Why You Will Always Have to Take Your Shoes Off at Airports

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There are so many things wrong with the security theater performed at airports it’s hard to know where to focus one’s ire. You could zoom in on granny molestation, or zoom out and wonder if the TSA was designed specifically to suck-up tens of billions of dollars in federal tax money—considering the corruption, condition, cost and obliviousness of the Agents involved. In case you missed it, all this anti-killer Kabuki is justified by the attacks of 9-11 and the 2001 shoe bomb plot. After that attempt, authorities could have asked themselves how Islamic fundamentalist (and American native) Richard Reid managed to fly beneath their radar for so long. Or how the plot was foiled (to gain tactical expertise). Instead, the TSA makes tens of millions of people remove their shoes at airports. Which ain’t gonna change. Not after this . . .

Two Taliban militants hiding handguns in their shoes infiltrated a government compound in southern Afghanistan on Saturday in an attempt to assassinate a provincial governor, setting off a fierce gunbattle that left two security guards and both attackers dead.

The assailants passed through a pair of security checks without their weapons being detected before a guard at the last check — in the reception room for the governor’s office — noticed something suspicious and stopped them, said Gov. Tooryalai Wesa, the apparent target of the attack. The militants then pulled the guns out of their shoes, shot the guards and took their weapons, he said.

That sparked a shoot-out with security forces that lasted about 30 minutes and left both attackers dead, said Parwiz Najib, a spokesman for the governor. One guard was wounded in the fighting.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack.

Question: when are U.S. citizens going to be allowed to take responsibility for their own safety when they fly? And if that concept doesn’t scare the horses enough, when are we going to be allowed to carry defensive weapons? Like, say, our legal firearm?

I’m thinking your great-great-great-grandchild will be wondering the same thing. In our time, Ron Paul was/is the only politician brave/foolhardy enough to raise the idea that our Second Amendment rights don’t end on the ground. Even the most die-hard gun rights advocates know that idea won’t fly. Yet.

Meanwhile, canes.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

16 Responses to Why You Will Always Have to Take Your Shoes Off at Airports

  1. avatarKWAL says:

    I’m not sure canes are allowed on planes. I seem to remember, a while back, that anything resembling, or could be used as a club was a no no. Umbrellas included. I could be wrong as I think the last time I noticed that rule in the security line was a couple years ago.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Clubs are prohibited as carry-ons. If “fighting canes” are recognized as such, they would be considered martial arts equipment and prohibited as carry-ons. Disability-related “walking canes” are specifically permitted after x-ray screening.

      • avatarRabbi says:

        You are correct The types of light-weight canes that you buy at the drug store is what we recommend.

        David
        http://Www.armedresponsetraining.com

        • avatarRalph says:

          Rabbi, I suspect that if a cane was carried by an able-bodied person with no apparent disability (either permanent or temporary, such as a broken leg), any cane could be prohibited by the guardians of our skies, the heroic TSA. That is, if their ever-vigilant agents aren’t busy transporting dope or stealing baggage.

        • avatarRabbi says:

          American Disabilty Act keeps that from happening. I believe that They can not question the use of a legimate medical device. I have never been questioned in the 30 or so times i have flown with a cane

    • avatarChewbacca Defense says:

      Flight I was on recently they had a lady put her cane in the overhead.

  2. avatarRalph says:

    Guns in shoes? I always suspected that Bozo was hiding something.

  3. avatarTom says:

    I thought Ron Paul brought up an interesting question is in that why does the TSA exist? Why are general taxpayers supporting it? It would seem that the airlines and the air travelling customers would have some vested interest in providing security measures.

    • avatarnonnamous says:

      They haven’t prevented a single ‘terrorist’ incident – only changed their rules after a failed attempt. And if you read the passenger testimony of the underwear bomber’s (I think) trial , most of them believe that the bomber was a CIA/TSA plant to justify it’s existence.

  4. avatarvirtualjohn says:

    That Fourth Amendment doesn’t seem to mean much anymore. To me the wording is not complicated or hard to understand.
    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    • avatarParthenon says:

      When you enter the checkpoint you are consenting to a search. Agents do not need a warrant if you give consent.

  5. avatarDavid W. says:

    Militants abroad have figured out that check point = choke point. It is only a matter of time before an attack at a chocked up check point takes place on U.S. soil. Could you imagine what a gun battle at O’hare Airport, a few days before Christmas, would do for domestic and international travel? How much money do you think the U.S. economy would lose? How much fear would that strike into the hearts of the sheeple?

    I do not want this to happen but I am afraid it will.

  6. avatarSanchanim says:

    Terrorist organizations learn as much from their successes as their failures. Despite the image they have gotten, they are not stupid.
    Since 9/11 it has become much harder for them to organize large scale operations on US soil but not impossible. Our shopping malls, schools, and sports arenas are still large areas where we are left vulnerable. It is a matter of time, if they decide to take action we will be caught with our shorts down.
    Imagine suicide bombers setting them selves off in 10 or 5 malls across the US during the shopping season. This would have a direct and immediate affect on our economy, let alone the tragedy involved. They wouldn’t even need a large body count. Just the fear generated would be enough.
    It wouldn’t take much as David W also pointed out. After which the government would be left scratching it’s head about what to do.

  7. avatarDavid W. says:

    I always thought body armor might be befitting for such situations. You would stand a better chance of a successful charge w/ it then without. I am not sure how TSA views body armor but imagine its a no-go. It would aid you if you had a cane or a gun.

  8. avataruncommon_sense says:

    The whole TSA and airport “sterile” area thing has to go. Unlike “gun free” zones at schools or shopping malls, an airport “sterile” area is truly about as gun free as you can get. While they keep armed morons out, they vastly magnify the threat of a criminal who does have a weapon past the check point.

    The notion that a criminal or terrorist needs a metallic gun to cause havoc on an airplane is nonsense. Fire extinguishers are outstanding weapons and every plane is required to have several of them. Hot water canisters for coffee and tea are very capable of repelling people. And non-traditional materials such as ceramics and composites allow a criminal to get just about anything they want on board an aircraft.

    Oh, and why bother going through all that when you can bribe a TSA screener or a food service employee? Or better yet kidnap a TSA screener’s child as leverage. Every system is extremely vulnerable. If the system involves automation, people can hack automation. If the system involves humans, humans can be bribed or coerced. The only system that is truly safe is a system where all of the stakeholders are armed. That and that alone negates attempts to circumvent automation or screeners that have several inherent vulnerabilities. And the proof is in the pudding: how many criminals have successfully robbed, murdered, or raped anyone at a gun range where just about everyone is armed? We all know the answer is a big fat zero. So why not apply this to airplanes?

    Oh, for anyone worried about a shootout in the plane causing the plane to crash, I have two facts for you. First, it would be nearly impossible for a handgun to damage a plane to the point that it would crash. Mythbusters even had an episode where they pressurized a real commercial jet fuselage to see what a bullet hole would do. The result: it made a small hole and the fuselage slowly depressurized — nothing more, nothing less. More importantly, because it would be impossible to accomplish anything on an airplane when several of the passengers are armed, no one would ever attempt anything!

    I love the idea of actually improving aircraft security and reducing or quite possibly even eliminating the TSA from the federal budget.

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