"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty nor security."
Benjamin Franklin Respectfully Quoted, p.201
Recently I had the pleasure (or not) of flying out of our lovely Salt Lake City airport. SLC is blessed to have their very own X-Ray, pornographic machines. I take huge issue with these. My reasoning tends to follow Benjamin Franklin. It is dangerous to give up liberties like the right to privacy, even little pieces at a time.
Feigned security. That is what these machines spell to me. Subjecting children, and adults to nude photos, over which we have no control. We don't know who is sitting behind the machines or where the images go.
I'm afraid we are losing our liberties bit by bit as the "trojan horse of emergencies" rolls in. (Herbert Hoover) What parent would allow their 13 year-old daughter to stand declothed in front of perfect strangers, just to board an airplane. This is exactly what I watched happen. Except the mother wasn't even there to supervise. To watch or listen as others viewed her daughter naked.
But person after person walked through that machine and didn't flinch. I couldn't help but feel they were cattle moving through, doing what they were told, no matter how gross the invasion of privacy.
I quickly surveyed the security lines (I was alone, Brent had flown out earlier) and opted for the only line without the scanner.
As I moved through the line, first I was asked to "surrender my tube?" I couldn't figure out what the woman was referring to. Then she held up the offensive item. My brand new Tom's of Maine flouride-free toothpaste. Apparently it was too big. I was given the option to check it. Check a tube of toothpaste? I had no bags I was checking. You will have to surrender this ma' am. Can I just throw it away? They allowed me to do this.
After moving through the metal detector, I stood barefoot, arms raised. I received an "almost full body" pat down. This was a serious pat down with firm pressure. Maybe to some this is more invasive. But to me, at least this is out in the light, no record, no hidden viewing room. My flesh is not exposed, and neither is my unborn child.
Will full body scanners really make us safer? I would argue no. Those who want to harm us will always find a way. They will stuff things inside of themselves if they have to. Scanners will only result in a further encroachment on innocent American's liberties.
So what is the answer? The answer is to address why people hate us in the first place. Why are we still occupying lands all over the Middle East? I believe America should return to the foreign policy envisioned by our founding fathers, one of non-intervention. An America which stands for the world as a beacon of God-fearing, liberty endowed citizens. A nation other want to emulate. We cannot force "democracy" on any people. Like our own nation, each must find their own way.
The answer is also, for the government to do its job. I do believe in a strong national defense. I find it very difficult to understand how a man like the so-called "underwear bomber" was not investigated. Where are the trillions of dollars we spend on National Defense going? To hurting innocent civilians, collateral damage?
You will not find my family herded into a privacy-invading, x-ray machine. Questioning authority is not wrong. Especially when that authority is less than forthcoming with the truth.