MARTY RUSSELL: Those who don’t want to “take off,” stay home

By Marty Russell

I suspect that somewhere in a cave along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan a tall, diabetic terrorist is rolling on the floor convulsing in laughter over the current brouhaha in this country over the new airport security measures. After all, nobody wants to see the rules relaxed more than him.
Am I missing something here? Since 9/11 it seems we’ve all been screaming for more security and protection from terrorists and thousands of our soldiers have died or been wounded overseas trying to nip the threat in the bud. Apparently we’re OK with that but let a Transportation Security Administration agent touch our privates or view a bad X-ray image of them and suddenly the war on terror has just become too intrusive.
I don’t know about you but if I’m going to get on a plane I want to know that not only has everyone else on board been thoroughly vetted but also their relatives, their pastors and their dogs have been screened to make sure none of them are terrorists. If that means exposing myself to a stranger then I don’t have a problem with that. It’s the poor screeners I feel sorry for. Imagine having to do that all day for a living.
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects us from “unreasonable” searches so how unreasonable is it to suspect we might be carrying an explosive device in our nether regions when only last Christmas someone was caught doing that very thing? Is it now safe to assume that just because one person got caught means nobody else would think to try that? What the Constitution doesn’t guarantee us is the right to fly. Even the Founding Fathers, as brilliant as they were, weren’t that prescient.
But what really bothers me about this whole outcry over the new screening rules is that most of these same people protesting the pat-downs and scans would be the first to point fingers and blame the government if a terrorist did get on board a plane and blow it up. Or maybe that’s what they really want, another terrorist act so they can blame the administration for something else. I’m convinced there are people out there who want nothing more than to see this administration fail, even if it costs people’s lives and an airplane or two.
Grow up, people. Nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to fly and flying is not a right, it’s a luxury. If you don’t want people fondling you or squinting over fuzzy X-rays of your body, stay home. Or drive, take a train or take a bus. Better yet, take a hike. Some of us would rather be safe, even if it requires being momentarily uncomfortable.

Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by e-mail at marusse1@olemiss.edu.