The infamous 9/11 attacks had horrid results; loss of lives, devastation to the airline industry, and shaking our sense of national comfort. But about the only tangible trickle-down effect on me (other than having to work harder for photos) occurs in the security check at airports.
Here was the procedure I went through on my recent trip to Tampa. (Not that I'm unique...I'm just trying to make a point.) I've got a couple of dozen folks behind me when I reach the conveyor belt. I take off my shoes and put them in a bucket. I take off my belt, keys, key-clip, and phone and put them in a tray. I remove my laptop from my carry-on suitcase and put it in a tray. I also remove the toiletries (all under 3 oz. per the law) which are in a 1 quart baggie and place them in a tray. I put the suitcase on the conveyor. I put my camera bag on the conveyor.
Sound simple? It ain't, because the early trays get ahead of you and start to mix with the stuff of the people just ahead of you. It is impossible to do so many acts smoothly, and yet you're trying to hurry because of the folks behind you. Getting flustered is easy. The TSA personnel are nice enough, usually, but they seem to expect everyone to be an old pro at the routine, and some people don't fly enough to have the routine down pat.
And this is if all goes well. What if there is something suspicious in your bag? Or your back? I've had the metal rods in my back set off the metal detector. On my first trip after 9/11, the titanium knee brace I wear set it off. I had to step behind a screen and drop my drawers to prove I wasn't a first sergeant in the Taliban. There I was...no shoes, no slacks, no belt, no dignity anymore...being checked out by a Middle Eastern TSA agent. Wow.
I believe the solution lies with the dogs of America. I would much rather be sniffed in dark places by a smiling bloodhound that is trained to detect dangerous contraband. That pooch should be able to ascertain my political leanings in 10 seconds, given the nature of their nostrils.
I'm serious. Let's start the movement!