California airports have been shut down on several occasions because their $1.7 million CTX scanners mistook things like a Mickey Mouse snow globe, a dummy grenade, and a food processor for bombs.
The big problem with airport security is that FAA regulations apply across the board, and won’t let the market react to circumstance. For instance, if airlines were to maintain their own security, travelers could choose the airline that best met their security needs. For example: Quick and Dangerous Air – “We’ll get you there faster than the other guy . . . maybe.” It would have absolutely no security restrictions or checkpoints. It’s quite possible that the carrier might even have a better security record than airlines with intrusive checks – a terrorist would be foolish to try and hijack a flight on which any of the passengers might be carrying firearms. If there were a mid-air shootout, the airline would be immune from lawsuits, since everyone aboard would have been flying with full knowledge of the risks involved.
Allowing airlines to self-regulate could spawn a host of innovative new carriers, like Smokers Airways: “All seats, all smoking, all of the time.” Be sure to wear only brown clothes, and the masks will remain down throughout the entire flight for anyone who might like to breathe.