• Wed, Nov 24 2010

Point/Counterpoint: TSA Patdowns

Lilit is taking the pro-patdown side, because Lilit wants to be touched. I am taking the anti-patdown side because apparently just thinking about going home turns me into a Republican.

Pro: I flew last weekend. I went through the metal detector. Since I had removed my keys and change from my pockets, the detector did not go off. Since the detector didn’t go off, I did not have to get a patdown. Then I just put my shoes back on. The end.

You have probably been hearing stories about people who were subjected to embarrassing or inconvenient airport security scans. However, those stories – while they make for good copy – are the exception, not the rule. Fewer than one percent of people who pass through the airport today (or any other day, really) will get a patdown. You know what wastes way more time and makes airport security lines way longer than patdowns? People panicking about the possibility of a patdown instead of putting their shit in the gray plastic bins.

Oh, and that sound in the background is every single person in Israel laughing at you.

Con:

Look. They don’t work.

Or, at least, there’s been no indication that the TSA’s sexy, sexy body searches actually work. Would I let some random TSA employee feel me up or go through a full body scan if it meant with 100% certainty no terrorists would be getting on planes? Sure, you bet I would. It would still make me uncomfortable, but I’d be down with it. Would I do it if they said it had caught one single suspected terrorist? Again, I would.

But the new measures have never caught anyone. So it’s just really creepy and kind of Big Brother-ish for my taste. I’m with John Tyner here, who, when TSA officials tried to give him a pat-down declared “if you touch my junk, I’m going to have you arrested.”  And really, isn’t flying already hellish enough without making it worse?

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  • bodo

    good logic wanting a prohibitive measure to create the incidences which to prohibit it was put into effect in the first place

  • lucia

    The reason TSA security patdowns are getting a lot of press lately is because of the new x-ray machines that take a naked body scan plus expose u to a nice dose of radiation, which if you refuse to go through they will give the new improved patdown with open hand instead of the back of hand, and they can grope inside your pants or around your crotch area. These machines are not everywhere, but I have had to go through a couple lately, I think that if I hadn’t been in a rush I would have refused and had the patdown so not to expose myself to the radiation. Although I don’t like the idea of being groped at least the people patting me down are not toxic to my health. Tip- wear tight fitting clothing and of u do get a patdown demand a new clean pair of gloves to be worn!