Nov 23, 2010

Count Me in with the I-feel-Violated Crowd

by Terri Wagner

I had the rare and wonderful privilege of entering a full-body scanner on a recent trip out west. I hated it. I felt uncomfortable, violated and angry. I watched a little old man who could barely put his arms over his head and a young mom blushing as they took their turn in the machine. I heard about the scanners but my first stop airport didn't have them going out. It was the airport heading back that did.

I knew a lot of people were angry about it. I also was fully aware my other option was a more violating pat down. I walked away angry, not irritated, not frustrated but actually deep down mad. I talked to several other passengers and all of them felt the way I did. Not one said the requiste oh well it's for our safety. Nope not one.

We all know Benjamin Franklin's famous quote about giving up liberty for safety gets you neither (I'm paraphrasing obviously). Never have such words had such force behind them. I walked into an airport having to take off my coat, my sweater, my shoes, plastic bag my santizer, step into a scanner and do all this without one smile or joke. Total silence and seriousness.

I'm beginning to believe the terrorists won after all.


  1. My husband had to do that on his last trip out. I got to get a rather serious pat-down in a glass cage on my last trip. Like an idiot I wore my hiking pants with snaps. SNAPS! Apparently, they're hazardous...

    Yep, we're more paranoid and probably not gaining anything but fear, anger and frustration.

  2. I'm sorry you had to go through that Terri.
    Sadly, the terrorists are laughing about it. They like the idea that they don't have to put forth more than a couple thousand dollars to wreak havoc and instill terror...they said as much in recent press releases.

    perhaps we should send TSA to the border.

  3. My family and I are traveling soon and I'm worried about this very thing. I don't want my daughters subjected to radiation, but I also don't want them patted-down. I don't think I'll ever fly again after this trip.

  4. I recently was scanned as well. I had heard about the scanners but that was months before I even planned my trip so I hadn't thought about it.
    Like you my outbound airport didn't have them so didn't encounter them till on the way home.
    I was not embarrassed since I didn't realize what it was until I had exited the tube. Then I comforted myself that like doctors and nurses it is a body not my body to them. So it was matter of fact.
    I am not sure what detail they can see. (The example in the airport was white on dark and vague enough that while I was not thrilled I wasn't blushing either.) But even if it were totally clear full color I would rather keep my clothes on and untouched.

    That said I totally agree with you ever since Sept. 11 things that we have had to do restricts our freedom. It is a battle victory for the terrorists. But The "war" is not over. I mean in that in a larger sense than in where our troops are more in a good vs. evil way.
    I agree with the Ben Franklin quote. But while I hate the intrusion I can't reason out a solution for this air travel vulnerability that doesn't involve loss of freedom and privacy or GREAT loss of life and secondarily the loss of air travel. So I reason that giving terrorists the opportunity to cause greater fear and kill more people in incidents like those on 9/11 throughout our nation would be loosing huge battles.
    I hope that I am vigilant in trying to keep my other freedoms.

  5. We had to go through what they called a modified pat down to go to the recent Cardinals football game. What the heck?


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