New Airport scans are necessary

December 8, 2010 — by Joanna Lee

This holiday season will be a relief to people who have been running ragged after demanding work schedules or long exams at school. Indeed, countless Americans are anticipating pleasant vacations. A getaway like this would only require packing clothes and toiletries, getting through the security check, boarding and departing the plane to a world full of relaxation.

But this adventure to paradise has been disrupted by unnecessary complaints from a plethora of American travellers regarding the Transportation Security Association’s tighter safety system. This new procedure consists of giving passengers the decision of either a full-body scan or a pat-down. Although this process takes more time than the previous passive security checks, it is a stepping stone to upholding America’s safety.

While the TSA officers performed examinations for harmful explosives, passengers, disregarding the purposeful efforts of the TSA, report being publicly humiliated by being groped or having their body displayed on the screening machines. Especially during this peak of traveling, the TSA is working doggedly in order to prevent occurrences like the 911 attack.

No matter which option the passenger submits to, the choice is mandatory because full-body scanning and pat-downs are sure-fire ways to deter terrorist attacks. According to a CBS poll, 81 percent of all American passengers are in support of full-body scans, with the remaining 19 percent opposing them because the TSA is “intrusive” and “violating.”

On Nov. 24, TSA critic James Babb asked that Americans participate in a “National Opt-Out Day” in which passengers would choose to be patted down rather than scanned. As it turned out, the number of people who opted-out was minuscule. While there are numerous personal accounts of passengers claiming embarrassment from the new procedure, it seems most passengers are willing to go through this “severe form of embarrassment.”

Other critics say the new scanners present health risks associated with x-ray radiation. The Mayo Clinic, however, says scanning machines won’t harm anyone.

In the case of national safety, the ends justify the means. Any passenger, even little old ladies or disabled people, can pose a security risk, and everyone needs to be checked thoroughly before boarding a plane. As the saying goes, “better safe than sorry.”

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