Here is the TSA "blog" about shoes. "It’s not all about Richard Reid", it begins, before proceeding to prove that it is all about richard reid. I read most of the comments and my patience was rewarded when "TSO Tom" appeared to defend their policies:
Shoes, wow this is a hot topic and I certainly understand why. But lets talk about the threat that can be posed by someone trying to do harm to others on an airplane. Of course when we talk about shoes the first thing that comes to mind is Richard Reid and the "shoe bomb" and this is a real threat. One person tried and failed, but someone else may just succeed then the public would be screaming about "where was security?" So lets talk about how shoes may pose a threat to air travelers, we're not just talking about explosives, other things can be hidden inside shoes as well..razor blades for instance. A razor blade in someone's shoe could pose a risk...however small you think it might be....to you and or other passengers on an airplane. And items like this have actually been found at the checkpoint. Also, drugs have been strapped to people's ankles, a bank robber was caught in Philadelphia after a TSO found a crack pipe strapped to his ankle. A note that he used in a several robberies was found in his belongings. Cocaine has been discovered as well as marijuana, and other drugs. So the removal of shoes is important, lets not forget that most shoes will alarm the Walk through metal detector and be required to be removed anyway.Someone responded to this thusly:
[...] IS COMPLETELY INSANE! Are you implying that the flying public is at risk because someone might have some coke or pot in their shoes? OR are you implying that the TSA is using this security theater to expand the government's drug war into airport security lines? Perhaps they should also examine the contents of any paperwork or laptop records to make sure there are no tax cheats as well?TSO Tom again:
Dear anonymous;Would YOU want someone smoking crack and embarking on an orgy of violence on YOUR flight? NO? Then take your foot fungus and like it!
you have the luxury of addressing me personally, but you choose to remain anonymous. That's okay, lets address your concerns:
First of all, razor blades MAY be detectable by magnatron without removing footwear, however x-ray screening is the best method to discover something inside someone's shoes. Secondly, would you want someone doing drugs on your flight, with the potential of becoming violent in the middle of the flight? I know I wouldn't. It has nothing to do with the war on drug, or the war on anything, it has to do with common sense, x-ray screening is REQUIRED of all footwaear because this is the BEST method of discovering prohibited items.
These little hitlers always, without fail, when defending the security theater of the absurd, say that if anything ever happens again people will be hollering "where was security?" I'd like to go on record as saying that if there is ever an outbreak of sanity and some of these restrictions are relaxed, and then there is an attack that might have been foiled if only we'd all submitted to the rectal probe of the hour, I will not be hollering "where was security." In fact, were most people really hollering that even after 9/11? If they were then it's just proof the public is totally irrational and should be completely ignored when formulating security policy. Hmm, given the apparent level of support for mandated athlete's foot exchange, I think the TSA has already taken that advice. All that's left is for them to apply it consistently.
Overall the comments increased my awareness of some issues I hadn't much considered. Among the points made:
a) lots of older people can't take their shoes off while standing up, yet there's typically nowhere to sit
b) lots of older (and some younger) people have painful foot conditions that take the security game well past mere annoyance
c) people with weakened immune systems can die from minor ailments
Also, I thought I'd already read about most major plane crashes, but I'd never heard of John Gilbert Graham until now. Nutty.
Can't wait to fly again!