How Much Airport Security Is Too Much?
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means lots of Americans will be traveling in order to spend the holiday with their families. In addition to increased highway traffic, the holiday season means an increased number of flights. However, with certain upgraded security measures going into effect at many major airports, many passengers probably won’t be feeling too thankful.
The Transportation Security Administration has already begun implementing full-body imaging machines. These machines allow security personnel to see through one’s clothing in order to make sure a passenger isn’t sneaking any weapons or banned substances on the plane.
If that sounds like too much for you, you can opt out of the full-body imaging, but there’s a catch, of course. The catch is you must then allow airport security to do an enhanced “pat down.” This consists of having a security guard of the same sex pat you down quite thoroughly, including putting his/her hands in private areas as part of what is known as a “groin check.”
Even more interesting, these types of images can be (and often are) stored, which is more than a little creepy. Big Brother really may be watching. One woman has even filed a complaint saying she believes she was targeted for such a scan because of her looks. While we understand these upgraded security measures are for our overall safety, where do we draw the line?
Even pilots and other airport personnel are asked to submit to the same types of screenings, which are drawing ire from highly respected pilot Capt. C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger, among others.
We must realize the TSA is in a bind. We expect to be safe when we travel, and no one would want to risk never reaching their destination because of some sort of explosion or hijacking. If another incident like this were to happen, many would probably be quick to say that strong enough measures were not taken to prevent it. The age-old adage of “better safe than sorry” seems to come into effect here. While these types of searches are certainly intrusive and uncomfortable, they seem to be a small price to pay as opposed to loss of life.
Furthermore, the TSA shows no signs of budging on this issue, so the only way to avoid either the full-body scan or the authorized groping seems to be finding another means of transportation. If that isn’t an option, we say go for the scan. Getting felt up before the flight is definitely not the way to go.