No Freedom Grope For Me

Several of us here have bitched and moaned about the new TSA regulations. The new machines, and their ensuing procedures, are crony regulation at it’s worst. I even suggested some ways to degrade and deride the actual agents administering the new pat-downs. I’ll admit, though, I was afraid I might wuss out when confronted with an actual TSA agent. How would I actually handle it?

Well after flying for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’ve come to report: I haven’t had the chance to opt-out of one of these machines yet. I’ve flown between BWI and Portland, Maine, and so far, no men in blue have come close to touching my junk (or “meeting resistance”). Portland doesn’t have any of the new scanners, and BWI has at least one security line that still goes through the old metal detectors. Since I’ve been traveling home for the holidays, and not, say, to get a journalistic look at the security screening process, I’ve opted to just go through that line both times.

There’s an appropriate balance between security and liberty in a free society. I think having nude pictures (which don’t actually increase your safety in any way) taken, as a prerequisite to move about your own country, is too much.

I am glad I’ve been able to put off a confrontation with the new rules, however. I’m still not sure how to feel about the actual TSA agents. On the one hand, I suspect they’re mostly good people, doing a thankless job, for what they believe are good reasons. On the other hand, actual TSA employees that I know think the agency is rife with corruption, paralyzed with internal politics, and doesn’t increase our actual security at all. My suspicion is theoretical, my TSA acquaintance’s feelings are anecdotal, and the truth is, as ever, elusive.

So who knows. Maybe the next time I fly I’ll have something to report. Until then, if you’re in BWI terminal D, head to the security line on the far left. Tell them Aaron sent you.

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