As an infrequent flyer, I felt that Scott Wallace's criticism of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ["This Airport Security Doesn't Fly," Close to Home, Sept. 5] was on the mark. I particularly appreciated his explanation that the strange behavior about shoes is actually TSA policy.

Recently, at the Denver airport, I read the sign that said removal of shoes was suggested but not required. Having successfully passed through airport security a number of times in my shoes with no problem, I kept them on. I was then sent to a holding area until two guards took me away to check my shoes for metal and explosives.

This waste of my time and that of tax-paid guards was unnecessary. I have no objection to airport security checks or to following rules. The TSA sign simply could have said that checking shoes for explosives is mandatory.

When I politely asked the guard examining my shoes why the sign was not explicit, I received a load of bafflegab that tried to assert the contradiction that the sign was clear and also that the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prevented the TSA from being explicit about shoes.

I see no Fourth Amendment search-and-seizure issue here. All that I require of the TSA is clear instructions, quick work and no baloney.

Mr. Wallace joked that common sense in airport security is prohibited along with guns and knives. I think he was right.

JOHN HANSMAN

Rockville

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Hooray for Scott Wallace and his article on airport security. He mentioned cuticle scissors being "deadly." This touched an unhealed nerve.

Not long ago, my husband and I (both white-haired grandparents in our mid-seventies) were on our way to visit our son and his family in Arizona.

Of course, we were stopped at the inspector's station to ascertain whether we were carrying any "weapons of mass destruction."

Upon searching through my purse -- which alone makes a lot of women livid -- the screener came across my cuticle scissors. Holding them high, he said, "Ah-HAH!" He then threw them in the waste bin.

What a hero -- and how ignominious.

I'm still trying to forgive him.

BEVERLY WALKER

Silver Spring