The good thing about being a skeptical, and applying the scientific method to everything is that you learn to think critically, to analyze data, and to demand data. I had a sneaking suspicion that airline security was more of a PR scheme than anything else. In medicine, every procedure, medication, and device has some marginal increase in harm to the patient, but that should be far exceeded by the benefit. In the case of the TSA, the harm (cost, inconvenience, delays, risk of radiation from scanners, and anything else you can imagine) seems to far outweigh any marginal benefit.
The fact is I can think of dozens of ways to disrupt and terrorize Americans with a small bomb or gun (both so easily obtained in today’s USA)–I won’t list them here, just in case the terrorists or so damn lazy that they google the internet for ideas. Get 21 deluded religious fanatics together, a few weapons, and an inviting target, and we will forget about the airports. What are we going to do next? Put up scanners at supermarkets, malls, gas stations, movie theaters, and golf courses?
TSA receives $8.1 billion in funding every year, and I have to imagine that amount could be better spent on other types of security measures that get at the issue at the core. Again, using medicine as analogy, try not to treat the symptoms, but the causes.
By the way, there are websites that provide you with detailed instructions on how to generate fake boarding passes. They’re meant for family members to go to the gate to meet other family members. Some are there to show the vulnerability of the TSA system. So, even non-terrorists know how to get around the rules.
TSA doesn’t pass even the smallest bit of scrutiny or critical analysis. Wish it would be gone, but there’s not much we can do to make that happen.