With the preliminary 9/11 staff reports coming in and all the faults being pointed out, it may serve us well to look again at airport security.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I traveled from Albuquerque to Atlanta, from Atlanta to New York, and New York back to Albuquerque. Before flying from Atlanta to New York, my wife absentmindedly left a steak knife with a loaf of bread in her backpack. Though her bag was scanned, she got through.

In New York, we marveled at the incident but decided it was an aberration. She then forgot to take the knife out. On our way back to Albuquerque, her bag was again scanned at La Guardia airport and again the knife went through. Mind you, we are talking about a long serrated knife with a point, not a butter knife.

At first, we believed that because she was carrying our baby, she was let through. But that would mean a terrorist would only need to find parents who are willing to martyr their baby in order to get a weapon onto a plane.

Additionally, airport security should be wary of such tricks, and in fact my wife was stopped on other trips though she was with our baby. We then thought that perhaps the knife was at a strange angle, but it's unlikely that it was at the same angle each time she casually placed her bag on the conveyor belt.

The truth is we don't know how she got the knife through twice. But we suspect that she isn't the only one in the entire country that accomplished this feat. After 9/11, a few of my well-meaning friends toyed with the idea of handing out knives to all passengers to avoid future hijackings.

It's an interesting idea, but so long as we are making so much effort to avoid the single weapon that terrorists wield, perhaps it is time to redouble our efforts at security, remind airport security to take the routine elements out of their jobs and treat every day like its their first day at work, and upgrade the technology we rely on to scan carry-on luggage.

Author Sankara Saranam holds a BA in religion from Columbia University and an MA in Sanskrit and Classic Eastern Texts from St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Following extensive travels in India and the Middle East, he founded the Pranayama Institute, a nonprofit organization that offers no-cost instruction in hatha and raja yoga techniques.

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