A student from Texas Tech has found herself in some hot water this week after she got pulled out of a TSA line for making a gun symbol with her hand.
10/21/2017 at 3:03AM pic.twitter.com/mW0XrBYYv3
— diana (@dianadurkin) October 21, 2017
19 year old sophomore Diana Durkin was waiting in the security line at the William P. Hobby airport in Houston. When she saw a guy wearing a Texas Tech sweatshirt she gestured the school greeting symbol known as “guns up,” which is basically just making a gun with your two fingers.
But immediately after, a TSA agent pulled her out of the line and told her she can’t flash that symbol in an airport.
In the airport security line and I see someone wearing a Texas Tech hoodie and I look at them and do the gun hand signal because wreck em amiright
tsa is now pulling me aside to talk to me :((
— diana (@dianadurkin) January 6, 2018
“Oh my gosh, they think I’m a terrorist,” she told BuzzFeed. “Oh my gosh I’m going to jail. I’m just sitting there, almost in tears, like, ‘No, I’m just really dumb, I’m not a terrorist!’”
But after getting a full screening and a pat down TSA determined Diana was not, in fact, a terrorist.
I don’t want to hate on TSA too much because I’ll be flying this Sunday, so if you’re in any way affiliated with airport security, just stop reading this article here.
For all the rest of us, this story epitomizes everything that is wrong with the US airport security system. We’re way too sensitive about the small stuff. Witness:
The TSA stopped me today because my @lushcosmetics products apparently registered as explosive materials by their machines.
— тαуℓσя (@Morte_aeternax) January 8, 2018
I know many of you were curious. I’m able to confirm today that you CAN in fact carry the helmet for a suit of armor through airport security and the TSA doesn’t react one bit. Would have liked to see the x-ray…
— Adam Savage (@donttrythis) January 11, 2018
Now listen. I’m not in the DHS. Far from it. But I do have several pilots in my family and there’s a reason they affectionately refer to the TSA as ‘thousands standing around.’
It’s not like airport security is impossible, either. We just have to be a lot less sensitive about it. Other countries have seamlessly prioritized safety over feelings. Take Israel, for example. Their security is so airtight they actually allow their passengers to have steak knives on flights.
The TSA gets an annual budget of nearly $8 billion. They spend their time combing through travel size bottles of conditioner and swabbing loafers for explosive material. It’s a reactive approach at best. If our TSA spent more time identifying bombing plots and less time pulling sorority girls out of line, we too might be able to enjoy a filet mignon in 14A.
PS: if you want to be totally terrified and confused, take a look at TSA’s official Instagram account. Thank me later.
Follow Jena on Twitter.