Aug 292006
 
Authors: Nick Hemenway

We are living in a new era.

Unlike five years ago, we can no longer ignore the fact that there are millions of people around the world who want to harm America. They hate the way we live, they hate who we are and they hate what we stand for.

For many people, that is a hard concept to grasp. However, this means that there are some small changes that we must make in order to protect ourselves and our country.

As most of you know, on Aug. 10, police agencies in Great Britain foiled a terrorist attack that would have brought down several planes that were headed to the United States. British authorities discovered that these attacks were to be carried out by detonating liquid-based explosives packed in the terrorists’ carry-on luggage.

Luckily, they were stopped before they could kill hundreds of innocent people. According to howstuffworks.com, the terrorists planned to take innocent-looking bottles on board with some dangerous liquids inside. These solutions would most likely have chemical compositions similar to nitroglycerin, an extremely volatile liquid that can be detonated with a simple shock, which could be provided by other carry on items such as cell phones, laptops or other handheld electronic devices.

Within hours, new regulations were announced regarding what airline passengers are allowed to bring on airplanes. The most notable change is that now you may not bring liquid or gel-based products on the planes with some exceptions.

Keep in mind that all these items can still be placed in your checked bag, just not in your pocket or carry-on bag. Also, all passengers must take off their shoes and put them through the X-ray machine.

This new wave of regulations has somewhat reignited the debate over what are appropriate security measures. Many people think that these new procedures are annoying and unnecessary. Though they may be slightly annoying, they are definitely needed. I just don’t see why people are so bothered by some very simple rules.

For those of us law-abiding citizens, we have nothing to hide.

It is a small sacrifice to take an extra three minutes going through security to ensure the safety of all those on the flight. This summer, I was lucky enough to be randomly selected for an all-expense paid full security check before a flight I took. It was fairly quick, easy and not at all intrusive.

Albeit I could think of many things I would rather do than be patted down by a guy who looks like Milton from Office Space, I will gladly support our authorities in their efforts to keep us all safe.

What we must come to accept is that national security and public safety should come before our desire to brush our teeth or shampoo our hair during a flight.

It doesn’t matter whether you are flying to another country or another state, as long as there are people out there who want to hurt us, we have to be prepared to stop them.

Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column runs occasionally in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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