Ron Pauls legislation would establish that the security screeners who grope travelers and gawk at their nude pictures be subject to the same laws as anyone else. My legislation is simple, Paul said in a statement available at his website. It establishes that airport security screeners are not immune from any US law regarding physical contact with another person, making images of another person, or causing physical harm through the use of radiation-emitting machinery on another person. It means they are subject to the same laws as the rest of us.
The principle behind the legislation is simple: If an individual can be arrested for groping another individual, why shouldn't a TSA agent also be subject to arrest when he does exactly the same thing?
The Congressman had another thought: Imagine if the political elites in our country were forced to endure the same conditions at the airport as business travelers, families, senior citizens, and the rest of us. Perhaps this problem could be quickly resolved if every cabinet secretary, every member of Congress, and every department head in the Obama administration were forced to submit to the same degrading screening process as the people who pay their salaries. Perhaps the political elites would re-evaluate their position on the peeping and probing Toms at the TSA; perhaps they would be willing to support the Congressman's legislation.
"Something has to be done, Congressman Paul implored in a speech he gave on the House floor in support of his bill. Everybody's fed up. The people are fed up. The pilots are fed up. I'm fed up. He added: What were doing and what were accepting and putting up with is so symbolic of us just not standing up and saying, Enough is enough.' "
According to Ron Paul: Groping people at the airport doesn't solve our problems. What has solved our problems basically has been that they put a good lock on the [cockpit] door and they put a gun inside the cockpit. That's been the greatest boon to our safety. Safety should be the responsibility [of the] individual and private property owner. But right now we assume the government is always going to take care of us and we are supposed to sacrifice our liberties. I say that is wrong.
It is wrong because the government is supposed to protect liberty, not suppress it in the name of security. It is wrong because security provided by private companies, which have to take into account the demands and concerns of prospective customers if they want to earn their business, is superior to government security and the government's monopoly of power.
The Congressman added: If this doesn't change, I see what has happened to the American people is we have accepted the notion that we should be treated like cattle. Make us safe, make us secure, put us in the barbed wire, feed us, fatten us up, and then they'll eat us. And we are a bunch of cattle and we have to wake up and say we've had it. Its time for the American people to stand up and shrug off the shackles of our government at TSA at the airport.
Indeed, many Americans do appear to be standing up to the TSA's abusive and obtrusive behavior at airports. By opting out and by refusing to fly, many Americans are serving notice that they will "shrug off the shackles of our government at TSA" but will not shed their clothes, their dignity, their privacy, or their rights. (Consider, for exhibit A, the courageous stand of John Tyner.)
Congressman Paul's American Traveler Dignity Act (H.R. 6416) states:
No law of the United States shall be construed to confer any immunity for a Federal employee or agency or any individual or entity that receives Federal funds, who subjects an individual to any physical contact (including contact with any clothing the individual is wearing), x-rays, or millimeter waves, or aids in the creation of or views a representation of any part of a individual's body covered by clothing as a condition for such individual to be in an airport or to fly in an aircraft. The preceding sentence shall apply even if the individual or the individual's parent, guardian, or any other individual gives consent.
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Thumbnail photo: Ron Paul