The Price to Fly Is Too Damn High


TSA gropingsMy apologies to Jimmy McMillan, but I had to adapt his slogan for my thoughts on the TSA mess.  I’ve come to the conclusion that there are three types of people in America. 1) Those that want to show up at the airport opt out of screening and throw a fit about the groping they end up getting; 2) Folks like my friend Nikki ( See her opinion here ), who are willing to put up with it for additional safety and to just get through the line and 3) people like me who have decided that the price to fly, is too damn high.  Let’s take a look at the three groups.

Group 1 : I understand their point of view, in fact I share it.  Americans should not be treated as if they are all guilty and have to prove their innocence.  And while attorneys will tell you that the TSA search is an administrative search and is not protected by the Fourth Amendment, it still feels wrong.  However, going to the airport specifically to cause a disturbance to make a point is the wrong way to go about it in my view.  First of all, I wonder about the increased security risk when agents are focusing on those making a point rather than the job at hand.   Second, it is not in my makeup to be a nuisance to other innocent people who are just trying to get to their plane on time.

Group 2: I know many people who are encouraged by the actions the TSA is taking.  You hear things like, “It’s a dangerous world and we need to do something.” or “I just want to get to my destination without any hassles.”  I understand and would agree to some extent if I actually believed that the security measures put in place were making us safer. However, I don’t believe that to be the case.  Most of the security measures enacted since 9/11 have been “security theater”, created specifically to answer the cry to “Do Something”.  Some simply feel better when they’re jumping through hoops because they feel like something is being done.  It doesn’t matter if it’s something effective.

Group 3: Here’s where I belong.  I share the beliefs of those in group 1, but instead of making a fuss at the airport I simply choose not to fly at all.  The price to fly is too damn high.  Benjamin Franklin said, “People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.”  I wholeheartedly believe that. We cannot be free if we give up that freedom to secure some safety and being safe without freedom is not life.  As I said on my radio program last Saturday, if we are willing to give up the right to control our own body and our dignity in order to feel we are safer, the terrorists are winning.  We can be safer, but not with the techniques we’re now employing. Pulling random people out of line for inspection doesn’t make it safer, it is simply playing security Lotto.  We know what the vast majority of terrorists look like, act like and where they come from. Frisking grandmothers from Dubuque for three-year-olds from Norfolk in no way makes us safer. In fact, it may be making us less safe since limited resources are being used to inspect the least likely to be terrorists.  Profiling, as politically incorrect as it is, is the only smart way to increase our security.  If it looks like a duck, quacks like a  duck and walks like a duck-check to see if it’s a duck.  But if it looks like dog, barks like a dog and walks like a  dog, don’t waste your time making sure it’s not a damn duck.

I would ask those of you who believe that “enhanced” security measures are unconstitutional and ineffective to do as I do. Simply do not fly. That should be our protest. Let those who disagree without our distraction. Do not cause disruption at the airports, simply drop out of the flying public.  Yes, I know there are those who will say that I am the one letting the terrorists win by not flying.  However, I’m choosing not to fly in protest of losing my individual rights, not out of fear of terrorists.

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About Larry Downes

Son, brother, husband, father, boss, mentor & friend. Believer in unfettered personal liberty. Occasional host on 93.1 WIBC in Indianapolis.

3 Responses to “The Price to Fly Is Too Damn High”

  1. If everybody felt the way that you do, i’d be out of a job. If you don’t like T.S.A. friskings, don’t wear women’s panties laced with I.E.D’s. Honestly, that’s over the top, Larry. As imperfect as it is, it is necessary. A little planning beforehand can minimize the delay of airport security searches.

    • I certainly don’t want to put friends out of work Curtis. But I think your analysis is incorrect. If enough people did what I suggest the TSA would have to realign their procedures to something that is actually effective. They would do that long before jobs were lost.

      Let me also say, I do not hold anything against the agents, it’s the lame policies that I think are out of line and ineffective.

      My main point is this, if you choose to fly, expect to submit to the TSA policies. Don’t hold up the lines and screw up the holiday for other passengers or distract the TSA officers from their work. If you cannot tolerate the policies, don’t fly.

  2. I don’t disagree too much, but the profiling is not an original concept; it has and will always be done from now on, so that aspect is kind of a mute point. Try sending 100 arabs in traditional garb, with funny packages int…o random airports, and I bet 95/100 get flagged and screened, despite the P.R. that tries to convince us otherwise. The annoying, invasive supposedly time-wasting, supposedly money-wasting search of random non-suspicious people is an important part of the “theater” too, which I don’t mind being a part of, provided ties to terrorist organizations are the ONLY criteria for detainment after the random search. It is, and rightfully-so, a show not for P.R. purposes alone, and not a scheme by the left to get our enemies to love us, but rather, it is done to show our enemies that you cannot thwart our system simply by finding an impressionable, misguided youth from Ohio to carry out an attack. If this was all it took to thwart the TSA, I suspect the more organized and well-funded terrorists would be working on this in earnest.

    And all-in-all, the whole airport security effort is in-part, a show. After all, a coordinated attack on this country on the scale of 9-11 is not likely to happen in an identical fashion…. And the Osamas of the world are likely to be seeking newer, unrelated, unprotected methods and venues…See More

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