March 7, 2011

Airport Security: Isn’t It Necessary?

Filed under: TSA — publicandprivatespace @ 9:25 am

Security measures, such as pat downs, are necessary for safety in airports. In order to ensure passengers are safe from dangerous criminals, everyone has to be screened in order to make sure no one has any kind of weapon. In this day and age, the risks are too great for there not to be extensive security measures.Because of events in the past such as 9/11, and threats of future attacks, airport security is currently tighter and stricter than ever before. The Transportation Security Administration, body scanners, and thorough pat downs seem to be at the center of the controversy. But how important is our safety? Is complaining about bagging checks, pat downs, and long lines more important than reaching a certain destination alive and safely? Some of the ways to protect passengers is to indeed invade their privacy to a certain extent, but there is no way to adequately screen passengers in a comfortable manner. Personal privacy is one of the utmost aspects of people that must be respected, but when it comes to life or death situations, the proper precautions must be taken. Today, if security suddenly reverted back to the way it was before 9/11, the danger and the amount of people at risk would be immense. If everyone thinks about the risks and accepts the regulations of airport security, we will be able to put aside the frustration that comes with going to the airport and will be able to identify why the security is necessary. Because of somewhat intrusive measures, most people criticize security measure.

Two of the most recently imposed security measures are body scanners and pat downs. These are also the most controversial as well. Using X-rays, body scanners can look underneath clothing to ensure no one has a weapon. Body scanners are expensive pieces of technologies that try to make air travel safer. The article, “Body Scanners at Airports Will Not Make Us Safe” (Lukwatt, 2010) is one of the many articles that claim body scanners won’t make airports safer and are somewhat pointless. “Full Frontal Nudity” (Carden, 2010) emphasizes only the negative aspect of body scanners. The fact that they do show a semi naked photo of the passenger also means the scanner will detect any possible weapons.

Pat downs are also something passengers now hate. With the more thorough pat downs, security personnel now use their hands to check the inner thighs, buttocks, and breasts. More and more people feel they are being sexually assaulted when receiving a pat down. Passengers receive pat downs only if they opt out of the body scanners. Some people claim the body scanners and pat downs are an invasion of privacy and there is no preferable way of screening passengers.Metal detectors and having passengers remove shoes were two previous ways, and are still used today. But metal detectors haven’t stopped dangerous people from getting on an airplane with a bomb. In 2009, a man tried to detonate a bomb that was hidden under his clothes. Such events have led to more security measures.

Such security measures are vital to make sure all passengers will make it to their destination safely. The very high majority of people who fly in the United States don’t plan on endangering passengers. It is the very few criminals that airports are worried about. As long as the U.S. receives threats of potentially deadly terror attacks, airplane passengers will never be safe. Security measures are vital to everyone’s safety.


  1. — Nicholas Burmeister —

    I’m actually shocked somebody agrees with the TSA’s position on the pat-down procedure. Seeing as there is no name attached to this post, I can’t discern the gender of the poster. For a woman, sexual assault is something most fear, and even on campus most women carry mace and sometimes small tazers, so why would anyone force them to be molested as a condition of traveling? And the same does in fact go for men. Sexual assault against men is often ignored yet is still a problem, and you would like them to be rubbed down in order to leave? How about children? Or how about the fact that TSOs aren’t being trained properly and are causing people more harm and stress than the threat of a terrorist attack to begin with? If you take a look at the constitution, and Supreme Court rulings based off of those, you’ll see that what the TSA does is not at all constitutional, and I for one don’t want my government infringing on my rights. These rights aren’t God given, and they’re not country given, they’re not given to us by our parents, and they’re not even earned: every single person has these rights always, and nobody should have the right to take them away at will.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 7, 2011 @ 11:01 am | Reply

  2. -Garrett Miller

    I totally disagree with the previous comment. I think that it is necessary to use pat downs and the body scanner because they can find things that the metal detectors cant. I feel much safer riding on a plane knowing everyone was thoroughly searched before boarding. I would rather be patted down or be sent through the body scanner then be blown up in the air.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 8, 2011 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

  3. I definitely agree that the security is necessary. With the constant growth of technology and weaponry, I think that pat-downs and body scans are almost necessary to remain safe. Being a relatively frequent traveller, it definitely helps me sleep a little bit better on the plane knowing that it’s just a little bit safer. Sure, privacy is definitely an important thing, but I definitely think that safety is primarily important.
    ~Matt Evans

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 9, 2011 @ 10:21 am | Reply

  4. I completely agree with just about everything said in this post. Pat downs are absolutely necessary for safety when the alternative is the possibility that anyone could sneak something onto an airplane. I understand that a woman’s worst fear could be to be sexually molested, but I guarentee that most would rather be patted down than leave open the possibility of dying. People must understand that sacrifices have to be made, even if it is one’s personal and private space, in order to protect the greater good.

    Comment by Zack Deidesheimer — March 9, 2011 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  5. I don’t agree or disagree with body scanners or pat downs. I’ve only flown twice since 9/11–down to Florida and back–so I’m not as affected by airport security as others. Personally, if everyone is getting a full body scan I wouldn’t care because of how insecure everyone else is about it. However, the thought of getting a pat down makes me uncomfortable. My sister recently flew down to South Carolina and she was singled out for a pat down. A female security member performed the procedure; my sister’s main concern was making it to her flight on time. So although it’s infringing upon anyone who flies, it keeps the innocent people safe from attack. If someone doesn’t want to go through security procedures, they can drive, ride a train, or take a boat to get where they’re going.

    Comment by Kelly Seibert — March 9, 2011 @ 10:29 am | Reply

  6. -Zack Deidesheimer

    I completely agree with just about everything said in this post. Pat downs are absolutely necessary for safety when the alternative is the possibility that anyone could sneak something onto an airplane. I understand that a woman’s worst fear could be to be sexually molested, but I guarentee that most would rather be patted down than leave open the possibility of dying. People must understand that sacrifices have to be made, even if it is one’s personal and private space, in order to protect the greater good.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 9, 2011 @ 10:31 am | Reply

  7. – Hilario Cabrera

    i do too disagree with the first comment. in my opinion i would not feel safe flying on an airline that does not search people in any way just to make a few individuals happy. some planes have hundreds of passengers and they should not be put at risk because a few that are not ok with body scanners or pat downs. that is why we are given the choice; whether we prefer the body scanner and have nobody touch us or have someone physically pat us down. those measures are not intended to sexually assault anybody, is to ensure everyone’s safety in the plane.
    no personal rights are being violated by doing so, since most airports are privately owned and the owners can impose any kind of rules they wish really, it is up to us to decide if we want to go with it and accept the security measures but no one if making us ride on a plane. we do have the choice if its such a big deal to someone, you could always just drive to your destination. or arrange other ways of transportation if the safety procedures are that big of a deal to someone. and regarding the body scanner i personally believe it is the best way to detect if anybody has any hidden weapons or anything that could be used to endanger the people in the plane. yes you are practically naked in front of someone but im sure not just anybody will be allowed to operate this device and they could really care less about you. we already go to the doctor for physical exams and such and pretty much lay naked in the hospitals when we are in an accident or such. so why not just allow someone to do their job which is to ensure our own safety.

    Comment by Hilario Cabrera — March 9, 2011 @ 10:33 am | Reply

  8. To protect our safety is not a valid enough reason. If that were the case, then at any time police could break down your door or search your car because there may be a threat to their safety. The law is designed to be broad and cover every aspect of the American life which includes flying. My post is on the this subject as well (its a few pages back) and one of my main sources is’s information on the fourth amendment. One of the things they say is

    The test propounded in Katz is whether there is an expectation of privacy upon which one may ”justifiably” rely. ”What a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected.” That is, the ”capacity to claim the protection of the Amendment depends not upon a property right in the invaded place but upon whether the area was one in which there was reasonable expectation of freedom from governmental intrusion.”

    I don’t know about you guys, but I for sure have a reasonable expectation of privacy for my own body, and I refuse to allow the TSA to compromise my personal space. As I said in my post, the TSA has not proven the effectiveness of their methods, nor that there is even a tangible threat. The FBI, CIA, and other TLOs as well as foreign governments do a much better job of preventing terrorist attacks. While security at airports itself is not unreasonable, sexual assault as a condition of flight is very, very unreasonable.

    Comment by Nicholas Burmeister — March 9, 2011 @ 1:22 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: