Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Op-Ed Columns

Reasonable security saves lives

Molly Piehl is a Maumee High School student who won first place in the contest for Division III. The topic was "Air Security and the 4th Amendment." The contest was sponsored by The Blade and the Toledo Bar Association.

The Fourth Amendment states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Given the stated goals of international terrorist groups, it's not unreasonable to modify airport security measures to include more modern methods. In order to protect travelers' lives, each must accept security procedures, and nations must collaborate to improve security.

According to a USA Today Gallup poll conducted in January 2010, 84 percent of Americans believed the Transportation Security Administration's plan to install 300 full-body scanners in the U.S.'s largest airports would help prevent airport terrorist attacks. While 20 percent disagreed with this plan, 78 percent agreed. Those who disagreed argued that the scanners violated privacy and the Fourth Amendment. However, the workers who conduct the procedures are trained professionals, offering same-sex and closed-door searches as well as the choice between a scanner and a pat-down. This is not unreasonable. The plan's defenders argued that no one is required to travel via airplane. Living in the 21st century allows for a variety of transportation choices. If one chooses to travel via commercial plane, by purchasing the ticket one has agreed to abide by the safety regulations.

All nations' laws play a role in travelers' safety. Usually, the national police force or department of transport manages a nation's airport security. In the U.S., the TSA, an agency in the Department of Homeland Security, handles it. Agencies are responsible for screening, profiling, and updating airport technology. Sometimes, agencies send representatives to other nations to form partnerships that allow the two to evaluate and improve each other's security. An example of this is when the U.S. consulted Israel after the Sept. 11 attacks. Israeli officials recommended security measures, reviewed updated airports, and helped install new technology.

It would be beneficial if a group of representatives from each nation was responsible for international flight security. The committee's members would be appointed by the aforementioned agencies. This group, which would include several air-safety experts, would convene regularly to discuss international aviation security and methods to enhance it. New international laws would be created and enforced. Ideally, this committee, under the authority of the United Nations, would work together to reach the common goal of protecting the life of every person.

Ensuring everyone's safety is a top priority, so the Fourth Amendment isn't violated by the reasonable inclusion of extra security measures. Nations must be united in the efforts of protecting people from terrorists, and formalizing the extra measures via the recommended committee can serve to make the world a safer place. While it may be unrealistic to prevent every incident, as terrorists constantly are trying to find ways to bypass security measures, every nation has a responsibility in this regard. Every life counts.

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