Ventura Might Be Using This for Publicity, But...

I’m not one to get upset. I try my hardest to avoid conflict because it makes everyone’s life simpler and easier. And as such, I’ve been skeptical of many of these cases against TSA, including Jesse Ventura’s. The pat-downs are indeed invasive, no doubt about it; but I’ve always thought that most of those crying molestation!child porn! are simply aiming to grab headlines, create a fuss, and ultimately drive traffic to their blogs.

But the more that I think about it, the more that I realize that this outcry and these lawsuits, however brash or publicity-seeking they may seem, exist for a reason: Pat-downs and body scanners have touched a nerve, so to speak, prompting a feeling that this is wrong. And while no law may exist (yet) that specifically prohibits TSA from touching our private areas, that deep-down sense of justice that exists in all of us – you know, the one that tells you its wrong to murder, or to steal bread from a hungry child – is telling us that we should not have to have submit to having our genitals touched as part of regular life.

And flying is a part of regular life, though my colleague Charlie Howell might not agree. With the deregulation of airlines in the ’70s and the advent of fares that regularly drop below $200 round-trip, it is affordable and even commonplace to hop on a plane these days. As air travel has been integrated into our normal lives, it has become less an issue of choosing to fly and more the course of events. Indeed, in the context of the Ventura case this is even more valid: He flies two to three times a week to film his TV show, Conspiracy Theory, and I’m sure he couldn’t keep that production schedule if he had to drive across the country.

Howell does have a point in that, as planes have been used as weapons, airport security measures and searches are not unreasonable. But the degree of search, in my opinion, is what is unreasonable; not the instance of searching itself. It is this issue that the court will have to examine when it makes its ruling. I for one hope that it does find these pat-downs unreasonable. And if that makes someone mad… I guess I can live with that.

Posted by Laura Williams on Jan 26, 2011

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