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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


TSA deserves better public image

The time spent in an airport waiting to board a plane and pass through security check-in may now be greater than the time spent in the air. This past Thanksgiving, many traveled by car or plane to spend time with family. Those who traveled by plane were met with a myriad of delays due to security.

Prior to the 1970s, anyone could enter an airport and walk to the boarding gate, even without a ticket. Passengers and security, or lack thereof, took it upon faith to trust the other people around them. For years, people assumed that no one would commit acts of violence in the air. The terrorist attacks of September 11 completely changed our views on safety and protection.

We questioned everything about the effectiveness of airport security. Four of the hijackers set off the metal detector alarm, and despite being waved down with a hand-held detector, they still managed to make it onboard. This is something that never should have happened, but the United States is learning from its mistakes and trying to make it better.

When the Transportation Security Administration was introduced in November 2001, most people had never heard of it; in recent months, the TSA has become a household name. This is largely because of its critics. Some say that the body-imaging machines are invasive and dehumanizing. Perhaps they are a little invasive but dehumanizing, no. TSA members that screen the body images are placed in a room hundreds of feet away from the machine so they do not know exactly who they’re looking at. As far as the pat-downs go, the method follows about a 10-second standard procedure. If that’s still unsatisfactory, it’s very possible that you could avoid the pat-downs and body screening all together. Most women and children are not required to do either.

The TSA’s job is to keep flying as safe as humanly possible. If we reverted back to the old ways, most people would not feel safe boarding any airplane. If the US eliminated the new security measures, the major steps we took toward preventing another September 11 attack would be in vain. If those opposed would take a step back and look at the big picture, they would see that the TSA wasn’t created to embarrass anyone. It was created to prevent anyone dangerous from ever being onboard.

If the TSA’s methods are not up to par by someone’s standards, then they simply shouldn’t fly. Airport security is a human system that won’t be perfect; it’s important that we take all measures necessary to come out on top.

Merina Mesa is a communications junior and may be reached at [email protected].

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