Ya'll bear with me. I feel a soapbox moment coming on:
For the past three days, Tony and I have been watching the nightly news reports about the TSA screening procedures. And how hard they've been trying to make them into a controversy. Oh I know, I know, that pilot complained that he was getting groped, and now the pilot's unions are advising a ban on the screenings. And Rosemary Fitzpatrick, a CNN employee, talked about how violated she felt about a pat-down after her underwire bra set off a detector. And each night, the news finds more people who give little sound bites like "invasion of privacy" and "molested at the airport" and "Extreme TSA procedures". And I get that. No one likes to be poked and prodded and looked at in a full body scanner by a stranger.
But you know what I hate worse? Terrorists blowing up the plane I'm riding in.
And given the choice between the two, I'm going for the scans and pat-downs every time.
I feel sorry for the TSA. People complained that they weren't doing enough to stop contraband items from sneaking through airports. So they tried to be more thorough. Then everyone complained that the lines were too long, so they instituted new machines and technology. But no one liked those machines because it showed them without clothes, so the TSA offered pat-downs instead. Now the searches are "too personal". Give the poor screeners a break already! I seriously doubt they really want to see you naked or pat you down. Heaven knows I wouldn't want to see the general population naked either, xray machine or no. And actually touching you as you stand there encased in the little glass box with your dingy sock feet and your pajama bottoms and ratty "traveling" sweatshirt? Let's just say that however airport screeners get their thrills, chances are it isn't happening with you. It's their job, and they're trying to be professional about it.
I figure TSA screeners have the same kind of detachment as say, your gynecologist. They're looking for things that shouldn't be there, things that they need to find to keep you safe, and if that means looking at a grainy picture of you in your underwear or brushing against your bottom during a pat down, then so be it. I'll sacrifice my dignity to keep from being blown out of the sky, and I'm certainly going to sacrifice yours.
Don't get me wrong, if one of them violates procedure and uses their position for abuse, then I'm all for an investigation and the proper reprisals. But to give them grief for doing their jobs trying to keep us safe? It is the nature of the world we live in, my friends. As long as there are people out there trying to kill me, then I want other people out there doing their darnest to keep me safe.