Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Airport Security? do you feel safe?

I decided to join the crowd and support national Opt-Out day tomorrow: I will refuse to go through the full body scanner at the airport. Unfortunately I am not flying anywhere, so no one will see my refusal but it’s the principle of the thing goll durnit. And the images those scanners provide? Of course they are laughing at you, and no matter what the official position is, some of those images will work their way out.



Why do we put up with these restrictions on our lives and personal rights? I thought the new Republicans and Tea Party members voted in were all for individual rights, keeping the government out of our business and lowering the overhead of government; why aren’t they all screaming about the increased security at airports?

What’s that you say, “I feel so much safer flying” – look at all of the other things you don’t really care about. In 2008 almost 14,000 people were killed by drunk drivers in the US. Medical errors in hospital settings cause between 50,000 and 100,000 deaths every year. How many people have been killed in terrorist attacks in the US? You are more apt to die every time you get in your car then when you get on an airplane.

How many hours are wasted? I get to the airport at least an hour earlier than I used to, just in case the lines at the security checkpoint are long. This Thanksgiving holiday weekend it’s estimated that 26,000,000 people will be flying; at an hour apiece that is a heck of a lot of time wasted just because of security procedures. Are you safer because if them? Every story I read says that none of the terrorists, from the 9/11 guys to the shoe bomber to the guy with explosives in his underwear, would have been detected by the x-ray or full body scanners in use. Not able to take that bottle of water, shampoo or infant formula on the plane because it’s over 3 ounces? What the heck is up with that?

Our local paper is filled with editorials against the security procedures. One columnist has a 14 year old daughter that has cancer and has been in a wheel chair for years. Every time they fly she goes through a full body pat down, no matter how much he protests. Older people with metal hip and knee replacements suffer the same indignities. How many kids diapers have been probed for safety?



If this has happened to only one kid it's not worth it.

If the intent of the terrorists is to disrupt our society I would say they have done a pretty good job. The last threat – bombs in printer cartridges – probably would not have even exploded, but the increase in searches because of it has been tremendous. I have stopped flying for ‘nearby’ trips; under 1000 miles or so – I’d rather drive, even if it is more dangerous. We go to San Diego and San Francisco periodically, and I’d rather take a day each way to drive, it seems like the six hour drive to San Diego would take about the same amount of time as wasting in the airport, travel to from and the hour flight.

I would have no problem flying if they gave up those security checks altogether. Take away the lines and the scanners and the searches and just let me go. Follow the European model and just have some good profilers asking questions, and stop being invasive. There are lots of articles on the web and on TV about how the Israelis do it, with less wasted time. In the US we empty airports if there is a ‘suspicious package’ while in Europe they just clear a small space and put the thing in a box. Come on, how far do we have to go? If our security agencies just keep getting more paranoid perhaps it’s time for congress to just say enough is enough, and let us go about our lives.

11 comments:

Will said...

Asking congress to be logical? Using common sense as a security process? Surely you jest.

The Blonde Duck said...

George Orwell predicted all this.

Shirls said...

I totally understand where all this backlash is coming from. Interesting article here about which laws these measures violate, if any:
http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/2010/11/19/do-the-new-tougher-airport-security-measures-violate-any-laws/

Megan (Best of Fates) said...

Ugh - those whole scanners just freak me out!

Don said...

Well said. In my current lifestyle we don't do much flying and I'm sure glad! You are right that the terrorists have won.

SOL's view said...

Since Australia always seems to follow in the footsteps of the US, I am wondering how long before they are over here....

Rob said...

I don't fly often enough for the (admittedly less invasive) security in Europe to upset me too much. Unless I'm running late, which is usually my own damn fault, I rather enjoy people-watching in the queues for security. What DOES annoy me is the inconsistency of it all, Fly from Edinburgh to London and take off shoes, belt, get patted down. Return home the same day, none of the above. Maybe I should try wearing my "I am not a terrorist, I'm just bearded" T-shirt: then I'd get the full treatment every time. (Or indeed the one I bought in India a few months after 9/11, showing the twin towers exploding, with a big red circle and a line through it and the slogan SAY NO TO TERRORISM.)

As for body scanners, anyone who has to see what I look like in the nude deserves my sympathy. For every Kylie or Angelina they get to ogle they'll have ten thousand Homer Simpsons.

Froggy said...

How traumatic for kids. But there are people out there who would take advantage if there were a no kid search policy. Definitely training on dealing with children would be the only solution to this.

good work, Joe.

Pamela said...

I have hated flying the past 9 years. I always get pulled aside. I must look suspicious.

It is ridiculous -- we are being so PC that we allow ourselves to be accosted by our fellow Americans (I'm sure the screeners hate to have to feel us old grannies up)
when we know darn well who the bad guys are.

Butterfly Kissez said...

I have to agree with you Joe. Like you said..how many airliners have been hijacked recently? People say well of course not NOW because of all the security. But even before that thousands of airliners per day were travleeing in airspace and yes 9/11 was extremely tragic and yes hundreds died but more people die in cars in one day than all those poor people on THAT day. I have always felt safe flying. Occassionally some crack pot with too much booze under his belt will try something but now our personal space is being invaded and travelling has become quite horrific. I have American cousins who are so paranoid about everything. They won't accept parcels we send without checking with us first that it was actually us that sent it. So yes the Terrorists did win. They wanted fear in Western society and they got it.

WordProcessor said...

It's all about the dollars as is everything in the US. The faux security provides thousands of patronage jobs. Get it?