The TSA Controversy

David Epps's picture

So, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is instituting new screening procedures for the flying public. One method involves a sort of X-ray that is apparently pretty revealing. The other is an “enhanced pat-down.” Plenty of people are terribly upset about this claiming that the procedures violate privacy and are a violation of the 4th Amendment prohibitions against unlawful search and seizure. I am not among those people.

I take between 24 and 30 flights each year, enough to qualify me as an “expert traveler.” I even have an “elite status” card from an airline. I have learned to pack lighter, dress in ways that get me through the security stations quicker and I get to the airport in plenty of time. Someone asked me once, “Why do you get to the airport so early?” “Because,” I replied, “I don’t want to do an O. J.” (A reference to an old Hertz commercial that has O. J. Simpson running through an airport). “Besides, it didn’t work out too well for O. J. so I arrive in plenty of time to take the stress off.”

Twice or more a month I submit to the security procedures. I take off my coat, empty my pockets, drag out my lap top, remove my belt, take off my shoes, go through the screener, and occasionally get “wanded.” Now, I will have to submit to the other procedures. I am fine with that. I want to arrive alive and I don’t get what the angst is all about.

“Well, a screener might see you naked!” In that case, I pity the poor screener. The screeners will see thousands of people a day for a maximum of 10 seconds each. Hardly a peep show. “Well, you might get groped!” While I don’t care for that very much, I think the alleged groper will be just as uncomfortable as I am. Still, I want to arrive alive. Besides, estimates are that only two percent of passengers will ever be “X-rayed” and only five percent will be “groped.”

While I think that a certain amount of profiling should be used, I take comfort in the fact that every passenger on board has been through the same security procedures I have experienced. True, the terrorists all fit a certain profile but there are lots of people out there who are just plain nuts. The screening procedures may also protect us from the weirdos and nasty people among us.

Every year the TSA confiscates multitudes of weapons such as knives and firearms from people who try to fly who are not people who “fit the profile.” From 2002-2005, airport security confiscated an average of 14,000 potential weapons per day—including a machete and an AK-47. Some check points report discovering two firearms per day. The world is a dangerous place and not all the dangerous people are Islamic radicals.

Freedom of movement in this country is taken for granted and is seen as a right. But flying is not a right. There are alternatives—the bus, a car, the train—all of which have lesser security measures. The government, under Presidents Bush and Obama, has done a very credible job of keeping planes in the air and making air transportation safe. There hasn’t been a 9/11 since—well, since 9/11. If the price for that success is enhanced screening techniques, so be it. If someone doesn’t wish to comply then just get out of the line and let the rest of us through. We just want to arrive alive.

 David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. (www.ctkcec.org) He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and is the mission pastor of Christ the King Fellowship in Champaign, IL. He may be contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org.

wennieL
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There's nothing wrong in

There's nothing wrong in implementing additional procedure for security purposes. I just hope that the procedure will be implemented in a proper way and no racial issues would occur. Georgetown University journalism teacher and feminist Muslim reform activist Nomani believes that it's time for the United States to be realistic when it comes to homeland security, instead of being politically correct. I found this here: Feminist Muslim reform activist argues for racial profiling Racial and religious profiling would handle airport security issues in a more practical fashion, she argues in a recent Daily Beast op-ed. This serves as a pointed judgments of the perceived ineffectiveness of the TSA's present security methods.

PTC Observer
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Pastor Epps - Ye of too much faith

You have too much faith in the government to provide you with a safe journey.

I can think of many many ways that would make your journey unsafe, with or without a TSA. So can you if you think about it. I am sure our enemies are thinking as well.

Don't go off to the airport thanking the government for providing yet another "service".....jobs program. The government can't protect us from suicidal personalities.

Only God can do that.

Courthouserules
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Airport screening

I thin k I agree with nearly everything you said.

However this strict screening will relax before too long--just as has the color code system for alerts. Remember when all of us were supposed to help patrol our lakes, dams, etc., when out, to keep terrorists from blowing the dams or poisoning our water?

You are correct in that there are far more regular American "nuts" who try to take machetes, etc., aboard than terrorists.

I expect right now terrorists are working more to blow up freight planes with packages than they are trying to kill plane passengers. Keeping freighters slowed down costs us economically more than does one plane of passengers. Lives mean little to them anyway.

Also, we have had more "fruitcakes" in the USA sending "white powder" to each other than terrorists.

I think as soon as we get out of the middle east wars, terrorism here will practically vanish except for the citizens here who are sympathetic.

Cyclist
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CHR$ - Terrorists

Let me introduce you to Mohamed Osman Mohamud. Yet another naturalized U.S. citizen - this one from from Somalia - that wanted to kill in the name of Jihad. Fortunately, the FBI had him in their sights.

Courthouserules
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cyclist

He was one of our own citizens--who right now are far more dangerous than terrorist attacks in the US.

How about Barack Hussein Obama?

Cyclist
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Well CHR$ I don't know.....

Is he a terrorist too?

Courthouserules
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I thought maybe you weren't sure!

Maybe we should change our names to Clopburnisky so no one will automatically assume that we are not American.

Maybe, Corolone, or McNeal, or O'Reilly, or Sanchez, or Klausburger, or weinstein, Eichman, Cuomo, Kennedy, Roosevelt, Nixon, Eisenhower, Sizissky,
Moses, De La Torree, LaFayette, Toyoda, Ford, Chevrolet, Campbell, Wu, Wo,
Won, Tonsoup, anyhing but Karzi or Saddam. Klutzenburger is OK for football players.

Cyclist
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Won Ton soup

You funny man.

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