The Sun's recent article regarding security at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport("Seized at the gate," April 16) omitted the most important statistics about the Transportation Security Administration's performance. The TSA misses 70 percent or more of weapons in testing, the TSA let 17 known terrorists fly past its vaunted behavior detection officers on 24 separate occasions without catching even one, and the TSA let at least 800 guns and a clearly-labeled five-pound block of C4 onto planes last year.
The weapons described in your article were never a threat to the aircraft because the passengers who neglectfully carried them are not terrorists. For every one weapon in your article, two more were carried on planes after being missed by TSA. TSA's weapons show-and-tell is a cheap ploy to distract attention from the dozens of arrests of its screeners and managers for theft, drug smuggling, child pornography, prostitution and rape.
Children are now being conditioned to allow strangers to shove hands down their pants, young women are subjected to genital inspections, innocent people are adopting poses of humiliation and surrender in response to barked commands. These actions are causing such a great harm to our society that no one with any sense of history could consider reducing the risk of an astronomically-remote adverse event to be justification for TSA's shameful actions. There's just nothing to balance here. The harms are enormous, the benefits are make-believe. Disband the TSA now.
Sommer Gentry, BaltimoreCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun