I Won’t Fly Unless I Have To

We’re only a few weeks into the new TSA procedures and truth be told, I wasn’t going to write about this topic because it is such a hot button issue.  However, after I read a particular story today about the humiliation a woman went through when her maxi-pad became a cause for alarm, that was the last straw (I love how they called that thing a “feminine towel” too.  Come on!).

I absolutely and completely understand we need to be vigilant about our national security.  You won’t hear an argument from me there.  However, with the advances we have in technology today, is a body scanner that strips a person of his/her clothing (not to mention dignity) only to reveal as close to a near naked image of that person really necessary?  That’s my first beef about the process.

And the answer is no.  As a matter of fact, two weeks ago when the news was first circulated, there was an article somewhere that indicated there was a better alternative, one that wasn’t so revealing (if I can find the article, I’ll update).  The gist of it was a suggestion that a scanner be built that gives the outline of the body with color-coded images of potential hidden dangers that if detected, would cause the individual to be pulled asside and further subjected to a search for those items.

Two men on Northwest Airlines aircraft, one using typewriter, with female flight attendant in background

Now THAT I understand and could support. The idea that the current system allows for the possibility of those nearly-naked images to be inadvertently (or not) leaked to cyberspace is not very settling.  Not to mention, it has already happened!

Then there’s the pat down.  A pat down is one thing but a digging for the bra strap or into the panties is a bit much and yes, I am well aware there was the underwear bomber just a year ago.

There has to be a better way!  Bottom line.

Why can’t there be two scanners – the one we’ve been using up until two weeks ago AND the new one with the purpose of the new one being for those “random checks”?

Whatever happened to the random checks?  Now it’s if a person elects not to go through the high-tech scanner, they must be patted down.  Here’s a solution:  why can’t there be two scanners – the one we’ve all been using up until two weeks ago AND the new one with the purpose of the new one being for those “random checks”? Probably expensive.  Sure.  BUT, for a piece of mind for the average American who really isn’t doing any harm to their country, it’s worth it…in my very humble opinion.

As for whether or not the scanners will cause cancer, the scientific evidence proves otherwise and thus, I’m not concerned about that insomuch as I am concerned about my dignity – specifically, not leaving it in the hands of incompetent, (most likely) underpaid, improperly trained, sometimes excessive (not to mention, sometimes drooling) TSA staff.

Thus, you will not see me fly unless I have to.  I thank God I’m not a business traveler and that I live within a day’s drive of my home town.  There’s a blessing there.

Anyway, that’s my two cents in my very humble opinion.

I welcome yours as well but since this is such a hot issue, I only ask that if you comment, you be as humble about yours.*  In fact, here is an idea – prior to posting, please think about your answer carefully AND include a solution (like I did) rather than just complaining.  We have enough complainers in this society.  Don’t you think?

Image courtesy of the UW Digital Collections Photostream on Flickr.

*If I deem your post to be too combative, I won’t approve it.  That’s the beauty of a personal blog!


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