TSA Employee Supports Ron Paul

My Laptop's Ron Paul Sticker

My Laptop’s Ron Paul Sticker

I placed my backpack on the conveyor belt and told the TSA employee that I would like to opt-out from using the scanner. I was instructed to stand to the side, while a woman communicated: “Male opt-out.”

A nice-looking young guy came over and led me through a short glass security gate. We picked out my luggage, and he led me over to a mat with feet printed on it. I guess they use the feet when they need someone to stand in a particular spot, but I wasn’t told to stand on them, and I didn’t. Perhaps it merely serves as a floor marker: “this general vicinity is where a person may stand.” He put my luggage on the table next to me.

TSA Employee: Have you had a pat-down from us before?

Me: Yes.

(I was going to note that it was my first time doing it at THIS airport, but then I thought that’s irrelevant, and stopped myself. As I write this, I realize I must have been here many times before: it’s LAX. Maybe it’s my first time at this particular security checkpoint.)

TSA: Okay, so you know the procedure. I’ll just tell you about it while I do it. Would you like to do this in private, or is here fine?

Me: Here is fine.

[Several relevant questions and answers pertaining to the examination, while he performed the pat-down.]

When the pat-down was complete, he swabbed his blue-gloved hands and scanned the sample on the machine. Presumably, they use new gloves for each pat-down. I hope so, because after wiping his hands all over me, it would be somewhat repulsive to re-use them.

While we waited for the machine to return its results, the TSA employee asked:

“Did you follow Ron Paul during the 2012 campaign?”

(He must have spotted the “Ron Paul 2012” sticker prominently placed on my laptop.)

Me: During the primary, yes.

TSA: Me too. He has a great service record.

I smiled.

TSA: You’re free to go. Have a great flight!

Me: Thanks!

The whole event was prompt, courteous, and uncontroversial. It’s great to see that there are people at the TSA who believe in liberty.

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