I’ve been concerned about the new Transportation Security Administration screening procedures and many passengers’ reactions. I’m disheartened by the negativity of some of the responses. “Don’t touch my junk” has become this year’s “Don’t tase me, bro.” What has become of America’s can-do attitude?
Instead of dwelling on the negatives (and I readily admit there are many), it might be more productive to focus on solutions. First and foremost, the TSA should drop the “virtual” from what opponents are calling “virtual strip searches” and make them real.
Under this scheme, all passengers should remove their clothing and place them in bins before heading through the screening gate.
It’s a natural progression from older screening procedures. We already remove our shoes, why not remove everything else?
There are many upsides, including the fact that it would eliminate the electronic scanners that some fear exposes passengers to potentially harmful levels of radiation. It would also ax the heavy frisking is currently the alternative for those scanners.
In addition to making it harder (but not impossible) to conceal harmful objects, perhaps terrorists with nudity taboos would be deterred by the large number of naked people in the terminal. I think that my presence alone would deter at least some people.
After the screening, passengers would get their clothes back (just like their shoes today). I would rather that the TSA issue pocket-less sweatsuits for passengers to wear during the flight, but that may be too difficult to enact.
I can understand the concerns that people would have about being seen nude, but it would eliminate any direct physical contact from either electronic radiation or TSA agents.
Of course, I make my modest proposal in jest, but some are apparently planning to go through security checkpoints while wearing kilts … in the traditional fashion.
The TSA was unlikely to make everyone happy, but it should have done a better job of justifying and explaining why its new procedures are vital to the nation’s security and why any intrusion on passengers’ rights was necessary and minimized. Not only is that a good idea, it’s the law.