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.