The new airport security measures are beyond comprehensible. We, as a country, are so politically inactive that when the government decides to strip search our bodies we let them. And if we as an individual refuse the electronic strip, TSA reserves the right to grope us.
Now, after yelling at my husband for twenty minutes I do understand some of the counter arguments. First: If you choose to fly, then you give up some rights to privacy for safety. Here is a big problem with that: not everyone gets to choose to fly. Today, flying across the country for business is a part of the job for many workers (I can think of at least one member of my family). These flight requirements were a part of the job long before these new security measures were added. Surely the government is not forcing its citizens to choose between a violation of privacy and their job security? Now personally, I can choose not to fly at this point in my life. I don’t have to visit other countries or fly to other states if the new security measures are too invasive for me, but this is not just about me. There are people, pilots for instance, who have done their job well for year and have never been a threat to national security, and now they are virtually stripped daily. What can they do otherwise? Their job is on the line.
Second argument: if we don’t advance security measures, then the terrorist will eventually find a way to get around them. So instead of screening likely suspects (lets face it, big brother has profiled most “terrorists” already based on phone calls and emails, all in the name of national security), the government has decided to treat all citizens equally: we are all potential terrorists. This shows a complete break down of trust between the government and its citizens. How is targeting everyone serving the interest of anyone? It seems to me the increased security measures have helped to prevent many terrorist attack already. I don’t know how much more effective these new scanners are. Terrorist are always going to terrorize; it is kind of their life ambition. As a country, we cannot allow this terror to rule our lives. We cannot assume that on every flight there is someone trying to commit an act of terror. There needs to be some belief in the good of man.
Now this is not to say we shouldn’t take precautions. There are plenty of precautionary measures in place that have done an excellent job preventing any more terrorist attacks in the United States. In fact, the scariest threat of terrorism I have faced in recent days was earlier this fall when a terrorist was caught placing what he thought was a bomb in a Wrigleyville trash can here in Chicago. Now this was a government frame job: the purpose was to see how far this extremist would go without putting anyone in harms way. They apprehended the man; successfully stopping any terrorist attacks he may have committed in the future. Now I have several problems with this (it feels very “Minority Report”/entrapment to me), but the point is, most threats from terrorist in the United States are coming from the ground. The two men from Yemen who were caught doing a practice run, were focusing on a European target. But guess what, we caught them before anything happened: the security in place was successful.; maybe not flawless but it did the job.
Third argument my husband made was there is nothing we can do about it. This argument made me furious. Write a letter to your senators, your representatives, and your president! Start a petition. Tweet in protest. Send out mass texts about how wrong it is. Start a Facebook group. Hold a rally. Vote. This is your government. It is for the people. If the people don’t particularly like having to suffer through naked body scans or serious frisking, then they have a right to do something about it. If people make waves, something will happen.
Fourth argument was the scanners do not take pictures. That’s not my point. My point is, aside from my husband, no one should be allowed to see me naked or feel me up. I should have some rights over my body and these rights should not be denied when I go to an airport. Humans have dignity owed to them just due to being human. TSA viewing my body is humiliating. My government has decided that I –a voting, honest, hardworking citizen– am a threat to national security. And so are you. How do you defend against that? Maybe part of the reason we feel like we can’t do anything is due to the government taking away our human dignity. We have certain unalienable rights and these shouldn’t be suspended because of the fanatics in our society.
The simple solution: Terrorists knock it off!
Clearly this will not happen, so the other solution is to stand up for your rights, believe that most people are good, and not let the government continue to invade our privacy!