I’ve sat here the last few days and watched a few things go on after a Nigerian tried to bomb a flight from Amsterdam into the United States, North West Flight 253 on Christmas day. I have to say as someone who likes to travel and go to places by flying I do not feel encouraged to so do by the harassment of Flying with Fish and at least one of his counter parts by the TSA because they blogged up-to-date information as to the rules and regulations for flying the last few days. Flyers have the right to know these things. Lines go smoother and everyone ends up happier in the end if they know what is going on and what the rules are! I think the government made a few new rules that would have done nothing to prevent that incident to show that they are doing SOMETHING. When will taking away the civil liberties of our citizens and those who want to travel to the United States ever be ethical? I’d rather be a little at risk then to have all my rights removed because profiling is not allowed, because there are some out there who will not be happy until everyone else in the world is unhappy, or because the rights of a few are more important then the rights of the many.
As a beginning photographer I can see this incident impeding on my rights to fly with my gear. I’ve read many accounts on how photographic gear has been stolen or damaged when it is checked, and without the right to lock it to protect it, carrying it on a plane seems to be the only way to protect it. Now with the new regulations and crack down on flyers rights, I fear that will no longer be allowed. The damage and thieves can frequently be the TSA employees that are supposed to be protecting the passengers. There is no way to ensure that everyone is honest and in today’s economy, times are tough. I know that. I see people struggling to work, to make ends meet, to keep their families together or to feed their children. As a pediatric nurse I see what the stress does to parents, how easy it is for someone to snap under the pressures of a sick child, how adding one more thing to a person’s plate can bring them crumbling down. Some of the children I care for are there because the parent/babysitter/family member snapped at home and therefore hurt the child. These are stressful times.
I understand that the TSA feels that something needs to be done to prevent a situation like the attempted bombing from occurring again. Limiting all carrying items would not have prevented the man from hiding things in a body cavity as is presumed according to some sources. There is no 100% fix without treating travelers as if they have no rights, striping them naked, doing full body searches of everyone, and such..l. but that can never happen because no one would travel if that was the case. There has to be a middle ground. X-ray me, that is a lot less invasive then other options. I want to keep my civil rights. I want to travel with in comfort and with my possessions intact and not at risk. There are so many parts of this world I want to see, but if I have to give up all my rights to do so, I’ll look at pictures others have taken or try to find a boat/train/car/bus to take me.