Need to travel, particularly for the upcoming holidays? Is flying the only way to get there? Are you OK with TSA subjecting you to a naked body scan? If the answer is no — you can participate in a protest Nov. 24 during National Opt-Out Day. Brian Sodegren wants travelers to pass on the scan at airports everywhere. He urges fliers instead to go for TSA’s upgraded body pat down in full view of other people. Is the TSA going too far with invasive screening and administration-approved groping? Alternatively, is any procedure fair game when it comes to travel safety?
Just Say No to TSA Groping
Brian Sodegren heads the National Opt-Out Day grass roots movement. His intention is to educate the traveling public, who may not be aware of recent security modifications. He hopes enough concerned citizens will speak out to lawmakers about their rights to privacy.
In short — Sondegren wants people to demand change in the enhanced airport security measures. He believes it is time to stop government-approved groping and naked body scans. Apparently, it is OK now for TSA agents to pat down a passenger using the palms and fingers of their hands. In the past, an agent used only the back of their hands in a pat down.
Pat Downs within Public View
Honestly, I am not willing to go behind a screen for a pat down alone with any TSA agent. If I was ordered to do so, I am one hundred percent positive I would refuse. I realize I would have to forfeit getting on the flight, but I would stand my ground. It is that simple. A portion of Brian Sondegren’s call to arms on National Opt-Out Day covers this aspect of security as well.
Sondegren encourages people to say no to a body scan and yes to the pat down in full view of other people. Any traveler can opt-out of a body scan on any given day as the TSA states. However, if you say no to the scan, you automatically get the new improved pat down. Sondegren says, “Every citizen must see for themselves how the government treats law-abiding citizens.”
For me, choosing between a body scan and a pat down is like cutting my arm off or just one finger. Neither is too appealing. No one is exempt from a TSA pat down by the way. This raises the question about a child going through this puzzling scenario with a stranger. Then again, if children were exempt from this procedure, who is to say a terrorist would not use a child to get something on a plane. So many question and so few answers.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Are ramped up security procedures deeming passengers “…guilty until proven innocent,” as Sodergren states on his website? In this new world of defiant terrorism, it certainly appears the government does consider every human being that flies, be it for business or pleasure; guilty until proven innocent.
I fly often and the government’s view of me as a potential terrorist is quite demoralizing. It does not feel good at all. I despise and discourage stereotyping in any form. Yet I am supposed to accept that the government has the right to cast me in any light it sees fit. On the other hand, I am trying to muster up a good dose of logic to recognize that this is to ensure my safety. This situation tugs at me emotionally in in many directions.
Pilots and Flight Attendants Opt Out of Body Scanners
Brian Sodegren is not just some crazy person trying to overturn the applecart with his National Opt-Out Day protest the day before Thanksgiving — the busiest travel period of the year. US Airways and American Airline pilots are passing over the body scanners, too.
A flight attendants’ union in Arizona recently joined the ranks as well. That piece of information speaks volumes to me. It serves to make me even more uncomfortable with these new safety measures.
Do We Accept the Gov. Witch Hunt?
Many people believe the government’s view that all airline passengers’ are potential terrorists, smacks of a modern-day witch-hunt. In actuality, that is exactly what it is meant to be. What even I fail to see, though, is whether the witch-hunt is genuinely ferreting out terrorists.
I fly often and certainly do not relish the vulnerability I would feel about a stranger seeing me naked in body scan. It is a TSA agent looking me over — not my doctor or gynecologist, which is uncomfortable enough in its own right. The very idea of a naked body scan at an airport makes me feel just plain icky.
However, if I had the misfortune of being on a plane hijacked by a terrorist with a bomb — there is no doubt I would have one final wish: That wish would be that everyone on that doomed plane had been forced to participate in a full naked body scan.
National Opt-Out Day.com
Carl Unger, “AA, US Airways Union Say ‘No’ to Body Scanners,” Smartertravel.com
Carl Unger, “Group Plans National Opt-Out Day to Protest Airport Security,” Smartertravel.com