Gerber: Invasion of privacy well worth safer flights

For some of us, the upcoming release from Geneseo means voyage by airplane, and all the hassle and joy that air travel involves. I drive home, so some may argue that I have no right to make any sort of statement about airports and the procedures that take place in them, but I have listened to people who do fly whenever they go home and feel qualified to make a statement based on their experiences and, of course, on my own beliefs about liberty and safety.

In November, the Transportation Security Administration added airport screening procedures that include the use of full-body scanners, which display nude images of passengers' bodies to screeners, and pat-downs which allow screeners to touch all body parts of passengers including breasts and genitals. Many have decried these measures as constituting an invasion of privacy and, in the case of the X-ray scanners, a health risk.

I'm assuming that the majority of readers were alive during 2001. That September, I was nine years old and in the fourth grade when my teacher got a phone call that caused her to burst into tears.

No one would explain anything. I only found out what happened when I went home and my mom had to explain to me that people who hated our entire country and all the people in it had attacked us. Yeah, a little confusing to a nine year old who pretty much thought the only bad guys were Voldemort, who isn't real, and Adolf Hitler, who is, of course, dead.

I was alive when 9/11 happened, and I remember the panic, the sorrow, the yellow ribbons we put on the trees in our front yard – the fear shared by an entire nation.

If I can remember every detail of a day that happened when I was only nine, surely everyone else can. What confuses me is how anyone who either experienced it or has learned about it could possibly complain about tight security in airports. The machines, which aren't even in all American airports yet, are only a little more invasive than a hospital X-ray.

I would let my privacy be invaded 2,977 million times over if it could have saved any lives that day, and it is beyond unfortunate that we did not have such advanced security measures then. Instead of developing phones that can do everything but breathe for us, perhaps we should have focused on improving security.

Think about it: would you really rather preserve your precious privacy and allow an armed terrorist on your plane, or allow a little leeway in order to prevent another 9/11?