By John Danz Jr – [email protected]
With the advent of full-body scanners at airports, people are becoming increasingly annoyed with the TSA and airport security. It was bad enough when these pseudo-criminal interrogators started confiscating little bottles of hand sanitizer and nail clippers – now you have a good chance of your respective genitalia being viewed by one of your friendly TSA agents.
You’ve read the stories about people being violated, privacy invaded, and people simply refusing to go through the scanners and having their tickets refunded.
Why all of this? We’re all afraid of terrorists. We’re being told that the next attack is right around the corner and that we’re better safe than sorry – at the expense of some of our liberties.
I’m here to tell you that it’s all completely pointless because of one simple reason – if a terrorist wants to get a bomb onto a plane, he or she will get it there in some form or fashion. You don’t want to hear this, but someone has to say it – or at least attempt to hammer it into your mind that has been eased by scanners and searches.
After 9/11, we beefed our security up on a grand scale and people still managed to get explosives on planes by way of shoes and underwear. What does this say? It says that no matter what security measures we implement, terrorists and terrorist sympathizers have found ways to get weapons on board. Sure, our Good Samaritans and security personnel foiled these attacks, but they still managed to sneak by security. All it took for the Twin Towers to fall was the negligence of a few TSA agents – who’s to say that it can’t happen again? Call it fearmongering from a different direction – I call it logic.
And if a terrorist can’t get a bomb on board an airline, never you worry – he or she will just find another populated area to bomb. It’s really that simple, folks. If they want to kill you bad enough, they will. They’ll find kinks in the armor and exploit them, just as they did with the shoe and underwear bombs.
While someone is at an airport – if they’re like the average American – they’re worried about some guy in a turban walking into the terminal. They don’t even stop to think about the dangers they passed by on their way to the airport. They could have been in a fatal car accident. They could have been the victim of a random drive-by shooting by some hotheaded idiot that they cut off at the red light. What does this say? It says that you have a much higher chance of being killed outside of an airport than you do on any plane or in any terminal. Hell, they just did a study that found that you have a better chance of being offed by a cop than a terrorist – I think any sensible person that watches the news even badly would know that.
The danger doesn’t stop while you’re on the plane either. Your friendly captain could have just gotten through a tumultuous divorce and lost all of his money to alimony and alcohol. He could suddenly begin hating the world and everyone that inhabits it, strangle his co-pilot and take the plane down himself.
What does this ALL say? If we’re going to fear and exploit every possible scenario in which a terrorist is going to kill us, we have to be consistent and fear the alternatives. Or do we?
Maybe, just maybe, we can stop letting the media tell us how we’re going to die and live our lives.
At this point, I wish I was one of those gloriously deluded fools who think 9/11 was an inside job so I could have another reason conducive to the point I’m making, which in case you have forgotten by now, is simple: Full body scanners and searches don’t save your life. Pitfalls and insidious death traps are everywhere, and they only bother you if you’re aware of them. So forget them all. They always say “live each day as if it’s your last.” Well, who’s to say it is or isn’t your last day? Why let fear control your life, and why let idiots like TSA agents complicate it?
People say that people like me suck. They say we think everything is so simple and terrorists are no threat to us. They could very well be a threat to us, but what’s stopping them? Some guy in a blue shirt and a badge? Hell no. I just chose to accept that danger is out there and put it in the back of my mind a long time ago.
There were 33,808 traffic fatalities in 2009. There were 9,369 firearm deaths. 2,423,712 total people died in the United States. How many of those died because of terrorists?
I’m not saying airport security is completely useless, because they give people the illusion of safety and by treating everyone like a criminal, keep us safer. Or so we think. We choose not to think about the ways we could be blitzed outside the airport, but we’re constantly worried about our safety on airplanes. Has no one stopped to think that terrorists will eventually get bored with fiddling around with winged transportation? Look what they did in Madrid. Hell, they could put a bomb in a Piggly-Wiggly somewhere just for chuckles.
I hate terrorists just as much as the next guy, but not for one second will I allow myself to be fooled into thinking that I’m safe. No one is safe, period. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can board your flight knowing that maybe the man in the turban isn’t your biggest threat.
And maybe, just maybe, we can make a dent in ethnic fear and racism. Yes, I just turned an article about airline safety into a plea for equality. Deal with it.
John Danz Jr. is a work in progress, who enjoys the freedom of writing. Contact him at [email protected].