HOUSTON - The “Guns Up” hand signal is a common salutation in West Texas. It's known as a friendly greeting between Texas Tech students and alums.
However, as one Kingwood woman recently found out, it’s a signal that can get you in trouble at an airport.
On January 6,2018, Diana Durkin, 19, was standing in the TSA line at Hobby Airport when she spotted a fellow Red Raider.
“I see somebody wearing a Texas Tech sweatshirt and I think, ‘Oh my goodness! I go to Texas Tech too!’ I had my arms raised and I was doing the “guns” symbol and I'm so excited!”
A TSA agent on the other had was less enthusiast.
“All the sudden a TSA agent was tapping on my shoulder,” Durkin explained. “She's like, ‘You understand you can't throw your hand up in a gun signal at an airport?’”
After submitting to a nerve-wrecking search Durkin was let go with a warning.
She then tweeted about the ordeal, writing, “In the airport security line and I see someone wearing a Texas Tech hoodie and I look at them and do the gun hand signal because wreck em amiright tsa is now pulling me aside to talk to me :((“
By the time Durkin landed in Lubbock her tweet had more than 5,000 likes.
“I was like, 'Oh this must be an error…like Twitter is glitching.” Durkin said.
Now her tweet has close to 40,000 likes and has been shared thousands of times.
“It's been on every platform! My aunt in New Jersey sent me a picture of me on the news today!” she said.
Even Texas Tech responded, tweeting “Sorry TSA, sometimes we just can't hide our excitement at seeing a fellow #RedRaider!”
“It’s just crazy to me. I never ever expected it to get this much attention. I kind of feel like a celebrity! I went on Tech’s campus today and I had people ask to take photos with me…which was just insane!” Durkin said.
As for the guy in line who unknowingly started all the hoopla...
“He never saw me. I went through all of this for absolutely nothing!” she said.
Although Durkin says she did learn a lesson about hasty airport hellos.
“If I see somebody wearing a Texas Tech sweatshirt, I'm just going to laugh to myself and think it's definitely not worth it this time.”