City Slickers

Photo above: City Slickers III. Wind River area, Wyoming. Son Matt, Brother Dave, Son John Paul, Me J.P.

Small Talk

SMALL TALK: View the story of the air rifle that doubled the size of the United States. Fantastic bit of 2nd Amendment history re: Lewis and Clark.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Hand Account of a Pat Down

I had to fly to Phoenix last week on business and pleasure, escaping the sub zero temperatures of Northern Utah for the milder climes of the flaming bird. Got up to the scanner point and the TSA agent, noticing my shock of gray hair and other obvious tip offs to shady character hood, waved me over to the full body scanner. I politely refused. "Got an opt out here," spoke the agent into his shoulder mike, and had me stand to the side. After about five minutes, they shut down the full body scanner and the agent tending it waved me over to where my removable stuff had passed through the baggage scanner. While walking over, he was busy donning his latex gloves. Asking me to point out, but not touch my stuff, he grabbed the bin and directed me to the screening area. He informed me that I was going to receive a comprehensive pat down and began the process, informing me every step of the way. When he got to the "sensitive" areas, he said he was using the back of his hands. The entire pat down was minimally intrusive and did not invade my "junk." When he was through, I looked him in the eye and politely stated, "I hope you understand you have just violated my 4th Amendment rights." He made no reply and I departed.

In summary, I do believe TSA has backed off on the intrusiveness of the pat down, at least in my case. Maybe as an old gray haired guy, I was actually profiled. Or, it could be that they have been instructed not to be as aggressive in the past. Secondly, I found it interesting that they shut down the full body scanner shortly after I opted out. Perhaps only coincidence, but I do believe when they are short on manning they don't want to push too many people into the pat down.

I still believe that the full body scan and the pat down exceed "reasonable search and seizure of person and effects" and should be eliminated. I also believe that the only way to effect this change is through public pressure, Congress, and the courts.



Anonymous said...

"When he was through, I looked him in the eye and politely stated, "I hope you understand you have just violated my 4th Amendment rights." He made no reply and I departed.".

Way to go, JP. If enough people said that to enough TSA agents AND Border Patrol away from the border (50 miles!!!) maybe one or two might become curious about those things people keep yakking about like the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and read them for the first time in their lives. That's provided, of course, that they can read English. Oops...made that last sentence too long by one word.


JP said...

I guess what really amazes me about the whole TSA thing is the fact that the left went nuts over all the supposed violations of civil liberties under President Bush, yet remain strangely quiet about unreasonable search and seizure inflicted on the flying public. Go figure.


Bob Mack said...

According to Homeland Security, your opt-out identifies you as a domestic "extremist", as are 58% of your fellow passengers. I'll bet you even have a dangerous vegetable garden hidden away somewhere. Well, S-510 should ensure that the Federal Tomato Squad will be paying you a visit shortly. Unauthorized foodstuffs are no longer permitted in the Reich.

Anonymous said...

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