Personal Freedom Versus National Security: Grow Up, America!

The debate on personal freedoms versus national safety continue in the widening and inflammatory issue of TSA scans and pat downs.  Both sides have valid points.  The rancor is old hat, as we schizophrenic Americans once again want our cake and eat it too.

On the side of personal rights, this rancor reminds me of another issue.  Some people believe that the chipping away of our individual rights has happened ever so slowly and over a great span of time that citizens acclimate themselves to the process until, one day, like today with the invasive TSA pat downs, they realize freedom has been taken away from them.  This reminds me of the thirty- and twenty-somethings who have no clue as to what our health care and doctors’ visits used to be like.  When they need medical attention, any physician in  the many super-specialty, group practices will fill the bill.  There is no such thing as a doctor who has gotten to know the patient over years; there is no relationship.  The youngsters do not mind this because since they never experienced doctor-patient longevity, they do not even know what they are missing.

So it is with the ever-ratcheting up of the loss of our privacy at our airports.  What is interesting to me is the huge public outcry over the pat downs but virtually no outcry over the scanners.  What about the potential radiation liability?  At any rate, I understand the outrage over the very personal examinations.  On the other side of the coin, however, all we need is another terrorist attempt or actual attack on one of our airplanes and the ensuing accusations of inadequate protection will be a heck of a lot louder than the complaints about being felt up by the TSA.

Read this article on the indignation Americans are experiencing while being subject to the TSA’s gropings:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/21/tsa-pat-downs-passenger-anger_n_786493.html

The author, Adam Geller,  points the finger of blame at the fact that the TSA has not taken the time and effort to explain the rationale and procedures to the public.  Hogwash.  This is reminiscent of the Obama-naysayers who condemn his lack of promised legislation and policies of “change”  by pointing to his lack of explanation and communication with the people.  Let’s face reality: Americans are just pissed off at the gropings of the TSA and the moderate (versus totally liberal) ideology of President Obama.  Truly, both the TSA and President Obama have explained their actions over and over again.  That is not the true cause of our citizenry’s anger; they simply do not like the underlying policy.

To consider both sides of an issue requires maturity and the importance of compromise.  Americans, knee-deep in their cowboy mentality, have exhibited neither.  And so the debate will continue.  Are we being personally violated by the practices of the TSA, or are we willing to accept more risk in our skies to safeguard those rights?  Our multiple personalities will not cut it.  We have to be reasonable.    This is called adjusting to circumstances, which are ever in flux.  This is called growing up.

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3 Responses to “Personal Freedom Versus National Security: Grow Up, America!”

  1. squiggidy Says:

    Right on!!!! I am jumping on a couch Tom Cruise style and applauding you!!

  2. NatalieR Says:

    Israel can by asking a few questions get an idea of who is a risk and who is not. I say good for Israel. The US is NOT Israel. We are HUNDREDS of times bigger and the amount of people who fly into and out of the US eclipses Israel by yards.

    Likewise, this country being the gargantuan mammoth it is will have 92,000 different opinions about EVERYTHING. Too much TSA well that’s an invasion of privacy. Too little security and the underwear bomb in the terrorists pants goes off and brings down a plane with 200 people landing in a populated area and the public goes berserk blaming who ELSE but Obama. Even when the underwear bomber was subdued they blamed the president OF COURSE for being negligent. He is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

    Personally, I think the TSA has a hard job. I would NOT like to be the one patting 98 year old granny down OR ANYBODY for that matter. I surely would not want to pat down someone with a prosthetic breast.

    Allow me if you will to stretch my imagination. What if a woman who had a prosthetic breast and was of the woman’s age and she came from somewhere where someone convinced her to carry a bomb in it. Okay extreme right? NO NOT RIGHT. I wear a brace and I said to someone I guess they would not even check me. Who could I hurt? Answer: WRONG of COURSE they would check me. I could if I were a religious fanatic do anything. Of course i am anything but a religious fanatic and a non violent person but you get the point!

    Do you think those who would do harm to us are STUPID? Think again. What a perfect person to convince to do their dirty work someone who SEEMS so innocent.

    Bottom Line: You may THINK you know people but you DON’T. I say go head get your kicks pat me down. If the agents find just ONE person who was clever enough to hide something in a prosthetic device and that stops 200 people and more from dying a horrible death then I say it was worth it. Go ahead and pat me the general procedure just may save lives!

  3. EGR Says:

    I went through the scanner at LAX on my way to England. Didn’t bother me a bit. I don’t care if they search me all over (preferably outside only) as long as they do the same to everyone else. I want to be safe when (if!) I fly.

    I even asked them to send a copy of the xrays to my doctor – they looked at me like I was crazy!

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