My Editorial Soapbox About the Transportation Security Administration

I don’t plan to travel by airplane any time soon, but I am a little dismayed by recent complaints targeted towards the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), regarding the security measures taking place at our airports. While I don’t agree with any form of invasive or inappropriate touching, regardless of who it is, I have to say that we can’t let our guard down, simply because some people find it inconvenient and time consuming to go through these security measures. While nothing is foolproof, at least we have something in place that will help to ease the anxiousness of many travelers.

Now, for some reason it seems like many people in our country have short-term memory about recent terrorist threats and attacks occurring around the world. It is also no secret that a lot of hostility and hatred is pointed toward the United States of America. Our enemies have just as much high tech access as we do, and they watch our pattern of behavior with razor sharp observation. We cannot continue to assume that all of these terrorists live in caves or underground bunkers. They are blending in with everyone else to avoid drawing attention to their plots.  We are even finding increased reports of terroristic recruiting and sleeper cells among our own citizens. In the most unlikely places we are finding homegrown terrorists in our own backyards.

Recently, there was a report on our local news about a 16-year-old high school student caught with a lot of bomb making ingredients in his home. Surprisingly, his mother said she had no idea what her son was up to. The 16-year-old was arrested, because he allegedly made a bomb that he inserted inside a “writing pen,” then placed it on one of his teacher’s desk at school. The pen was intended to harm the teacher, but another student apparently picked up the pen first. The pen exploded, causing serious injury to that student. Yep, an undetected, regular writing pen did some serious damage to an innocent victim. Was this teenage suspect from an ethnic culture or with a foreign background that we stereotypically equate with terrorism? Not at all. This is a young man who you would probably least suspect. One has to wonder the magnitude of damage or how many lives could have perished if something as unsuspecting as a writing pen was planted in a few of our transportation systems.

Another thing I “don’t” agree with regarding recent complaints about the TSA, is not requiring children to go through some type of security check. I say this because of a conversation I had with my husband who is a Vietnam Veteran. Although in the United States we value the lives of our children, in some hostile regions, particularly where they start training children very early to sacrifice their lives for combat, by any means necessary, is a very real thing. I heard stories that my husband and a few former Vietnam Vets told about children holding a weapon directed at them when they were fighting the war, and they naturally assumed that the child was playing with a toy. How far from the truth that was. Many soldiers found out too late that these children easily infiltrated their platoon and the troops never knew what hit them. The compassionate spirit of our soldiers could not allow them to shoot and kill these children, but when you are staring down the barrel of an assault machine gun or see them take the pin out of a hand grenade, you have to make a life or death decision. Now, we may not think like that in our country, but there are cultures who train their children early, to become human weapons of destruction. Although I think these children are victims, they are only following directions and doing what they are told to do, just as we normally train our children to listen and follow the rules. Thus, the innocent become malicious. It’s scary, but it’s real.

We have to stop whining about the little inconveniences that make us stop and heed certain warnings. If something tragic happened, then some folks would be protesting and screaming about why the government didn’t protect us better. I do not suggest that we live in fear. But our world is quite different from the way it used to be. There are people out here who have little regard for human life. There are people out here who hate just because. As long as we continue to be divided on an issue that I really don’t think should be up for discussion right now, adversaries are taking notice of our distractions and quarrelling, and know just when to plan their attack. We could end up being our own worst enemy.

Sometimes I think we tend to be very spoiled in this country and don’t truly appreciate the freedoms we have and those who made sacrifices for us to enjoy those freedoms. It’s a part of life, when we have to endure some little inconveniences from time to time. Now this is not a PSA for the TSA, but it is their responsibility to do what they are assigned to do. As law-abiding citizens, we should be on our knees praying for ways that we can help make things better, instead of being a hindrance.

As you go about your everyday routine, let’s learn to be grateful instead of being unappreciative. Let’s learn to be the United States of America, instead of the Divided States of America. This is not about religious, financial, ethnic or political affiliations. This country has an impressive melting pot of diversity. This is about unification. This is about sustaining love and the pursuit of happiness. In unity, there is strength. In division, there is weakness. Let us focus on being an asset instead of a liability.

Peace and blessings to everyone. Be safe out there!

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” – Matthew 12:25 (NIV)


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