Having just returned from a roundtrip flight to Texas during the “high” level alert this past week, I can report first-hand on airport security and its hidden costs.
First, I didn’t notice anything new in airport security procedures during the high level alert. Whenever I travel to Texas, I take a rifle or two. Not as protective coloration, but because Texas in general, and my father’s ranch in particular, are full of things I want to shoot. Specifically, during the Christmas season, white-tail deer. I am pleased to report that my shooting iron did not set off any alarm bells (by now, I know the drill for transporting firearms by air), and I had a very pleasant conversation with the guard in Wisconsin who confirmed that it wasn’t loaded. Whereupon I locked it up in its case, as required by law, and didn’t think twice about it until I got to Texas.
I drove out to the ranch at the first opportunity, gun and various hunting supplies in tow, and had barely been sitting in my blind for an hour when one of the larger deer I have ever seen in the wild came strolling by. He passed within 40 yards of my blind, and I watched him feed and mess about for over half an hour. He was a big eight-pointer, with heavy, symmetrical antlers.
At this point, one of the hidden costs of airport security reared its ugly head. I had, you see, forgotten to unlock my gun case when I got to my parent’s house, and had left the key firmly attached to my briefcase sitting on my bed. I was sitting in my blind unarmed, the rifle securely locked in its case back at the pickup. I didn’t get my deer, and its all BUSH’s fault!