Considering Another Side
The Transportation Security Agency, or TSA, has received a negative response from many Americans about their practices and techniques to ensure airport security since its inception in 2001. Magazines, journals, and books have been dedicated to exploiting flaws within the TSA, with hopes that the agency will change. However, what many frequent fliers fail to realize is although their practices may be unethical, they have guaranteed our safety in both the airport and on airplanes. Since 9/11, not a single plane has been hijacked, and terrorists who have attempted to bring weapons onto a plane, have failed tremendously. With over 66% of fliers satisfied with the security the TSA provides, it is clear that they are doing an extraordinary job at ensuring the safety of the hundreds of millions of airplane passengers that travel annually (Kreig).
Statistics alone show that the general population does not mind the TSA as much as people believe they do. The agency screens nearly 1.8 million individuals daily yet only .008% of those passengers file complaints about them (Kreig). This astounding statistic makes it clear that of those who have problems with the methods of the agency, very few have it severe enough to file a formal complaint. In addition, a telephone poll conducted in 2010, found that over 81% of airline passengers approved the TSA’s use of full body scanners (Burns). According to a poll conducted by ABC news, over 67% of young fliers approve of the TSA’s methods and have a positive view of the agency. I believe this is because these individuals never really remember a world where airport security wasn’t so extensive. These basic statistics show that people recognize that security comes at the cost of slight infringement on their freedoms.
Many also complain about the extensive process of security and restrictions, including removal of shoes and belts, liquid limits, and the need to remove items from bags. The TSA has directly addressed this problem from their website, stating the purpose behind each step in the process. Every new process added in the security procedure is a result of plots of terrorism (TSA). We are forced to remove our shoes because a man attempted to smuggle a bomb onto a plane in his sneakers in 2002. In addition, we are forced to limit liquids we bring on a plane as a man attempted to make a bomb using items simply hidden in a water bottle. Each new addition is to ensure that these attempts at terrorism are not made again. The TSA has learned from the past and is moving forward to limit any possibilities of terrorism.
The TSA has received many complaints about intrusive pat downs; however, they are necessary to ensure no hidden items are stored along someone’s body. The TSA does understand how uncomfortable pat downs make people and have taken measures to reduce the need for these. The invention of a new hand held scanning device allows agents to ensure there are no hidden items in ones...