Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NULLIFY full-body scanning!

Following up on yesterday's post:

The new Ohio General Assembly has an opportunity to spare our citizens the indignity of the TSA full-body scanners. Pass an act declaring that the full-body scanner is illegal in Ohio, and that any TSA agent who uses one (or anyone who attempts to install a new one) in an Ohio airport will be subject to arrest by the county sheriff and prosecution in the Ohio courts.

While one may reasonably argue that civil aviation is appropriately a federal responsibility by citing its right to regulate interstate commerce (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8)*, the federal government is not responsible for passenger safety on the airlines. The airlines themselves have invested billions of dollars in aircraft, personnel training, and infrastructure. In most other businesses, security is the responsibility of the company. Why should airlines get a free ride and allow government to interfere with its operations in this way?

As I pointed out yesterday, full-body scans and groin checks are (in more ways than one) a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment. If security were left to the airlines, they would find techniques that are convenient and protect the dignity of their passengers -- otherwise, they will lose business to their competition.

What about the terrorists in our midst? The airlines and their insurance companies don't want their planes destroyed. No one wants the lawsuits that would follow from a terrorist attack. The airlines have the knowledge and the resources to come up with better solutions.

But the feds could do one thing that would eliminate the threat entirely. Get out of the Middle East and Afghanistan. Completely. I will explain how this enhances our national security in a future post.

So, newly-elected Ohio legislators, are you up to the challenge?

* Readers who object to my citations of the Constitution in the face of my recent "the Constitution is dead" arguments (here and here) are reminded that, under the rule of law, the Constitution remains the "supreme law of the land" until that unhappy day when it is repealed. The question we must ask ourselves when we face a violation is, do we live under the rule of law or the rule of men? Or stated more bluntly, will we live in freedom or in tyranny?

Inspired by a post by Andy Myers in Facebook, and by Sirius/XM radio commentator Mike Church.


Brian said...

Harold, can we really expect DeWhine, who helped create much of this police state legislation while he was in the US Senate, to do anything about this as the new AG?

Harold Thomas said...

When pigs fly. Fortunately, we don't need the AG to nullify...

Ed H said...

Maybe we need El Al to visit and teach us a few things.

If it means flying safer, I'm all for pat downs...if done in a professional way.

Brian said...

Ed H;

I'm not sure I'd want to live in a country that treats its citizens like Israel does. Sure I understand the threat, but I studied their system and I'm not sure you can have freedom and liberty the way they do business.

How about basing how we conduct our security precautions according to the ACTUAL threat? So first we would have to have say... TERRORISTS. I don't see any do you?

One other thing I think we need to revisit is the reason for the pat downs and that's because of the radiation scattering machines which people don't want to go through. So then TSA uses the aggressive pat down to dissuade other passengers from opting out. That's called intimidation.

So Ed, are still for it? Or would you prefer the radiation machines former Secretary of DHS Michael Chertoff's company is pushing on us. Hey, he should know what's best for use after all, he has dual citizenship with Israel.

Harold Thomas said...


Glenn Beck interviewed a former security manager for El Al Thursday night. The Israeli approach isn't necessarily bad. I also understand Europeans have had considerable success with dogs sniffing out explosives.

While I agree with you that I would not want to live the way the Israelis do (and I don't think there is any necessity for us to do so), it is clear that we need a very different approach to airline security from the one the feds are taking. The approaches used by Europe and Israel (both of whom have had much more exposure to terrorism than we have) should at least be considered as alternatives.

Brian said...

The most effective way would be to get the government out of the airlines business and let the airlines handle their own security, so the tax payer wouldn't have to foot the bill. I am sure the airlines would do a much better and safer job while not pissing off their customers.

Also, where is the demonstrated risk that is causing this type of procedures? As best as I can tell there is none. So what's the hub bub?