Thursday, August 24, 2006

Profiling and other stuff

I hesitate to express my political views on my blog for some reason. I usually like to just write about my everyday life and the goings on around small town Maine. However, today I am just frustrated about a few things.

Airline travel. Profiling or not. Some photos I just viewed.

A few weeks ago I traveled from NH to MN. As I went through the security checkpoints, I was asked how old I was. (Instead of just being asked for an ID). Apparently I looked under 18??? Then she asked for my ID, as if I looked suspicious and probably had a reason to lie about my age... Then I was asked to take my shoes off even though I was wearing Teva flip flops. I started to do it even though I was thinking, "What are you, an idiot? Can't you see these are flip flops and I'm obviously not storing some C4 under my heels?" As soon as I began removing them, another security guy said, "No, those shoes are okay", and I breathed a sigh of relief that one person actually has some common sense.

So profiling. I am not sure what I think. In a way, it is sort of obvious that the majority of the suicide bombers and hijackers were of Middle Eastern descent. Therefore, it does make sense to me that airport screeners, etc, would pay closer attention to that same group of people when they are going through security. We do this all the time. For example, what comes to mind when I mention pit bulls, rottweilers, or german shepherds? Probably you're thinking that those dogs are dangerous and more likely to bite. As a home owner, I know that my insurance bans these dogs - they won't insure my home if I own one. I know that not all pit bulls, rotties, and shepherds are dangerous. I know that they are not necessarily any more likely to bite than another dog - just that they do more damage when they do bite. However, I also know that I'm probably going to be more on guard around a 140 lb rottie than a 65 lb golden retriever. Why? Because statistics show that rotties do more damage and have a different temperament than retrievers. (By the way, rotties are my favorite dogs).

Ok, so some of you are probably raging at the computer screen right now saying, "Are you comparing anyone of Middle Eastern origin with dangerous dogs?" No, I'm not. What I am saying is that if a certain group of people is known to be doing a particular thing (i.e. teen gang members spraying graffiti or middle age white men looking at child porn), then I think that it make sense to look more closely at that group when you are trying to prevent a crime. I don't think the first person the police will look at in a marijuana bust would be my 75 year old grandmother....

I guess I'm done rambling. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share your comments...