Big news today regarding airport screeners' inability to detect decoy explosives. TSA screeners at O'Hare security checkpoints missed 60% of simulated explosives hidden in agents' carry-ons or clothing. The failure rate at LAX was 75%.
The TSA's explanation? Testing is much tougher today, as the mock bomb components are often no bigger than a pen cap. According to the visual from one TV report I saw, older tests used fake bombs with large, ticking clocks attached to taped-together sticks of dynamite. That's great for stopping Wile E. Coyote. It's probably not as effective for catching terrorists.
In these times, most passengers think about air safety whenever they fly. Parents traveling with children, or parents traveling without their children, may think about it even more. Will the latest news discourage anyone from taking trips? Probably not many. But, it may become more difficult to go through those security lines with a smile. When we use our one free arm to collapse and uncollapse strollers, remove infants' shoes for x-ray, and dump out sippy cups, we do so in the name of increased safety. If heightened procedures aren't yielding heightened results, maybe it's time to reevaluate.