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SITREP: April 2004
by Dan Shea

The Transportation Security Administration is relaxing some of its more sophomoric regulations. A few days ago, I was flying, and when I went through security, they sent my rolling laptop case back through the scanner a number of times. I couldn’t think of anything that would be “bad”, so I just watched the procedures.

It turned out that I had an envelope of old keys I was taking and tossed them into my case, and attached to one key ring was (shudder) an old miniature Glock pistol medallion. This was less than an inch in length, made of solid pewter. After a manual search of my case turned this up, a very embarrassed TSA employee explained that up until very recently, they would probably have cleared the airport for this. I said I shared his enthusiasm for the new, more sensible guidelines, and tossed the medallion into the trash in the event that I might have to go through security again that day, and perhaps clear out the Cincinnati or Atlanta airports.

I generally keep my mouth shut during these incursions, smile and nod my head in a non-threatening bobble-headed fashion. Watching an invalid World War II veteran lifted out of his wheel chair and put through the scanner by three people, I managed to control my rage as well. The thought comes to mind that I would really like to know how many terrorist incidents are perpetrated by 85-year-old invalid veterans, or for that matter, most of the other people going through the security lines. I took a quick look around for improvised weapons - hell, my stainless steel ballpoint pen is perfect, and yet it passes muster every time. Then there was the woman with the commemorative china plate - smash and use the pieces. Oh, and the art student over there, I wonder if she uses a pottery wheel and might have a separating wire (two-handled garrote.)

Once again, I have the feeling that most of what we are doing in our airports is keeping the “sheep” happy, content, and feeling safe. Right after 9-11, I heard a woman say she didn’t care what information anyone wanted, she just wanted to be safe. Comments like this were played over and over again, throughout the media. To quote Ben Franklin, “They who are willing to sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.”

The fact is, if bad guys want to do something, they will. They will train with improvised weapons; they will bribe and threaten their way to a position to cause harm. The only solution is for the government to go after these people where they live, and for the rest of us to be awake and prepared to defend ourselves at all times. If we can’t have firearms or knives, then consider what you can do with a laptop computer against a guy with a box cutter. The first thing we learned about knife fighting, is that you are going to get cut, so get over it and try not to get cut too bad. Get it in your mind that you will not ever lie down and give up, anytime, anywhere, and encourage everyone you know to adopt the same attitude. The cowards who are terrorists thrive on our fear. They exist in a world where people don’t strike back.

When a people have a solid resolve to defend themselves, when they are not easy targets, when every inch of terrorism is paid for with pain, retribution and blood, it goes away to someplace where it is easier for them to function.

Don’t let the naysayers and compromisers talk us back into a Clinton Era or Carter Era corner, weak, meek and afraid to stand up and take a hit if we need to. We don’t need a “Malaise.” Every time you hear the negativity, tell a story of positive strength. Say a prayer for our troops overseas, every man and woman out there is the best we have. Encourage them to kick ass, take names later, and then kick ass with all the info they get. Hunt down the cowardly scum who attacked us and will continue to attack us if they think we can be cowed.

I guess we have to put up with the airport screening charade so people will fly. I guess I have to contain my disdain. However, I am going to continue to be one hell of a rabble rouser about defending Freedom. Support our troops, don’t let anyone undermine their resolve. Don’t vote for politicians who show any sign of a weak streak in that regard. We don’t need our people compromised into bad situations, they need to kill our enemies and come home safely to praise, honor and thanks. -Dan


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