Eliminate Passenger Screening

Years ago, I worked as a private security officer (both armed and unarmed- primarily in healthcare environments). I also used to own a company that sold military and law enforcement equipment to local, state, and federal governments as well as to private individuals and security firms. I have sold tactical equipment to various police departments and SWAT teams, the US Department of Defense, the US Navy, US Army, Drug Enforcement Agency, and others. In fact, I once equipped a 25 man assault team on the USS Port Royal with tactical gear and body armor. So needless to say, I'm very familiar with the worlds of security, military, and law enforcement. I am generally a supporter of law enforcement officers, military personnel, and security officers but let me qualify that support... I support those aforementioned personnel who understand, respect, and cherish the Constitution of the United States. Many of those personnel swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. As such, I have no tolerance for those who do not respect the Constitution or their honor and oath.

I believe that when the Fourth Amendment states that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized" that it means what it says. In other words, unless a Judge has been presented sufficient probable cause and signs a search warrant, I do not believe any United States citizen is subject to a search of their home, person, or property by the government, period. I do not feel that any citizen on public property should be subject to limitation of their Constitutional rights. This includes streets, sidewalks, parks, public schools, government buildings, military bases, public airports, etc.

In my view, per the Fourth Amendment, the federal government including the Transportation and Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, et. al. have absolutely zero authority to search you in any way, much less with intrusive back-scatter x-ray technology, and certainly not to physically pat you down and touch you in a way that would be considered sexual assault if anyone other than a government agent were conducting such a search. I wish more judges would recognize this and uphold the Constitution as they swear to do.

If a particular (private) airline wishes to restrict what it's passengers may carry, or even to conduct searches of its passengers prior to boarding, I have no problem with that, so long as it's conducted by private security and the passengers knowingly consent to such a search and have the freedom to choose the airline on which they want to fly. Those who oppose being restricted from carrying weapons, etc. may choose to fly on an airline that allows them to do so. If a plot to commit a crime is uncovered, that is already illegal- there is no need to use the force of law to restrict weapons on-board commercial aircraft just because it's a commercial aircraft- that is ridiculous.

I am also a private pilot, and have been flying since 1998. Nearly every time I have flown, I have been armed. In fact, many of the pilots I know carry a firearm. In areas such as Alaska, you'd be hard pressed to find any unarmed pilots- in fact it's even mandated by the government in some areas. There is no reason that commercial aircraft should be treated any differently than private aircraft- unless of course the owner of the aircraft- not the government- dictates otherwise- that's an important distinction.

Commercial aircraft carry firearms and ammunition all the time- thousands of Americans check their firearms on commercial flights every single day, with no incidents. Millions upon millions of law abiding American citizens carry concealed firearms everywhere they go- to the shopping market, to the mall, to the movies, to restaurants- and increasingly, thanks to changing laws, on college campuses, government buildings, and schools. All but two states in the country allow for concealed carry of firearms, and violent crime has dramatically declined as more and more people carry firearms. It's simple deterrence- criminals fear armed citizens, period. Criminals aboard a commercial airline fear armed citizens just as criminals in a park fear armed citizens. They will not attempt to commit a violent crime such as murder, robbery, rape (or hijacking- hint hint) if they fear that citizens around them may be armed. Furthermore, if the criminal (or terrorist) is especially brazen or crazed and attempts to commit their crime anyway, they will be stopped dead in their tracks by armed citizens, rather than- for example- hijack the airplane unopposed, and fly it into a 110 story building. There is no question in my mind that if law abiding citizens were allowed to be armed on commercial flights, the attacks on 9/11 would not have happened and thousands of lives would have been saved.

Believe it or not, there is even more reason to eliminate TSA airport security checks- it is
estimated that nearly 10,000 additional traffic fatalities have occurred since 9/11 directly as a result of the number of people driving to their destination instead of flying, specifically to avoid the extra time, loss of freedom, and hassle of dealing with the TSA. In other words, the TSA has indirectly killed over three times the number of people who were killed by terrorists on 9/11.

Not to mention the over FORTY BILLION tax dollars that have been spent screening passengers since 2001 that we could save and pay off debt or reduce taxes to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Another EIGHT BILLION dollars is lost in productivity each year by airline passengers waiting in line and going through security.

We, as a society, need to take a step back and think about what kind of a world we want our children to live in. Personally, I want a world in which freedom is cherished, and in which the Constitution is honored and respected. It's up to each and every one of us as American citizens to let our voices be heard, write our legislators, vote, and protect and exercise each and every one of your freedoms, lest we lose them.

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined." - Patrick Henry, Virginia's Ratification Convention, 1788


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