Abolish the TSA

Recently, there has been a public backlash against new airport screening procedures. Passengers rightfully object to scanners that reveal their naked bodies, and to enhanced pat-downs that would be considered sexual assault anywhere else.

John Tyner summed up this backlash perfectly: "Don't touch my junk!"

We object to these new procedures. They are just the latest symptoms of a series indignities imposed upon us since 9/11, such as . . .

  • Being forced to remove belts and shoes when screened
  • Seeing toothpaste and nail clippers confiscated

The underlying, absurd logic is that if you intend to board an airplane, you sacrifice your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The right to travel—as fundamental a right as there is in a free society—has been turned on its head.

This all began shortly after 9/11. Congress established the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) whose main job is to screen all passengers and baggage at over 450 U.S. airports.

But the TSA was ill-conceived from the start. After 9/11, potential terrorists already residing in the U.S. have had little incentive to use airplanes in their plots, considering the near-infinite possibilities of terror targets.

Indeed, airline-related terror incidents since 9/11—such as the shoe bomber and underpants bomber—originated overseas, outside the TSA's jurisdiction.

The agency spends almost $8 billion per year and has been called a "make work" program for its 50,000 employees. But the cost of the TSA is much greater than that. Even before the new scanners and enhanced pat-downs were introduced . . .

. . . have led more and more people to drive instead of fly. And this has led to more highway fatalities.

The TSA's new scanners—which may pose a cancer risk—and the invasive pat-downs will cause more and more people to avoid the airport altogether—leading to even more traffic deaths. (See incidents of TSA abuse on our Background Page.)

The most infuriating aspect of this is, the TSA is unnecessary. Other privately-owned firms and facilities—such as amusement parks, stadiums, and skyscrapers—provide their own private security. Why can't airports and airlines do the same?

If we abolished the top-down TSA control and adopted a free market in airline security . . .

  • Airports and airlines would be held liable for security lapses that cause harm—creating an incentive to protect their passengers and property
  • They would compete and innovate to produce the most customer-friendly, low-cost, efficient forms of security
  • Diversity of security methods would make it harder for potential terrorists and hijackers to plan attacks

Tell Congress to abolish the TSA.

(Thanks to Oleg Volk for the use of the TSA Checkpoint sign.)

Use the form at right to send your elected representatives a letter about this issue. It's easy!

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We provide the first few words of the letter so that Congressional offices will see the most important point right at the start, and so that no one can hijack our system for another purpose. Here's the part we provide . . .

Abolish the TSA, and permit airlines to provide their own security plans.
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