Popehat and Abel and Draughn and Hit & Run and Kennedy and Greenfield have already visited the subject of the video of a TSA goon groping a six-year-old girl at the airport in New Orleans (insert tacky Mardi Gras bead joke here, if you absolutely must). For me, the video did nothing more than reaffirm my decision not to take my young children through airport security.
But this, from LewRockwell.com (referred to, I think, in the comments at one of the blogs I listed above), caught my attention:
The mother of the 6 year old girl in this video writes in the YouTube comments:
Cannot believe people are allowed to touch my child in this manner. The TSA should be abolished and anyone who has groped another person cited, fined and/or jailed for personal assault. I tried to stop this and was threatened with fines, jail and delay in getting to my destination. There are better ways to keep our citizens safe from terrorists. We need to find a way to keep ourselves safe from the TSA too. “Just doing their job” is an excuse used by people who do wrong.
I cannot believe it either, but I’m not the one who allowed it.
“Delay in getting to my destination”? There is nowhere I need to get in enough of a hurry to be worth letting you fondle a six-year-old.
“Fines”? Now you’re trying to bribe me to let you molest a little girl. Shame on you for trying. And shame on me if I let you.
“Jail”? Ha! I laugh at your “jail.” You think any jury anywhere in the Southern District of Texas would convict me of anything if I interfere with this sort of treatment of a six-year-old girl? Better men have spent more time in worse jails for lesser causes. Ha!
If I went through airport security with a child, I would be anticipating that the child would be touched inappropriately by the screener—it is, after all, according to Curtis Robert Burns, standard operating procedure.** Anticipating that the screener might try to commit standard operating procedure on the child, I would be alert and prepared to speak up, and to act if necessary.
It’s easy to figure out what to do, given lots of time to think about the subject. But when nasty unexpected things happen to us, we don’t always have the proper response at hand. For the parent who hasn’t been paying close attention to TSA’s trespasses, seeing this must have been like a descent into Wonderland. For the passenger who doesn’t deal with the criminal-justice system every day, the threat of jail is a terrifying thing. The TSA’s threats might even, in the heat of the moment, make a person question whether what he is seeing, which he knows is wrong, is really wrong.
Wrong does not become right because a government agent says it is. Even if Meemaw and Pawpaw are already waiting at the airport to pick you up. (To those whatever-it-takes quislings who would back TSA: if you try to comment without reading and understanding Transportation Economics I will mock you. Mercilessly.)
When I catch myself discussing my feelings about small children and air travel around people who might be parents of small children with air-travel plans, I feel the social filters trying to kick in, saying that it’s not entirely appropriate to disparage the parenting skills of those who subject their young children to random*** groping.
But, dammit, this is where the rubber meets the road. Until most of us say, “this you cannot do to my children,” TSA will know that it can continue doing it both to them and to us.
* There is more to Burns, who goes by the insipid moniker “Blogger Bob” in his day job as TSA apologist, than first meets the eye. Ethos, baby. Ethos.
** This is why my kids won’t fly.
*** Contrary to TSA assertion, patdowns are not only for those who set off the walk-through metal detector.