In a previous article, I discussed the tension that exists between liberty and legislation. The first is a right and a necessity, the second is a necessary evil. 9/11 gave birth to the TSA and all the laws and regulations that proscribe our freedom to travel. If one is not free to go where one pleases, in the manner and time of his choosing, then there is an abridgment of that freedom. Laws dictate how fast we can drive, and on which side of the road, and where we can walk or bike. Such laws governing the above fall into the necessary category.
The laws transition over the evil category when they are used to entrap. Manipulating posted speed limits is one example. Back in the 1970’s, a county in Texas had speed limits drop from 55mph to 30mph so fast that even slamming on the brakes would not keep you below the posted limit. A deputy was on location 24-7 writing tickets. A judge had the county take the sign down. Many jurisdictions subtly engage in similar practices.
Laws that impinge directly on other freedoms, in the name of regulating travel, are more egregious. The price we pay for flying is ridiculous. We have our dignity violated in the name of security; our privacy stripped away. We cannot even bring a bottle of water from home because everyone who wants to fly is under suspicion. This violates the 4th Amendment. The TSA thugs inflict indignities upon flyers that are worse than the profiling of El Al. Think about it, would you rather be questioned or fondled, or, scanned naked?
Children running up to hug grandma are subject to rank thuggery:
a recent incident in Wichita, Kansas has reinforced that argument, as a four-year-old girl was apparently subjected to a humiliating ordeal after she hugged her grandmother while she was waiting in line.
We have gone well past necessary into evil here. People flying from London to Rome have their rights less trammeled than do Americans flying from New York to Atlanta. Considering that London and Rome are the capitals of two separate countries, while JFK and ATL are but airports inside a single nation, this is absurd. What is even more absurd is that many celebrate their shiny new chains.
A week ago, Tennessee became the first state to team up with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to implement highway checkpoints for random searches in a move to counter terrorism.
According to the LA Times, the TSA has been busying itself elsewhere:
The Transportation Security Administration isn’t just in airports anymore. TSA teams are increasingly conducting searches and screenings at train stations, subways, ferry terminals and other mass transit locations around the country.
Other societies have succumb to fear, and sought to trade security for freedom. These societies paid a heavy price for such folly. Americans historically bridled at the thought that their liberty was for sale at any price. Americans have a proud heritage of seeking freedom and opportunity, eschewing security — our frontier epitomized such freedom and opportunity. The Frontier Spirit gave us the power to persevere in the face of danger. We would do well to remember it.
The most pernicious aspect of all this is that such restrictions and indignities have become the new normal. How can one miss something, if one never had it in the first place? Most people are too young to have experienced a world without the constraints that exist today, or they simply do not remember. An animal born in captivity does not notice the bars on the cage either.