Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

“Don’t Tase me, bro” finally has a sister slogan.

After refusing a full-body scan and then refusing a full-body pat down, a 31-year-old California man was thrown out of San Diego’s airport Saturday after saying, “If you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.”

John Tyner’s “Don’t touch my junk” tagline had already gone viral by Monday morning courtesy of a cell phone video, prompting quick response from Transportation Security Administration officials to defend its already-controversial screening methods.

The new pat down rules began Oct. 28 as an alternative to the already-deemed intrusive full-body scanners that have been called “virtual strip searches” by many.

The pat-down procedure that Tyner refused involves a same-sex airport official  conducting a “sliding hand motion” search of the passenger’s body, including the groin and breast area.

TSA and the Department of Homeland Security have repeatedly defended the full-body scanners that can peer under clothes as “necessary” to ensure safety, and the pat-down measures, officials said, “serve an important goal.”

After refusing to be violated virtually and physically by airport officials, Tyner said he now faces a $10,000 fine for his “junk” ordeal.

And when any man or woman can face a multi-thousand-dollar lawsuit because he or she refused to be violated by an airport official or be virtually strip-searched, something is wrong.

Defending the new pat-down procedures, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said the pat downs, which have been labeled as “groping” and “inappropriate” by airplane passengers across the country, protect passenger safety.

But as Americans grapple with the inevitable relinquishing of civil liberties in the name of “safety” today as the holiday season quickly approaches, it becomes clear that no such search method would have discovered the series of printer bombs sent from Yemen in late October.

The main question Americans face is not one of ultimate safety — as the Yemen-originated printer bombs did not have to pass through an intrusive pat down — but rather: How many civil liberties are we willing to relinquish for the government to tell us we’re finally safe?

We strongly recognize that the threat of terrorism is ever-present as the series of printer bombs has shown us, but we also agree that TSA’s pat-down procedures and virtually strip searching full-body scans do little if anything to solve terrorism’s increasingly intelligent methods.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

Tyner said it best Saturday morning when he told airport officials, “I don’t understand how a sexual assault can be made a condition of my flying.”

As soon as we become comfortable with legal “sexual assaults,” as Tyner described it, we open the dubious doors to routine full strip searches in the name of “safety.”

In response to Tyner’s refusal Saturday, TSA Chief John Pistole said the new measures provide the “best possible technology” to detect explosives. Yet Pistole notably disregarded the inability of the new measures to find and discover such bombs as the ones sent from Yemen.

Stand up for your rights, Gators. Sexual assault should not be a requirement for flying. Or you can always report those dissidents who want to keep their civil liberties for thoughtcrime.

And, oh yeah, don’t touch my junk.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.