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Prodding airport security

March 30, 2003|Michael T. Jarvis

While many actors wait tables to finance their acting careers, Dean Cameron is trying to demonstrate his belief in the Bill of Rights by selling the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution on a small metal card that is suitable for confiscation by airport security.

Cameron -- who plays Deputy Press Secretary Derek Larner on the NBC political drama "Mister Sterling" -- says he invented the "Security Edition" metal card before "Mister Sterling" came along. "I did the Bill of Rights over a year ago. It's just a happy coincidence."

Surprisingly, airport security employees never permanently confiscate his rights card. "They usually take it away and they always give it back. One security guy recently said to me, 'Here's your Bill of Rights back. Hey, that sounds kind of funny, doesn't it?' I just stared blankly."

Cameron, no stranger to politics (his mother was the first female district attorney in Oklahoma), says the Bill of Rights idea came after a discussion with magician Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller. "I was whining to Penn and said, 'I should make the Bill of Rights on metal.' "

When he did, the results surprised him. "I've sold about 2,000 of them on www.securityedition.com. It's pretty amazing. After another thousand I'll turn a profit. One woman had one confiscated, but I think she was antagonizing them. I get a lot of e-mail and it's all positive."

The American Civil Liberties Union has bought the "Security Edition" for its volunteers, said Cameron, a self-described hard-core Libertarian, who is doing voice-overs while working for an Internet game company and awaiting word on "Mister Sterling's" renewal. In the meantime he'll keep selling the Bill of Rights.

"It's just sort of a tantrum," he explains. "It's not really a protest. It's a crazy little thing. It's just a stupid thing."

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