Smithsonian ‘Upgrades’ Its Security

I went to the Smithsonian (Air and Space and the Natural History Museum) during the long weekend, and the security now includes having to remove everything from your pockets as if it were an airport, having your items sent through a scanner, and walking through a metal detector. Since I was at the Smithsonian a few weeks ago, I’m pretty certain the scanner and emptying your pockets is new.

It’s also useless. Given the lines outside of the museum, that too is a target of opportunity–and I don’t anyone is really going to care which side of the front door any terrorist killings might occur.

At some point, this madness has to end. You should not have to undergo a security screening to visit a museum (and I’m old enough to remember when the Library of Congress didn’t care what you brought in; they did, however, put you through the wringer when tried to leave due to possible theft).

And if this means we have to reconsider all of the freedom bombs we like to drop, then so be it.

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4 Responses to Smithsonian ‘Upgrades’ Its Security

  1. Ross says:

    The scanners are comparatively new, but they go back at least a full year. They were there the last time I visited.

    The first time I remember actively noticing the security checkpoints was when the Enola Gay exhibit first opened back in, I think, 1995. I assume it’s been slowly ramping up since then.

  2. I have fond memories, as both a child and an adult, of just wandering into the various Smithsonian museums and looking around.

    I won’t go back. It gripes me no end to undergo security screenings at places.

  3. Kevskos says:

    I remember those days. I did most of the research for my High School term papers and the Library of Congress back in the late 70’s. I do remember the exit security screening because it was so unique. I also went to Congress a lot during the summer and there were no security checks except for the gallerias.

  4. Joe Shelby says:

    European museums, especially ones with really old artwork, have been increasingly the target of artistic terrorism by, well, nutcases. Not trying to hurt anybody, but someone once decided to take a chisel to David’s foot. The Uffizi’s works have also been targets of acid attacks (stopped before damage, but there we are).

    Crazy people don’t necessarily target people in their attacks.

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