*gnash gnash* go my teeth.
Just to allay any lingering fears of what this is about: TSA screening.
First and foremost, allow me to say that since I do not agree with these new guidelines, I don't plan on flying anywhere until they get this sorted out. I'll caveat that by agreeing that I don't actually have any flight-contingient plans on the books for about six months... and agreeing that on the grand scale, my two cents really doesn't mean much since I'm not really "in line" for this kind of treatment anyway.
Good. Now that THAT is out of the way...
I have so many objections to this new full body x-ray and touchy-creasy pat down. The first one being the consideration that, dude, we're going to make children go through that? Rape victims? Geriatric and wheel-chair-bound members of our society? Veterans? Are you seriously (and by "you" I am directly addressing the big bosses at TSA) are you SERIOUSLY telling me that if the presidents daughters wanted to get on a normal airplane with the rest of us unwashed masses, that they'd have to go through the same screening?
For real though, these new security things are just far too far overboard for my tastes. They're far too reactionary. So some guy tries to blow up a plane full of people with a bomb in his shoes. Well, guess what - it didn't work. Okay, so now we have to take off our shoes. I get that. Sortof. It's annoying but, hell, I get it. It all just adds to the ceremony of it all. You know?
This new level of peekaboo-meets-where's-waldo, bomb-scare crap is just out of control. You see, let's say that Dwight over there is a terrorist. He's been living in Montana his whole life and is not only violently homophobic but also has a bad drinking habit and no damn handle on his temper at all. He's handsome, tall, blonde hair, blue eyes... teeth aren't that great but his smile will still melt glass. You know? So let's say Dwight over there is just sick to death of all this invasion of privacy business. Or let's say he think's it's hillarious the lengths that we'll go to in order to feel secure. Let's say he kiesters a roll or three of C4. Do the scanners see inside our body cavities? (would they even be able to catch the underwear bomber?) If they do - and if they can tell what kinds of feminine producs I am using on particular areas of my anatomy - that is a violent invasion of my privacy. If they don't, he'll get through the scanners AND the pat down and try to blow up his international flight the very second it's hanging over New Jersey or something.
Of course, the underwear bomber's plot didn't work either. But that's not my point. If this Dwight here gets caught with a bomb up his rectum - does that mean we ALL submit to full cavity searches now? Rape victims? Grandmas? Toddlers? What if he hides the explosives in his "sick" daughter? Are you telling me that we're willing to let TSA scanners give my 4 year old a pelvic exam just so that she can fly to disney world for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation? You're going to anal-probe a one-eyed vietnam vet so that he can have the privilege of flying to Washington DC one last time in his life? Screw that, says I. All we're doing, says I, is daring these nefarious terrorists to get more creative with their explosives. And then what?
Besides, Dwight over there just wants as big a body count as possible so that he and his wife can get a really nice ticket to the space ship that's flying their cult to Omicron Persei 12. You know? So he's actually skipping the whole "where shall I hide it" situation and Dwight over there is just going to waltz right into the security line with a perfectly normal-sized carryon filled seam-to-seam with explosives and a trigger on the handle. See... so now he can take out about 10 planes' worth of people instead of just one and he'll take out a whole ka-billion dollar international airport instead of maybe a fancy crash site somewhere in Kansas.
And what then? What do we do when our nefarious terrorists start striking before the security pat-downs begin? When they hit at the holidays, at the busiest hour of the busiest hubs in the longest security lines? Or what do we do when they hit the superbowl? No pat-downs there, eh? No chest x-rays? No cavity searches? What do we do when they drive a whole bus full of doom-bound followers, bristling to their very eyeballs with explosives, and decide to park it at Mount Rushmore? Or Niagra Falls? Or the Grand Canyon?
Now I know, I know, terrorists are real. But so is the terror. And we are jumping through hoops with our thumbs in eachother's butts every time they snap their fingers and they are laughing their misguided little hearts out.
So - bigmouth KJ, you're so smart, what the hell do we do?
You wanna just get blown up?
No, I don't. I want to go back to the metal detectors. At least. I don't want guns and knives in the plane with me. No complaints there. The last thing I want is to sit next to drunk-as-hell Dwight over there and he decides to go all "captain stabby" on my ass. So let's do go back to the metal detectors and a nation full of eyeballs and earholes that watch and listen and rat out the individuals among us who look nervous and "up" to something. You know, like that guy who saw the whole car bomb situation go down in... Times' Square was it?
Let's have face to face conversations with our security screeners and train them to seek out agitated and nervous flyers. Let's put up a campaign that says that we United-States-of-Americans really do value life and diversity and we are made richer by our neighbors' differences. Let's reach out to the least of us, the most trodden upon and the most hate-filled and say to them "dude, I see where you have been and what you have been through and that really blows. Let's try to find a way to stop that from happening ever, ever again." Let's put the ol' Jesus magic on them and invite them to dinner. Let's start building bridges, for gods' sakes, and stop building walls where large pastures of x-ray free sunshine used to be.
The shoe-bomber didn't work because someone noticed. The underwear bomber didn't work because someone noticed. On 9-11, most sacred of brutally sad days, one of the planes didn't reach target because a whole plane full of people noticed and fought back.
I don't want a stranger to put her hands under my boobs to make you feel better about bombs on an airplane. I want a stranger to put her ears and eyes all around us both, and I will do the same, and we'll all feel better about all of us on our airplanes and in our big events and national holidays.
And let's at least keep the metal detectors.