Illegal arms dealers are surprisingly easy to spot.

November 17, 2010

Recently, the increased measures in American airport security have been getting a lot of attention.  These stories have gotten me thinking about a trip I took to Europe almost two decades ago.  As I travelled, I found that the concept of “security” varied quite a bit from airport to airport.

One of the clearest memories I have of that trip was boarding a flight somewhere in former-Yugoslovia.  There was only one metal detector in the departure area and a lengthly line of travelers moving very slowly through it.  There was a group of three men directly in front on me in line.  As each of them moved through the metal detector they set it off.  I, being acutely aware of the armed conflict that was currently taking place in the region, felt a little nervous that all three men had triggered the alarm. I looked at the security guard and waited to see what would happen.

The guard leapt into action.

He began talking very loudly and waving his arms frantically.

More specifically, he was frantically waving them to hurry up because the line was moving too slowly.

The alarms didn’t seem to worry him so much as annoy him.  He wasn’t actually going to be flying with us that day, so I can’t say for sure if he would have been willing to bet his life on that decision.

BUT, it was clear he was quite comfortable betting mine.




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