Monday, November 22, 2010

This is getting ridiculous!

Okay, I want to be safe when I travel the same as the next person.  I appreciate the people who work hard everyday to make sure that my family is safe in our homes, on the road, at our businesses and schools, etc.  HOWEVER, I do think that the whole TSA pat down of a 4 year old is a bit excessive.  Now, from one point of view, I understand that if you exclude children under twelve from security measures, then terrorists will use their children under twelve for bomb smuggling, or at least that's the argument I've heard.  From another point of view: this past weekend at SLC international airport, a small boy was patted down several times.  The father finally got frustrated with TSA and pulled the kid's shirt off, but TSA was still unsure and needed further handling of the boy to assure themselves that there was nothing under the boy's clothing.  SERIOUSLY!  This is awful!  How many background checks have been done on TSA agents?  Have they undergone rigorous training and sex offender backgrounds?  Would they be willing to show me these credentials if I asked them?  At what point is this too much security and not enough privacy?
I agree that something needs to be done.  However, this scares me.  I've supported the "random" flagging in airports, even when my family members are always "randomly" flagged (we happen to have a middle eastern grandfather and, therefore, last name).  I've supported the taking off of shoes, belts, hairbands, etc.  Even though this makes it miserable to travel - especially when you have little ones.  I've supported needing a driver's license and even bringing a copy of my daughter's birth certificate to prove she's mine.  However, if someone wants to pat down my child, then decide that they weren't sure of what they "felt" and need to try again, they can think again.  I better see credentials, background checks, and a warrant demanding the search.


Drew said...

I _absolutely_ agree. They are treating everyone like criminals. Tight and professional security is one thing, but invasion of basic human privacy and indecent familiarity from strangers is going too far.

Miri said...

I agree, Sam. It's unbelievable. (Haha... My mom is ALWAYS "randomly" selected for additional searching, and she doesn't even have the Middle Eastern last name going for her.) Anyway. Like you said, I can understand the rest of the stuff (although I'm less supportive than you are). But subjecting children to this kind of treatment is ridiculous.

People seem to be operating under the belief that because there's a danger, anything is acceptable. At least that's where it looks like it's going. 1) I don't agree with that policy. And 2) I just think it's sad that as crappy as they make life for travelers, they will never be able to guarantee safety.