New TSA Warning Sends Us Into Needless Panic

Jeanne Sager

TSA bagAs if getting on an airplane wasn't scary enough, if we take the latest TSA terrorism warning seriously, no one will ever fly again. Ever. It's the only way to truly counteract bombs implanted inside people's bodies, right?

Oh, the TSA says they're going to increase screening procedures yet again to help protect us from people who are hardcore enough to undergo surgery to have a bomb inserted INTO their body. New tools will be brought out to help detect explosives under the skin, and we'll be subjected to even more scrutiny when we just want to get our vacation started. Or we could save time (and tax dollars) and be realistic about how minuscule this risk is and how little we can do to stop it, and get on with our lives.

Unpopular though the opinion may be, there are some things you simply can't prevent. That's life. Car accidents happen every day. Forty-year-old men go into cardiac arrest for no apparent reason. Trees fall on houses, crushing little babies. And someone so willing to die that he (or she) has a bomb placed INSIDE his body isn't going to let a bunch of TSA screeners stop him.

As acts of terrorism go, the suicide bomber is the hardest to fight because the person responsible has already decided they have nothing to live for. There's no reasoning with them. Planning to die anyway, they'll just let that baby go where they can get the biggest bang (pun very much intended) for their buck. The screener line, where hundreds of people are milling around, ID and boarding pass in hand, checking Facebook on their smartphones, and willing the whole thing to get moving lest they miss their flight, is as good a place as any.

As a traveler, the idea scares the pants off me. But I'm a realist. It could happen. It's just as likely as my dog running out the front door, slipping past me as I try to grab her, and heading into oncoming traffic. As likely as a surprise heart attack, a falling tree, a car accident. If I spent every waking moment afraid of all of them, I'd never get any work done. So I won't think about this either ... or I'll never get on a plane again.

Do you think the TSA is right to freak us out about bombs inside passengers' bodies or is it a hopeless battle?


Image via javajoba/Flickr

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