I recently took a trip that required me to fly. I was filled with a sense of dread as I got ready to head to the airport, which is sad because I used to really enjoy flying.

You see, I love airplanes. I have since I was a little kid. I actually worked in the airline industry for about 7 years. I’ve flown a lot. But the TSA has ruined flying for me.

The last time I flew, a TSA agent at LAX grabbed my crotch.

We’re all safer now.

You’re welcome for my service.

I loathe the TSA. I honestly hate it more than any other federal agency.

Oh, I know there are greater threats to my liberty. I should hate the IRS more. Or maybe the NSA. Perhaps the Pentagon. But the TSA  — I guess that it’s just such a tangible violation of my rights and the Constitution. I can literally feel it running up and down my leg.

We’ve all heard the stories of TSA agents groping cancer patients, grandmothers and little kids. Of course, they do it for “security.” But it doesn’t even serve its advertised purpose. Like I said, I worked in the airline industry. I can assure you that the TSA mostly engages in “security theater.” Does anybody really believe it necessary to grope grandma in order to protect airplanes?

But even if it actually did make us safer, the federal government lacks the constitutional authority to serve as airport security, and many of its actions clearly violate the Fourth Amendment.

Still, many Americans defend the TSA, and they primarily advance one argument: if you don’t like it, you don’t have to fly!

But you know what? I do have to fly. The trip I am about to make wouldn’t be possible without air travel. And regardless, I find this argument absurd.

Why do I have to make a choice between convenient transportation and having my rights violated?

How about this: the TSA quits violating our rights and then if you don’t like it, or if you feel frightened by the lack of peek and grope security theater, YOU don’t have to fly.

Mike Maharrey

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