Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 3, 2011

Pro: Flights can't be too secure

We don't want another 9/11 to occur

By Michael Ruggles
Special to the Record-Eagle

---- — There seems to be an ongoing debate over whether the new airport security has gone too far. People are complaining that what the Transportation Security Administration is doing is wrong and unnecessary. The TSA has implemented new security devices and searches such as full-body scanners and full-body pat-downs. My opinion on this subject is very clear. The airport security has not gone too far. I believe that scanners and full pat-downs are very necessary for the security of the United States. The most important thing is to keep citizens of the United States safe and secure. The new and stricter airport security is making sure of this.

I believe that sacrificing a small amount of personal privacy is very justifiable in order to protect our national security. No matter what anyone says, security is much more important than privacy. Having full-body scanners allows TSA agents to see weapons and other harmful items that they could not have spotted before. Full pat-downs allow TSA agents to feel for weapons and bombs that may be hidden on someone's body.

This makes a terrorist attack much more difficult. It is very possible that if security was this strict 10 years ago, the 9/11 terrorist attacks could have been prevented. When I am flying on a plane, I would feel much more comfortable knowing that each and every passenger on the plane was required to step through a scanner and or have a full-body pat-down. What happened in September 2001 was devastating, and in order to prevent that from happening again, I believe the new security precautions need to be used.

Many people are against the new security in airports. Some people think that scanners are a hazard for everyday fliers exposed to the radiation emitted by the scanners. Others say that it invades our personal privacy, and makes people feel as if they were personally violated. Lastly, some believe that the new scanners and pat-downs will be abused by TSA agents. The people that are making these complaints should think twice about the consequences of not having these security precautions.

These security precautions all involve the safety of fliers and citizens of the United States. The radiation emitted by the scanners is a very small amount. It is such a small amount that it literally creates no danger or harmful effects for the traveler. As far as it invading our personal privacy, I think many will agree that national security is much more important than personal privacy. Terrorist attacks violate more rights than airport security does. If people do not agree with security scanners and full-body pat-downs, they should consider not flying. TSA agents will not abuse their power and all images from scanners are deleted soon after. The job of a TSA agent is to make sure travelers are safe and terrorist attacks are avoided.

In conclusion, the new security techniques and technology need to be kept in all airports and used on all fliers. The goal of these new items and procedures is not to embarrass or violate travelers. The goal is to make sure traveling is safe and terrorist activity is stopped before it can start. Those who disagree with this need to look back at the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and think about the national security of the United States of America.

Michael Ruggles is studying public safety and protective services at TBAISD Career-Tech Center. He also is a senior at Traverse City West Senior High.