Sunday, September 21, 2008

Is America really safe?

After 9/11, our country was flooded with a sudden amount of securities. Those securities that had affected us one way or another are airport securities. Airport securities have transformed the way we travel. No longer can we bid farewell to a love one at the gate, now we have to stop at the security gate. Our sense of privacy is infringed by the constant inspections, anything from taking our shoes off to ripping our suitcase apart. However, are these security measures really making us safer or is it just a false sense of security?
Yes, when we are walking through the airport, we do indeed feel more secure. You feel this way because of all the restrictions that is implemented on what you can or cannot bring. Though in my opinion, this is just a veil to reassure citizens that they are safe from attack. If one would look closely, it is not impossible to smuggle something illegal into the airplane if one would just sit and think about it for a minute. It does not take much to blow up a plane and it can be easily undetectable because metal detectors cannot pick up these materials, since it can easily be plastic explosives. So no matter how many shoes you take off, or how many metal detectors you go through, passengers can still take explosive materials into the airport if they really want to. Also, take into considerations of all the food vendors that are in the airport. I doubt that every single one of these places has been under the scrutiny of checking for any forms of harm to the passengers. In addition, what about airport workers? How strictly of a background check did they go under? There really is no way we can be 100 percent sure that they are of no harm to airports passengers.
Though I do believe we are safer than we were before 9/11, what I do not agree with are all of the forms of securities that we have. I think that the government is creating a false sense of security. Many people are simply looking at these exaggerated appearances of security and using it as a shield against any kinds of attacks. They do not want to have to worry about being in danger, so by depending on the securities provided by the government, they feel more secure. Because the government does have so much power, the people tend to forget their own sense of power, and do not questions whether these new actions are infringing on our rights.
So are we really that safe? No, but if these extreme measures can’t keep us safe of terrorist attack, what more can we do? Do we have to compromise our rights even more or are there something better out there that can keep us from harm and at the same time, giving us our rights?


Paul Bendor-Samuel said...

So from what I can gather you are arguing that the sense of security we now have from airport security is a significantly over inflated, and for this minimal security upgrade we are trading precious freedoms? Well I do agree with you that we are not quite as safe as we think we are, and that getting dangerous things onto planes is not as difficult as some would believe, but I do think that you are incorrect in saying that we are unnecessarily trading our freedoms for this. It is much harder to get dangerous things on to planes than it was before the security upgrades, even though it is not impossible. Before various type of blades were allowed on board and I imagine explosives were much easier to get on board. While I suppose you could argue that this is an infringement on our right to privacy, the real issue that people have a problem with is the infringement on their comfort. Yes, I believe that these securities are necessary, and that the infringement on rights is more exaggerated than our security is.

lynn s said...

The new security measures at airports are not an infringement of our right to privacy. If you do not want someone to look through your bag, then do not bring the bag onto the plane. Travel by car instead or take a private jet or boat.

Ashley Ladd said...

I think that, by living in the U.S., you are essentially choosing the rights and restrictions that apply to all U.S. citizens. An argument is that, if you are born here, you do not "choose" these guidelines.
All it will take is for one instance, like a security guard at customs finding something that saves one life even, to make all of the security appreciated. We won't know how much obnoxious security is unless we don't have it and something like 9/11 happens again.

ThomasJ said...

The increasing amount of security checkpoints in US airports has made our nation a safer place. These check points have limited terrorists’ ability to carry out attacks against its citizens. It is true that the checkpoints can only protect the US to a certain extent, but that does not mean that they have not increased our protection. I do not think that this is a false sense of security because it does, in fact, make this nation safer. I do not believe that the government has violated the rights of citizens by checking what passengers have in their suitcases. People going through airports must consider that more serious events could come as a result of security personnel not searching through their clothes. The government has not crossed the line by making people go through this new security. All citizens should have a right to privacy, but in this case, the ends justify the means. As for me, I will continue to sacrifice my right to wear shoes through an airport security checkpoint if it helps prevent harm inflicted upon other people.

Anonymous said...

I for one do not feel any safer with the safety measures that have been implemented since 9/11. This is not to say I feel unsafe or feel that this stuff is infringing on my privacy, and frankly the only things that it stops me from carrying on planes are things that are illegal anyway. If someone really wants to destroy a plane, they would probably be smart enough to go about it in a way that goes around airport security. I feel safe enough as it is, but I highly doubt that the security protocol in use now would be enough to stop a real terrorist attack if done intelligently. Now, I feel "safe" in the sense that I know the dangers and risks I take flying in a commercial aircraft and am fine with that, much like one knows the risks of skydiving yet do it anyway. This sense of security, in my opinion, is such an unnatural one. As humans we assess risks and then decide weather the risks are high enough to make whatever it is you are doing not worth it. Look, the only instance in America I know of that featured a hijacking of an airplane was 9/11 and that was one instance on several planes. Sure those people lost their lives and that's a tragedy, but the fact is there isn't this epidemic of people trying to blow up planes and I don't really feel like I'm taking anymore risk flying commercially than I do doing anything else in life.