TSA: A Follow Up
First, I want to thank everyone who has been writing me with personal messages of their own. I woke up to an inbox that was full of hundreds of positive, well-written, and well-informed emails. While the large majority were supportive of my actions, a few disagreed with them. But everyone, regardless of their position, was cordial and polite. That is one thing that our country definitely needs.
Second, I want to emphasize the fact that the police officers in this story were amazingly professional. They were polite, they were patient, and they were really interested in doing what was right. We need more officers like them. This story would not have been possible without their good intentions.
Our voices combined
Below, please find some just a few wonderful examples of the messages I’ve received. I think combined, these notes express our multifaceted concerns about this policy.
“Hi Matt. I’m a military veteran (20 years Air Force & Army.) Just wanted to say thanks for taking 2½ hours out of your life to defend our Constitutional freedoms (not to mention risking jail.) I am truly grateful.”
“My father has had 3 separate cases of skin cancer, my mother passed away last year from melanoma, and I myself have already had one documented case of skin cancer. Machines such as these “backscatter” scanners are deemed to be “safe”, but by the same token, none of the dermatologists I have talked with or read papers from can explain the growing numbers of people affected by (and dying from) skin cancer and melanoma. Yes, I am concerned.”
“My 15 year old daughter flew to my Dad’s in florida with my brother after Christmas. When she reported to me having a woman run her hands up her thighs at the airport, I told her that she would not be flying again.”
“I just wanted to say thank you for doing what you did. There are tears streaming down my face right now because I am so moved by your story. I was raped in college and am now terrified to travel.”
“The idea that this makes us “safe” is ludicrous, and you have to wonder what comes next…scans to get into the mall? Sporting events? The local mall? How about the terrorist hunkered over his missle launcher two blocks from the airport? Would this protect us from him?”
“I know that you’re just a man who was asserting his rights while he was doing what he thought was the right thing. Hopefully your example will be followed by tens of thousands of patient, informed and polite travelers who also value their rights more than their convenience.”
“I just want to show my appreciation regarding the airport issue. I am deeply impressed and I stand in awe of your determination. If all Americans were like you the world and your country would be a better place. I am glad there are americans like you. If any grammar may have been incorrect I apologise, I’m just a university freshman from Sweden.”
“I’ve flown for Delta – a pilot for 35 years and the last thing I need is more radiation, no matter how small and I certainly don’t want to be molested just to enter the country, especially when leaving a sterile environment. I admired your courage and efforts not to be bullied into doing something that you know is WRONG.”
“Thank you for that, Matt. Tomorrow I will call our TA and cancel a spring trip to the Baltic.”
And honestly, this might be my favorite:
“I guess I understand why you didn’t want anyone touching your balls (Cause they are HUGE!!)”