even had our bags checked before we got to the terminal and then again before we boarded the plane. Luckily, we studied the Transportation Security Administration extensive list that spells out what we can and cannot bring as carry-on. For example, throwing stars and nuchukas are okay for checked baggage, but don't think about bringing them on as carry-on! (So we checked ours - along with our saber...but our Transformer was allowed to fly with us.)
And did you read that article about airports also screening people's facial expressions?