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A Cruel Way to Protest for a Valid Cause

On the subject of excessively intrusive airport screenings, I agree with Charles Krauthammer.  We need to get rid of security theater, get over our problem with "profiling," and direct more scrutiny to those likely to be security risks and less to those who are not.

However, the idea of scheduling a gum-up-the-works protest for the day before Thanksgiving is beyond despicable. National Opt-Out Day is a call for large numbers of people to opt out of the scanners and elect the longer manual search, all on the same day. It is a cruel and heartless act of vandalism that will seriously hurt other passengers, not the people at whom it is supposedly directed.

The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest airport day of the year.  The airport is full of families, many of whom are not frequent fliers, going home to see Grandma for the holidays.  People who fly long distances between non-hub airports generally have to make connections.  When you have a connection, a delay is not just a delay.  It may mean not making it to your destination at all.  Most families planning to travel tomorrow have nonrefundable tickets.  Canceling is not an option.

Here is my request for people considering joining in this protest.  Look at the people in line behind you.  Do you see Janet Napolitano in the line, or do you see families with children?  If the latter, get through security by the fastest means possible this day and save your protest for another day.

Here is my suggestion for those who must travel Wednesday.  Get to the airport multiple hours early.  Waiting that long with your brood will be rough, but it's better than missing your connection.  If there are two adults in your group, and you have some time left, let one go on to the gate with the brood, while you stay near security.  Then exercise your right to free speech by telling the opt-outers to their faces what despicable, cruel, heartless people they are.


Those that fly only once a year may not have any other effective opportunity to protest this new policy.

I think your argument claims too much. Virtually every time a right is exercised others are inconvenienced.

I very much doubt that many of the people engaging in this protest do not fly any other day of the year.

Just to be clear -- and most of the commenters at VC missed this point -- it is the choice of the day before Thanksgiving as the date of this protest that I find particularly despicable.

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