Why airport screenings suck

Look at this elderly man, clinging to his bag.

Security, a sensitive term used to apply the feeling of being secured, safe and out of harm’s way. Modern devices and technology emphasizes security, but we can’t help to wonder, are we really secured?

What do we think about when we heard the word “security”? Guards? Credit cards? Terrorism? Home safety countermeasures? Car alarms?

Half of the methods that we are applying regarding safety procedures in public safety are clearly not working right now.

And that’s where “Security Theater” comes in, put it simply, security theater is the practice of applying security procedures that gives a false sense of security when it actually does little or no impact at all in achieving true security.

Let’s discuss the common scenarios that occurs to most of us.

OK, so we probably went through security screenings before a flight, but how effective are they? According to reports by ABC News on June 1 2015, The USA Department of Homeland Security conducted a series of tests by attempting to bypass airport screenings while carrying weapons and mock explosives.

Guess what, TSA agents failed to detect the weapons and mock explosives 67 out of 70 times. That’s a failure rate of approximately 95.71%! Preposterous you say? Hard facts.

But, that doesn’t stop the TSA from confiscating small pocket knives and marijuana!

At least they’re doing their job by posting prohibited items on Instagram, it gives them credibility (or not), not to mention informing others of items we should not carry with us.

So even if the screenings did worked, it only protects us from the previous ways terrorists used to attack us, but that doesn’t stop them from finding new ways to do so.

For instance, we are required to remove our shoes at screening checkpoints due to the fact that a previous perpetrator, Richard Reid, attempted to detonate plastic bombs hidden in shoes back in 2001 on an American Airlines flight.

But all of that is not practical, it won’t stop terrorists from finding new ways to hurt us, it’s just an illusion to make us feel safe, hence, security theater. Airport screenings are just a impractical show that does little impact on actually protecting us against actual harm.

Not only does subpar standards of screening gives away the vulnerability of the whole security system, but also it has little to zero impact on dealing with real emergency situations. Instead of practicing security theater, it is better to invest in factors that matter such as investigations, intelligence and post-disaster countermeasures.