Airport security brings peace of mind

Sarah Kearby, Layout Editor

Pat me down.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has traveled in a positive direction by stepping up their security with new pat down procedures.

Yet Americans feel the need to whine about being protected, even though approximately a year ago on Christmas Day there was an attempted terrorist bombing that put all of their lives in danger.

Three months after the attempted bombing in March 2010, TSA implemented advanced imaging technology (AIT) along with the pat down procedures.  AIT is a screening that scans passengers for weapons and explosives, which may be concealed under their clothes.

It’s a simple process. Just put your hands above your head, or you could risk the plane you’re flying on getting bombed.

When you put your hands in the air, the AIT will send a slightly blurred image of your body to a security officer behind closed doors. He or she will communicate via headphones with the officer you see. If there are no suspicious items seen in your image, you will continue on with security.

It’s no big deal unless you’re concerned with radiation. But if you’re really concerned with radiation, you should also be concerned with the radiation emitted by cell phones. Cell phones emit thousands of times more energy than the millimeter wave technology, the first scan.

And the backscatter, the second scan, has an equivalent amount of radiation as two minutes of flying on an airplane. So if you’re not too worried about the flight, then why are you complaining about a precautionary scan?

If for some ridiculous reason you don’t think your body can handle a little radiation, you can opt out of the AIT and receive a complimentary pat down. A pat down is also issued if you alarm the metal detector or AIT.

However, according to TSA, less than three percent of passengers end up receiving pat downs. A pat down is conducted by a same-gender security officer and is just as uncomfortable for them as it is for you. No one wants to feel you for weapons or explosives, but it’s necessary.

Do you not remember Sept. 11? Some people seem to have forgotten and feel the need to gripe about new safety procedures.

Get over yourselves and let the safety officers do their job. Either that or board an airplane with possible terrorists. Take your pick.

If you want to blame someone for your momentary discomfort, blame terrorists. If they weren’t cleverly storing their weapons and explosives security would be a synch.

Also according to TSA, “Passengers should continue to expect an unpredictable mix of security layers that include explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, canine teams, among others.” These layers are the first step in protecting America from another terrorist attack.

Sept. 11 brought America together. But do we need another reminder to make us grateful for what we have or are we just going to keep whining about new procedures made to protect us until the government welcomes terrorists onto our planes?