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June 11, 2009


Brendan is completely correct. No matter where the security perimeter is, someone who appears there with a rifle and starts shooting is going to cause harm. Whether that happened in the lobby of the museum or outside is of no significance.

This is reminiscent of the shooting incident at the El Al ticket counter at LAX in 2002. Forgetting that the whole point of airport security is to prevent people from taking weapons on planes, good old Wolf Blitzer wondered about expanding the security perimeter:

[CNN security analyst Kelly] MCCANN: Really physical security, the prevention or access control is really what would, you know, determine whether you can get into a place. And that would mean that that physical security might have to be pushed out further to right curb side. But that's going to immediately affect the convenience of the traveling public. The next question would be, should we make major changes based on, one, what looks like an isolated incident.

BLITZER: Well if you keep expanding the perimeter all the time, for example, if you drive into Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, before you get anyplace close to the terminal, you got to go through a checkpoint. They take a look at your car, your registration, your I.D. card, your passport, if you're a tourist. Is it ever going to have to come down to that kind of a situation?

MCCANN: It may and if you think about it, Ben Gurion is one place, of course, in Israel. Think of the hundreds of airports across the United States and the amount of manpower, personnel, technology that would be necessary to do that. That's why people should take a deep breath here and let's just evaluate and see what comes of this incident before anybody has a knee-jerk solution.

Maybe it might be a good idea to control the availability of guns? Just a crazy idea from out of left field.

"Forgetting that the whole point of airport security is to prevent people from taking weapons on planes,..."

It's called "airport security," Rob, not "airplane security."

Daniel, if the reason for airport security isn't to protect the airplanes, then what is it? Sure, there are a lot of people in airports, but there are a lot of people in shopping malls and train stations and subways and zoos, and we don't protect those facilities with metal detectors and x-rays. Airport security creates a protected space that is only for ticket holders and airport and airline staff, and its purpose is plainly to prevent weapons and explosives on the airplanes--not because there's something mystical about an airport that warrants greater security than other venues where large numbers of people congregate.

It's interesting to note that the security guards Union attempted to bargain for company-paid for bullet proof vests.

The company said no. The Union lost (a good security guard).

I'm not sure how much a security guard makes or how much a security vest is, but my guess is they don't make much and good security vests are expensive.

The Union was looking out for it's members. Hopefully they'll have a better luck at the next round of negotiations.

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