I am afraid to fly with my family these days. Not because I am afraid of crashing, but because I am afraid of being arrested for assault. The viral YouTube video of the terrified three-year-old being given an invasive body search by a rough Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent is outrageous and alarming.
Trust me, if that were my beautiful, modest thirteen-year-old daughter being intimidated and groped, I couldn’t be held responsible for my actions. I have had two children, and my modesty level at this point in life is pretty minimal, but someone touching my kid is another story. That person is likely to get their eyes scratched out, TSA Agent or not. I am not kidding: Moms won’t abide someone messing with our children. Keep the cameras ready; it’s only a matter of time before one of us snaps. Hope it’s not me.
But perhaps we would all be served by making an effort to take the emotion out of this very personal issue and looking at it logically.
Clearly, the U.S. government should have the most effective security possible in place to protect its citizens. We are all under serious threat of terrorism, and no one wants a repeat of 9/11. And honestly, the vast majority of TSA agents are nice people trying to do their jobs as instructed in order to pay their bills. They are probably the most appalled by the new procedures.
But really, have we all lost our minds? In what world does frisking elderly nuns and little children make us safe?
Our government has tossed common sense aside when it comes to protecting our nation. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano obviously has no clue how to keep the country safe when PETN explosives seem to be the greatest threat and this new system does nothing in particular to detect it.
When asked recently if a woman wearing traditional Muslim hijabs would be patted down in the same intrusive way as everyone else opting out of the naked body screeners, she gave a vague answer about possibly “adjusting” some of the procedures. Are you kidding? If the TSA screeners are going to pat down a Catholic nun in her full habit, why not do the same to Muslim women in hijabs? Are we so politically correct that we are downright stupid?
The country has been extremely blessed that we have not been attacked since 9/11. According to many national security experts, it’s only a matter of time before that streak ends.
Concerned Women for America (CWA) recently conducted a post-election poll surveying voters. When asked about the greatest challenge facing future generations, “threats to our national security” was the answer given by over half the respondents. We all get it. It’s a dangerous and scary world.
Clearly, the United States is a huge target for terrorists, and our lives can never go back to the way they were before 9/11, but that does not mean Americans have to give up their Fourth Amendment rights in exchange for a system that ignores the obvious due to political correctness. Perhaps we should all start donning hijabs for our next trip. That’s a ridiculous thought, but no more ridiculous than the current system.
Common sense needs to be brought into the national security conversation. National security is certainly a matter of life or death, but airport security needs a modicum of common sense along with procedures that actually work and don’t cause moms like me to wind up on an episode of "Jersey Shore."
Penny Young Nance is CEO of Concerned Women for America.
Penny Young Nance is president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest women’s public policy organization. She is the author of the forthcoming book "Feisty and Feminine: A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women" (Zondervan 2016).