American Guards


Novelist Neil Gaiman encounters the immigration bureaucracy.


NEXT: Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. We can’t have excellent British authors putting our mediocre american ones out of work can we? That’s practically terrorism!

  2. “… a step that business groups say likely will mean even greater delays for everybody else.”

    Are those, by any chance, the same business groups that caused great delays for everybody else (in a now stagnant economy) because they didn’t care to mind the store at their airlines, at airports, or at the borders — pre-9/11?

  3. Kin to a WTC Widow:

    Sorry for your loss, but airport security and border control was already excessive pre-9/11. I can’t find it at the moment, but as I recall Reason had a story back in 1999 or 2000 about how airport security was causing something on the order of $6 billion in opportunity costs annually. It’s obviously only gone up since then, both for direct and opportunity costs. The airlines aren’t being hurt by 9/11 these days, they’re being hurt by the Gestapo agents in the terminal.


    In May, the State Department said that beginning Aug. 1 it would require face-to-face interviews for almost everyone seeking a visa to enter the U.S. The interview requirement, which prompted howls of protest, is expected to affect about eight million people annually. The State Department said it would add 39 new consular-officer posts overseas to help with the increased workload.

    Last month, officials decided to give foreign students, research scholars and professors priority in scheduling interviews — a step that business groups say likely will mean even greater delays for everybody else.

  5. “…security and border control was already excessive pre-9/11.”

    Really now. And that’s why those hijakers who smashed the planes into the towers managed to stay behind those Canadian borders, right?

  6. Joe, the practice of carrying an AK47 over your shoulder at airports rhymes with your name.

    Maybe you’re just slow, my friend,
    But that gun sure won’t blow,
    Because after all, in the end,
    It’s just one big gubmint SHOW.

  7. I think George Carlin said it best: “Airport security is designed to make white people feel safe.”

    The fact is, they STILL don’t do much damn checking of checked luggage, which has to make one wonder just how bad terrorists want to attack America, and how dangerous they are, if they can’t or won’t even put a simple bomb in piece of luggage and have an airline put it under the plane – which they will happily do, though they would be advised not to put any valuables in them, because then they would just end up getting stolen. The Israeli airline actually has pressure machines to simulate the pressures of aircraft flight on the ground so as to trigger any bombs that would use a pressure gauge to decide when to make a bomb go “boom”.

    We don’t have any of that kind of stuff, and recently we found that security for airline pilots and protection of the tarmak is practically non-existant. But of course, the TSA is still suspicious of pregnant mothers, people in wheel chairs, and people’s shoes. I know _I_ feel safe, living near the incoming and outgoing flightpaths of aircraft from the Pensacola airport, which just so happens to also be home to a US naval base.

  8. Of course, I’m reasonably certain that terrorists aren’t going to manage a repeat performance if people are permitted to carry GI Joe plastic grenades and guns on an airplane, or nail files either…but then, maybe the government knows best about those sorts of things. Don’t see how I presume it would still be OK to carry a pen, pencil, and/or especially a fountain pen on board, as if those wouldn’t make far handier stabbing instruments than a silly little nail file or nail clipper 1-inch knife…but maybe that’s just me.

  9. Can someone please explain to me when it would be a good idea for a 22 year old national guardsman to fire an automatic rifle in an airport terminal?

  10. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/25/2004 10:37:40
    Yes, congrats for this site, check those too

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.