Students and fans of Texas Tech University share a hand sign to show their school pride: holding up a finger and thumb in the shape of a gun. The school’s “Red Raider” mascot is armed, and this developed as a fun way to signal their allegiance. Sports fans all over the world tend to come up with things like that.
Well, the TSA — at Houston’s airport, of all places — somehow wasn’t familiar with this one. And somehow thought a finger gun gesture was a danger.
Texas Tech student Diana Durkin got herself in hot water with the agency after she gave the gun sign to a fellow Red Raider fan in the security checkpoint line. “I see somebody wearing a Texas Tech hoodie,” Durkin told Everything Lubbock. “I love my school, I love Texas Tech. I’m so proud to be a Red Raider so I see it and I’m like, ‘Hey!’ (with a gun hand symbol for the school).”
Durkin said she had returned home to Houston to help her mother with her business — it had been flooded out by Hurricane Harvey. On her last day before returning to campus, she overslept and rushed to the airport. That’s when she saw a fellow Texas Tech fan, and threw up the sign as a greeting.
“Durkin said a TSA officer pulled her out of line based on waving a gun symbol in the air. After a thorough pat down, baggage check, and [checking] her identification cards, TSA let her go with a warning,” Everything Lubbock reports.
Sounds like Durkin should have used that same finger and thumb to form an “L” on her forehead for the TSA officer.
I’m sorry, but a finger gun is not a deadly weapon. It could be used as a threatening gesture, but it doesn’t sound like Durkin’s behavior could have possibly given that impression — especially to someone supposedly trained to monitor suspicious activity.
While in Texas.
Throughout its existence, the Transportation Security Administration has captured precisely zero terrorists — though it may have employed some. It continues to badly fail at halting actual suspicious individuals and items during unannounced drills.
Remember when a school lost their crap over a kid eating a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun? This is at about that level of stupid. TSA has actual lapses in security they should be worrying about instead.