Please allow me this. I don't know whether to feel livid, or cocky and chalk one up for our freedoms. Let me explain, and why I feel that the state of affairs in commercial aviation is a crock and pathetic to say the least.
I just dropped my fiance off at KSMF for her flight to KPDX. Fine, no problem. Security line is through to the back of the parking garage because people flying out decided it would be wonderful to save money by putting their liquids in gallon sized bags. crazy as that is, I can't complain about the lines as I'm going through the handicapped aisle, as my fiance is blind and I'm escorting her to her gate.
She goes through the checkpoint, being escorted through by a TSA lady at the checkpoint. Another TSA guy waves me through. As I'm waiting for our stuff to come back from being scanned, the lady looks at me sternly and asks where I came from. the lady saw me being my fiance!!! I told her that that guy waved me through, pointing towards the TSA man behind her. she then asks "Where is your property then!?" I reply "It's being scanned, it's coming out, I'm with the blind lady you escorted, here's my pass." She waves me through, muttering under her breath. Lovely TSA. They were already on my low list; they're even less now.
Rest of my time in the terminal is uneventful. She gets on her flight, and I head back to my car. Note: whenever I go out anywhere, my scanner is with me. I'm 2DME north of NCT, and I'm at the field. So I go back to my car, pull out my scanner, and watch the last few planes take off, including my fiance's. As it leaves, I get into my car, and then get surrounded by airport police and the county sheriff. they ask me what the radio is for, and I tell them. I am an aviation enthusiast, I listen to ATC comms, and I'm working on getting into ground school.. I get questioned by the sheriff (pull out ID, which I give him my license and US passport (note: I'm American Indian), asked why I have a scanner, what my job is, etc.). I tell them all they need to know, as they're doing a background check of me (which all comes through clean).
They then tell me that they stopped me because people getting on the unloading saw me with a radio and thought I was a terrorist looking to see what I was doing and reported me. I laughed at it, because there was nothing I was doing wrong, including doing something that is legal, and that it's pathetic what this country has become, and that people are paranoid. Funnily enough, the sheriff and airport police believed me, they even laughed with me as I told them that not even 5 months ago, I was on a tour of SMF Tower, so they knew I had to be legit to even be able to step foot in there!
Anyway, they left without any further confrontation, but gave me a card to contact airport security/police in case I want to go planespotting or listening to ATC comms on their garage, so they are forewarned in case someone else decides to call me a terrorist and cause a scene, leading to my eventual 'arrest'.
So like I said.. I can chalk it up as one for the aviation enthusiast expressing his freedoms, or bitterness towards the flying public for their government instilled paranoia.
What say you?