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TSA interrogates Texas Tech student for making school salute

‘I’m just really dumb’

Word of advice for air travelers who don’t want to waste their time any further: Don’t make hand gestures while waiting in line.

A Texas Tech sorority member nonchalantly made the school’s signature hand gesture – a “finger gun” – when she saw a fellow Tech student waiting to go through screening. That’s when the Transportation Security Administration sprung into action.

Diana Durkin, a Houston native returning to school after taking a semester off to help her hurricane-hit family, told BuzzFeed News that an agent pulled her out of line and informed her she can’t make the shape of a gun with her fingers in an airport:

She says she was terrified, thinking to herself, “Oh my gosh, they think I’m a terrorist,” and, “Oh my gosh I’m going to jail.”

“I’m just sitting there, almost in tears, like, ‘No, I’m just really dumb, I’m not a terrorist!’”

She went through a full screening and patdown, but said she was eventually let go after promising to never attempt finger-based bonding with fellow Red Raiders at the airport.

The “guns up” salute (preceded by the phrase “wreck ’em”) is how students and alumni greet each other and how they celebrate victory, according to the university:

The sign can be traced back to L. Glenn Dippel, a 1961 alumnus of Texas Tech. He and his wife Roxie were living in Austin and faced the daily presence of the “Hook ’em Horns” hand sign used by University of Texas fans. So, the Dippels decided to retaliate. They looked to mascot Raider Red and his raised guns for their inspiration and in 1971 developed the Guns Up hand symbol. The Saddle Tramps and Texas Tech cheerleaders immediately adopted Guns Up and a new tradition was born.

Read about her ordeal and the history of “guns up.”

h/t Fox News

IMAGE: Troy Tarpley/YouTube


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Add to the Discussion

  • Bob

    Wreck ‘em! FYI, it was the tradition of every former Texas-based member of the Southwest Conference (Texas Tech, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, SMU, Rice, Houston + Arkansas) to have a hand-sign and “_______ ‘em” motto (e.g., A&M’s Gig ‘em, Baylor’s Sic ‘em, UT’s Hook ‘em, etc.). The hand signs were unique to the SWC but have now spread to certain schools at other conferences (e.g., USF, Arizona State, Oklahoma State (that for some reason adopted Tech’s hand-sign), Louisville, etc.).

  • Charles James Napier

    Wreck em, Security Kabuki! TSA has stopped so many incidents by harassing sorority girls.

  • rickbooker

    It’s plain as day it wasn’t loaded. Maybe TSA needs to pay attention to things that really matter. Maybe, MAYBE next time the inspector general’s office test them for efficiency they will at least catch ONE of the ten objects smuggled past these agents and onto a plane.

  • peckerwood

    I’m suspecting that there must be an IQ limit, and a rather low one, for TSA airport security workers.

  • Steve

    The only job more boring than being a TSA agent must be the Maytag repair man.
    These guys are absolutely desperate to make a bust, 20 years in.