Would these areas in their searches, passengers could

Would you rather experience a brief moment of embarrassment or risk having a terrorist board your plane? Airport security is currently a cause of much contention in our country. However, it is absolutely necessary in order to keep air travelers safe. Without security methods such as full-body scans and enhanced pat-downs, the amounts of deaths caused by terrorists targeting planes would drastically increase. Scanners and pat-downs are the only defense that we have against terrorists and drug traffickers. Firstly, pat-downs may require the touching of breasts or genitals, but if security officers were not required to include these areas in their searches, passengers could easily hide dangerous items in those places. Secondly, the images taken on full-body scanners can not be saved, sent, or copied to other devices, and finally, these scanners pose no health risk to passengers or pilots. To begin with, over 900 passengers have complained to the ACLU that pat-downs are violating and humiliating (“ACLU Reports more than 900 Complaints this Month over “Enhanced” TSA Security Measures”). These passengers say that pat-downs are a violation of their privacy. However, they neglect to acknowledge that many people with malicious intentions can place dangerous or illegal items in areas that may be viewed as inappropriate to touch. For example, one man attempted to detonate a bomb sewn into his underwear. Many similar words were used to describe these passengers’ experiences with pat-downs. They described pat-downs as painful, intrusive, and violating. They claim that pat-downs are unnecessarily rough and inappropriate. This is a safety measure, however. If pat-downs were not as thorough, explosives and weapons could easily slip through security. Another complaint is that scanners can reveal images such a genitals and breasts. However, these images are not saved, sent, or copied to other devices. Passengers have complained that airport security officers have taken pictures of scans on their mobile devices. These concerned passengers believe that the sending and receiving of scans, even if it is not occuring on the scanner itself,  it is happening on mobile devices and that therefore, scanners should be removed. This should not result in scanners being banned. However, it should result in the offending officers being reported, and action being taken against them, not the machines. If needs be, background checks and inspections for security officers should be lengthened and made more thorough. Many passengers have also complained that scanners emit harmful radiation. Pilots have exhibited concern due to their having to go through several scans every day. However, multiple tests have been conducted to show that scanners emit such small amounts of radiation, that there is not threat even to pregnant women and children. Several individuals as well as certain organizations have tested scanners and are doing further tests to determine whether or not the radiation produced by scanners is harmful to the human body. However, in the meantime, all the evidence that has been gathered has reported that scanners are completely safe. Pat-downs and scanners are being viewed by some as inappropriate and intrusive, and calls are being made for their removal. I believe that pat-downs and scanners should be kept until better alternatives are presented for several reasons. First, pat-downs may seem uncomfortable, but they are indispensable when it comes to finding hidden items under one’s clothing. Second, scanners may reveal private areas of one’s body, but the images that are taken are not saved, copied, or sent to other devices. Finally, scanners do not pose any health risks to even the most sensitive passengers. Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative office, said, “…Nobody should be forced to choose between ‘naked scans’ and intrusive groping by strangers…” (“ACLU Reports more than 900 Complaints this Month over “Enhanced” TSA Security Measures”). However, a third option is present. The choices in airports very well may be as follows: Going through a safe security scan, having a pat-down performed, or risk being killed by a concealed and illegal weapon carried by a terrorist.

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