Tuesday, November 23, 2010
There's a growing rage among air travelers against the Transportation Security Administration's new measures to prevent acts of terrorism. The public outcry centers on the 400 new full-body scanners at 70 of the nation's airports, over what some believe is an invasion of privacy, and inappropriate physical contact during the more extensive pat-downs for those who opt out of the scanning. As one irate flyer warned TSA officers during a pat-down last week in San Diego, "If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested."
But is this outrage representative of how a majority of Americans view the new anti-terror tactics or is all the fuss coming from just a very small band of protesters who are exaggerating the frustration and opposition of everyone else?
I can only speak for myself. After the horrific 9/11 attacks and the failed missions of both the shoe and underwear bombers, as well as the general daily threats we face from those who wish to blow us out of the sky, I say do whatever the hell you want to me if it means I get to go home alive at the end of the day. And if that means stripping me naked, so be it. Truth is, we're all half-naked at the X-rays now anyway. No jackets, no belts, no shoes...it's just a short hop to no pants or shirt. If you need to put a hand down my pants to check for explosives, grope away. In fact, dim the lights and serve me a glass of Chardonnay and I just might even enjoy it. When you consider all the indignities we already suffer at airports, a little groping is actually a fitting reward, no?
To be honest, I don't get all the outrage. I think it's quite foolish, actually. Have these Americans forgotten about the carnage of 9/11? Have the images of planes crashing into buildings, of bloodied dust-covered New Yorkers running for their lives, been erased from their collective brains? Are they so arrogant and in denial that they're gonna now stage boycotts and other planned disruptions at airports to protest the new measures? Like there's not enough frustrating inconveniences and delays as it is? What are they protesting against anyway, safety?
Listen folks, I have some distressing news for you. You're not that attractive and no one cares to see you naked. Seriously. Please put your narcissism in check. This ain't about you. Have you seen what most air travelers actually look like? It's not like a bunch of randy TSA cops are sitting in some dark room behind the scanning monitors going, "Oooh, here comes another fat 60-year-old, fellas!"
This is about safety and security. Mine, yours, and that of everyone who travels. It's about the safety and security of those working in office buildings, who don't want planes crashing into them. It's about winning. Winning the war against those who wish to destroy us wherever and whenever they can. And that includes the skies. I'm getting sick of hearing about how the new scanners and pat-downs "have gone too far." Funny how no one said that on September 12, 2001. How quickly some forget.