Capitol Security Conundrum

Having been recently mugged downtown, I carry pepper spray. Last week, I forgot I had it in my pocket, and went through the security screening at the entrance to the State Capitol. The metal detector beeped, I blushed and handed it to the guard mouthing “it’s pepper spray,” almost apologetically. He promptly ran it through the X-ray machine and gave it back to me, to my astonishment.

On daily trips to the Capitol, I am growing accustomed to handing over my laptop, purse and even my pepper spray to the capitol security guards. And they always return the pepper spray without batting an eyelash.

This week, I was asked to remove jewelry and yesterday, I almost had to remove my belt. They let me keep the pepper spray, which can induce coughing, choking, nausea and temporary blindness when sprayed into someone’s face. But the dangerous chunky gold necklace and fake lizard belt could be dangerous?

What next? Confiscation of blue blazers with gold buttons? Shoes with tassels? Hoop earrings and hair ornaments?

We should just be glad that TSA is not in charge.


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  1. PRI
    PRI Author 13 January, 2010, 18:08

    Right. I have a saying: Any government that makes you go through a metal detector when you visit its offices is too big.

    – John Seiler

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  2. StevefromSacto
    StevefromSacto 14 January, 2010, 15:27

    Hey, it’s OK to tap our phones, or check out our reading material from the library, or monitor us in our bedrooms. But heaven forbid we should have to go through a metal detector.

    Reply this comment
  3. PRI
    PRI Author 14 January, 2010, 17:22

    It’s also disgusting that the California government, which spends $135 billion or more per year, can’t protect a young woman in the city of its very headquarters. So tell me again why we need government?

    Reply this comment

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