People everywhere are showing more and more concern over the enhanced security details as dictated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). They claim pat-downs and full-body scans are unnecessary and violate their personal right to privacy. Having just returned from studying abroad in London, I had a great deal of experience with airport security. From what I’ve seen with my own eyes I can say, chill out, it’s not that bad.
I traveled to four other European countries outside of the U.K. and managed to clear security smoothly. Disregarding the Heathrow snow debacle, I also made it back into the United States without a problem. I was never patted down, no one asked me for a body scan, and they didn’t let the dogs loose on me. No one around me underwent anything of that nature either. However, even if this had happened to me, I would not have minded.
It is very frightening to be living in a foreign country and learn that the threat level has gone up the day before you are scheduled to travel to yet another foreign country. When I lived through this, all I wanted to do was go home. Witnessing Airport Security take their time to search everyone thoroughly provided extra comfort. It kept me calm. I was able to enjoy my vacation.
I have nothing to hide. The majority of travelers have nothing to hide either. Citizens of a country give up certain rights to the government in exchange for security from that government. Travel is much the same. In a post-9/11 world, extra security measures have to be taken when it comes to aviation, or any other mode of transportation.
As soon as a person steps foot into an airport, security is responsible for that person’s life and the lives of other travelers. They should be able to do what they deem necessary to keep the people for whom they are responsible safe. They are not trying to abuse the individual; they are trying to ensure the safety of the group.
Pat-downs and advanced imaging are not a violation of personal space. The extra explosive detections are not designed to be invasive. They are precautions to ensure the safety of all persons in the airport or on the plane. Complaining about the new protocol does nothing but make the process longer.
In a time when new technology develops in the blink of an eye, it is important to understand that the same old detection methods and machines do not work anymore. As weapons evolve and offenders become bolder, so must security evolve with them. Terrorists don’t play by the rules. We cannot impede them if we don’t adjust our system to counter theirs.
That is precisely why the new security measures were developed and implemented. The Department of Homeland Security declared in a press release that the new protocols were applied to “more effectively mitigate evolving terrorist threats.”
I cheer them on as they do it. I’m not the only one either. In a recent poll 78 percent of the respondents approved of placing full-body scanners in airports. 67 percent were comfortable being examined by one. An overwhelming 84 percent believed such scanners and technology would be instrumental in halting terrorist attacks.
The fact is, they are correct. The extra security has worked. There has not been another attack. Attempts have been made, but the heightened security detected them in time to put a stop to them. People are still alive.
So go ahead. Search me.