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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Thursday, December 7, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Passing the Bra Exam

OK, I know some stories are punch lines unto themselves. What's the point of making fun of something if it's already hilarious?

But even the most entertaining events contain some underlying philosophical or legal issues worth exploring.

So let's explore the recent (and apparently not isolated) incident in which a woman was not allowed into a federal courthouse while wearing a wired bra.

Yeah, the thought of that deadly bra heading straight for me gave me pause, but it didn't seem as if anyone really thought the bra was going to be used as a weapon. Apparently these particular guards didn't trust their wands on a woman's chest.

OK, pretty silly.

Feel free to picture women jumping onto conveyor belts to go through scanners or whipping off bras and accepting dollar bills as they go into courthouses. I know I did.

But for me this sort of thing goes further. I ask myself a series of probing questions and end up with: Why don't gun nuts, I mean the NRA guys, protest metal detectors?

Many years ago before terrorists freaked us out, there was a shooting incident in the courthouse that I haunt and the reaction of officials there was to put in metal detectors.

My immediate reaction to this was: "You can shoot as many people as you want just so long as it's outside the building."

The very same shooting incident these people were reacting to could now occur again just as easily about 100 feet away. How was that an improvement?

If something bad happens inside a building, there's an enormous fuss and all sorts of money is spent on security (which, if you pay any attention at all to most of the guards, doesn't make you feel very secure).

If it happens outdoors, no one does a thing. No one guards the outdoors (or the Starbucks just outside the courthouse). Why should this make us feel safer?

Yet if we treated the outdoors the same way we treated the indoors, the gun nuts would, well, go nuts. After all, they wouldn't be allowed to have guns. It would be gun control.

Now follow the logic. That means we have gun control inside public buildings. And a lot of non-public buildings. Why isn't that a burning bogus Second Amendment issue?

Personally, I'd feel better with metal detectors everywhere - say, every ten feet. If there were bored people with wands and uniforms (i.e. security guards, not wizards) everywhere, we could breathe easier. And there would be no unemployment.

There would also be a lot less bra support.

EXCEPTIONS. Another thing that disturbs me just a tad is that some courthouses are making exceptions for attorneys. There are programs here and there that issue free passes past security checkpoints for lawyers.

Now think about some of the less stable lawyers you know. Come on. I know you know a few.

It's a frightening thought.

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