The Change in Airport Security from 9/11
The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011 prompted the world to reevaluate and drastically modify airport and airline security. “Four targets had been chosen, all iconic American buildings that would send a clear message of the depth of their hatred for the United States. All four planes crashed, killing all on board—terrorists, crew members, and passengers, along with hundreds who were killed inside the structures, on the ground, and the men and women who ran into collapsing buildings in an effort to try and save others” (Smutz 1). As Jason Villemez said “the decade after the 9/11 attacks reshaped many facets of life in America” (Villemez 1). Before the attacks, people did not think that large scale hostility towards innocent people in our country was remotely possible. Ever since that fateful moment, citizens in America are on their toes every day worrying about another attack happening. United States citizens have had to adapt and change in response to this fear of further terrorist assault on our country. One of the ways they have adapted is by changing their means of security concerning airline travel.
Before the attacks on September 11th, Americans were under the assumption that an individual or group of individuals could not do such a devastating thing to humanity. Prior to 9/11 there was a lack of security in airports and on airplanes. “In 2001, airline security was minimal and was the responsibility of the airline. Passengers were asked a few questions by ticket agents before they passed through checkpoints with metal detectors that were calibrated to sound an alarm for anything larger than a small caliber handgun. If an alarm did sound, security at the checkpoint would use a hand wand to scan the passenger again to determine what had set off the alarm. Bags were simply passed through an x ray machine. Getting box cutters or small knives on board would not have been difficult.” (Smutz 1) During this time, people were able to easily conceal weapons such as box cutters and blades and bring them on to an airplane without being caught. This was possible because of the lack of care the airport security officers had while operating the metal detectors and X-ray machines, “xray machine operators at private security firms averaged about twelve hours of training” (Blalock 6). Security officers learned a very large lesson on September 11, 2001; they learned that they needed to care about and perform their job to the best of their ability in order to safeguard our country.
As mentioned above, another reason the security in airports was so shoddy was that the x-ray machines and metal detectors that were being used were very out of date “the metal detectors were last replaced in 1995”(Hiltzik 1). These security tools were so outdated that some of them didn’t even register certain metals such as Aluminium and Titanium (Hiltzik 1). This means that someone could easily conceal a weapon in their...