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At least my money is secure - Greg Gelpi

Grabbing the handle to the side door, I gave it a little tug, but found that it was locked.

Checking the parking lot, cars were scattered all about.

I proceeded to the front of the building to try another door, but again no luck.

Peering inside, I spotted customers moving around conducting business and I glanced at my watch to make sure it wasn't closing time. Noticing a sign on the front door, I realized that I had to wait to be let in by someone inside.

Getting the green light I continued inside, finding a gauntlet of security to my surprise. Traveling through the metal detector I continued on.

Finally making it to the bank teller, I began my transaction, only to be alarmed again by the tight security. Signing my name and providing identification, the teller slid an inkpad to me and required that I give a thumbprint on my checks.

She then asked for a chart of my genetic code, my dental records and a copy of my baptismal certificate.

Okay, maybe I exaggerate a wee bit, but the metal detector, door access and thumbprint are completely accurate.

Now, consider this security in light of recent news in which someone sneaked box cutters and other questionable materials on to two Southwest Airlines planes.

Certainly, I'm comforted in knowing that at this financial institution my bank account is safe from identity theft, but I'm about as comfortable as a guy sleeping on a bed of nails when it comes to airport security.

If there is a breach in security at my bank, the worst thing that would happen is that money gets stolen, but if a breach occurs at an airport, we have witnessed that the effects are much worse.

Progress is being made. Security is getting tighter, but we still have a long way to go.

Unlike many, I like having my privacy invaded in the name of security. Flying on a plane or doing business with a bank is a privilege, not a right.

I've walked into many restaurants that display signs saying the restaurant reserves the right to refuse service.

I didn't test it out, but if I would have refused to place my thumbprint on my check I'm sure service would have been refused to me.

In the same fashion, security should be tightened not with convenience or privacy in mind, but safety of those who choose to fly and the safety of those on the ground.

If a college student allegedly exercised civil disobedience by testing airport security, what can a trained terrorist with the time, financial backing and motives do with the same security setup?

Greg Gelpi covers schools and government issues for the News Daily. He can be reached at ggelpi@news-daily.com or at (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.