I enjoy traveling in general, though I can say that I have never traveled on Thanksgiving. My wife's family is all local (within 90 minutes' drive) and so I've never had to use any sort of mass transit or group conveyance (train or plane) to travel for Thanksgiving.
So it's as an interested bystander that I see all of this media coverage about the TSA's enhanced patdowns. These policies have created quite a stir lately.
What do I think? Of course, I'm not without my opinions on the matter.
First, I don't think anyone would be ticked off about someone coming close to "their junk" (a comment eerily similar to a line out of the movie "The Hangover") if someone carrying C4 in their briefs or bra was pulled out of line and arrested.
Second, I do think that people have a right to "opt out" of the enhanced security if they choose. I can understand the right that law-abiding citizens have to privacy, and can doubly understand this where their bodies are concerned.
Third, I think there needs to be a rule of reasonableness applied to who has the enhanced procedures applied to them. Not sure that small children or the elderly need to be patted down.
Fourth, I think that who is subject to enhanced procedures ought to more closely mirror the no-fly list. For example, if I looked like or had a similar name to a suspected terrorist, I'd appreciate it if some TSA employee were to explain such to me. That being the case, I'd be OK with an enhanced patdown. Surely there is some way that this can be done.
Fifth, the full body scanning imagers-- is it not possible to add some modesty to this? Let's not show faces and private parts, and let's make the scanners sensitive to detecting the presence of suspicious substances or items in suspicious shapes.
My understanding is that four of these five items are possible to implement right now. Clearly, everyone wants to travel safely. But people don't like to be submitted to humiliating searches and they want to be treated with respect. These goals can not be exclusive.