Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Stop equating TS(A) with BS |

Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Stop equating TS(A) with BS

You are boarding the 10 p.m. flight from Chicago to Copenhagen, and can’t help but notice the olive-skinned individuals traveling together, each dark, heavy beard accentuated with deep-set, obviously angry eyes.

Each is carrying a prayer mat.

You have three quick thoughts:

n I sure hope TSA agents gave them extra screening.

n What if they didn’t for fear of being accused of profiling?

n I wonder what time is the next flight?

If you don’t immediately think at least two of the above, then you’re either blind, comatose or enjoyed too many pre-flight liquid rituals.

It’s the way the world is at the moment.

We can joke all we want about premature detonations or the old Internet favorite of machines that automatically explode any bombmaking materials, along with the idiots carrying them. But the reality is we are dealing with people who believe a magical book was written by a magical being who imbues them with magical powers to slaughter those who don’t believe in magic.

These are cave-dwelling idiots, but crafty cave-dwelling idiots, and as their methods evolve so will the associated threats, so must the techniques to give the impression of dealing with those threats. Hence, the TSA.

I am not in favor of the searches. I do not enjoy them. I do not think they make us safer. I think, at best, they provide a temporary illusion of security.

I wish there was no reason for any airport security whatsoever, but there is a defining moment where the presumed benefits from these searches are temporarily worth the intangible costs, whether they be civil liberties or good ol’ foolish pride.

My 11-year-old was stopped a few weeks ago at Denver International Airport because the cast on his broken right hand set off alarms. Terrorists use children, even younger, as shields and weapons, so what’s to prevent them from using a blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy without his knowledge or somehow against his will?

Yes, these nutjobs have us running scared, but I’d rather be scared and alive than dead and remembered as fearless.

And face it, the majority of transportation modes, other than walking, are a privilege, not a right, and we all have choices.

If you are offended at the mere thought of your junk being grazed, don’t fly.

If you are afraid of scanner radiation cancer, drive a car.

If you are sure your 4th Amendment rights as an American are being violated, take a bus.

If you are convinced the entire issue is partisan and directly connected with liberals (such as Limbaugh claiming the whole mess is Obama’s retribution for the election), take a hike.

We can honor our servicemen and women in uniform while at the same time strongly disagreeing with the wars they are fighting, so what’s the difference with a few extra minutes and a less than 3 percent chance of hassle in order to fly from A to B?

You don’t have to like it, and you certainly don’t have to take it, but you must be prepared to deal with the consequences if self-righteousness dictates your actions.

Besides, albeit miniscule, there’s always a chance you’ll be damned glad you weren’t on that flight.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at Comment on

Support Local Journalism

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User