By Cameron M. Bray ’16
Don’t you just love lines at airports, especially going through security?
Airport security in the United States is controlled by TSA and, love it or not, security is important.
However, the extent of airport security in the United States far exceeds necessity.
The Transportation Security Administration was first formed Nov. 19, 2001 when Congress enacted the Aviation and Transportation Security Act.
Just nine days earlier, the Sept. 11 attacks drove fear deep in to the hearts of U.S. citizens
With the threat of terrorism looming, added security measures were absolutely necessary to ensure our safety.
Twelve years have passed since then.
Times have changed and so must U.S. policies in order to remain relevant and beneficial.
As Charles Darwin once said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable that survives.”
While terrorist attacks remain fairly common worldwide, they are beginning to subside.
According to The Washington Post, 14,415 attacks were reported worldwide in 2007 and 10,283 were reported in 2011.
Surely the United States could loosen the reins on security now that the threat is shrinking and security technology continues improving.
In its current state, airport security is excessive and only serves to bother travelers coming in or out of the airports.
For example, all travelers now have to remove their shoes before going through the scanner due to one failed shoe bomb attempt more than 10 years ago.
Travelers now enter the security checkpoints with reluctance and sigh, thinking “Oh fun, I get to go through security.”
I sure do.
Every time I go to the airport, I think of the metal detectors, full-body scanners, conveyor belts and screening rooms waiting ahead and eagerness for flying plummets.
Not only that, but the lines tend to stretch mercilessly from to entrance to exit, often moving as fast as a snail riding a tortoise.
Because of these many little nitpicks, flying often seems a cumbersome and brutal activity.
Besides being annoying, recent TSA measures tend to encourage racial profiling, which reflects badly on the United States as a whole.
Quite often these policies allow TSA officers to target minorities with more freedom and without fear of consequences.
TSA policy states: “TSA will always incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening in order to retain a certain element of randomness to prevent terrorists from gaming the system.”
Basically, TSA officers can target passengers on a whim and subject them to questioning and screening.
TSA does not need to be abolished nor do all the security checkpoints have to disappear all at once.
TSA security merely needs to lessen as terrorism does so in the Unites States.
While 40 attacks and nine fatal attacks were reported in 2001, nine attacks and one fatal attacks were reported in 2011, according to The Washington Post.
Moreover, additional control needs to be given to the supervisors of TSA officers so that racial profiling does not remain a prevalent issue in U.S. airports.
In general, security needs to change so that flying can become a more expedient venture and an altogether more pleasant experience for all passengers.