I was going to wait to write this post until I'd written the letters I intend to send, but I want to write this now while there is some media attention on the matter.
I refuse to participate in the TSA's X-ray backscatter devices. I refuse to participate in the TSA's "enhanced" (read: extra-invasive) pat-downs.
Given that we purchased our plane tickets for Christmas many weeks ago before the TSA changed its pat-down procedure, December will be the last time I fly on a plane until some semblance of rationality is restored to the screening process.
I put up with the normal pat-down; it was an inconvenience but no worse than being frisked at a concert. However, I won't put up with the new pat-downs.
I don't consider a full-body scan a reasonable condition for boarding a plane. I don't consider a full-body pat-down a reasonable condition for boarding a plane. I will travel by means that have sane security checks or I will not travel.
I plan to write a letter explaining my position and sending it to all the major airlines, the FAA, the TSA, and my congressional representatives. It will be sad if the only way to get this to change is to destroy the air travel industry. But apparently we need to convince some large corporations that the TSA is hurting their business.
Yes, not traveling by air will be inconvenient. But there are options. I've been looking into long-distance travel with Amtrak. You can book private bedrooms. They're not amazingly cheap, but I'm willing to travel less often and spend more if it means maintaining some semblance of my civil rights. I've already written to Amtrak explaining why they have a perfect opportunity to make me happy to travel again. I really hope they don't disappoint me.
I hope more people will join me in refusing to participate in the TSA's invasive and demeaning security checks. We are law-abiding citizens. We shouldn't be treated like criminals just to travel within our own country.
I felt completely safe boarding planes with an X-ray scan of luggage and a simple metal detector. I will feel perfectly safe returning to that level of security.