Word is TSA is moving toward review and revision of airport check-in procedures. This is good. But I’m tempted to say “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Since the agency was formed in the wake of 9/11 it’s pretty much done whatever it wants to do. This is to say with news of any threat anywhere, TSA has added new, perplexing, and ever more personally invasive requirements for getting past security and on to ones gate. For a lot of travelers it’s become a toss-up as to whether they feel safer or just hassled to distraction.
I’ve written on this subject several times, I guess, because I travel so much. I see the inconsistencies from port to port, and I’ve been subjected to more than my share of odd requirements—take your belt off; no, you don’t need to take off your belt; put your shoes on the conveyer; no, put your shoes in the bins; take everything out of your pockets; come on through, it doesn’t matter you forgot to move a pen from your pocket to a bin. And so it goes.
I’ve also seen what I consider outright invasions of a person’s bodily space—not mine, but other passengers who’ve been chosen for pat-downs. This should not happen to citizens in a free country, because it treats them as criminals without benefit of probable cause, trial of ones peers, or a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Passengers have had it and are complaining loudly and more often to Washington.
I’ve maintained all along that there’s got to be a better way. Now TSA is finally admitting there may be, hence the openness at least to review the system. The agency is under political pressure and I hope it continues until intelligent changes are made.
I’m not anti-TSA, despite how this piece may sound. I’m certainly not anti-security. I am against knee-jerk reaction, un-reviewed procedures, lack of choice, inconsistency, and until perhaps now, a willingness to consider creative alternatives.
So, here’s hoping rational adult minds will prevail and we can return to some kind of normalcy that respects individual citizen’s rights and affirms propriety and freedom along with law and order.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011
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