With NYC now doing random bag checks on rapid transit and commuter lines, my friend writes in with this upsetting tale about her commute.

Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005 08:25:58 -0400
Subject: ARGH!!!
I’m so freaking angry! I was stopped today and searched!!! I was ticked off at the policy to begin with, now I’m ANGRY!!!
I was getting on the train 86th and Lex, dressed nicely, with my sunglasses and backpack. I took off my glasses when I saw them…I KNEW they were going to stop me. Sure enough, “M’am, could you step over there, we need to search your bag.” He knew I was angry when I turned around and asked him where. He pointed to a table and I dropped the backpack on top of it. They made me unzip it, flashed a light down in two (of the four) compartments, then let me go. It’s a ridiculous, ineffective policy. Not to mention IT VIOLATES MY RIGHTS!!! This is not a good way to start a Monday!

Upsetting for two reasons. First, have you ever been in the 86th and Lexington Subway at rush hour. Don’t go there. Really. Be late. Be early. Move to Brooklyn. It’s just not worth it.
Second, can someone show me a study that says that random bag checks will deter anyone from anything? I mean, when we have psychos shutting down Penn Station with an angry word do we really think there’s a dragnet effective enough to prevent someone who isn’t a nutcase from delivering a deadly blow in a random act or well-planned small-team attack?