Our ever-evolving communist-States of America

I’m sure I will be a first-round pickup for this post, if I’m not already.

A principal from Des Moines, Iowa was denied her constitutional right against “unreasonable search and seizure” by the Transportation Safety Administration. As a general rule, I accept x-ray scans as reasonable. This situation makes me reconsider my stance though.

This woman was returning with some students from a class trip in California when a dulled sandwich knife was noticed in one of her carry-on containers. The TSA confiscated the “weapon” and advised the woman of several “facts”:

  1. The woman will now be placed on a “terrorist watch list” (probably leading to more illegal acts by our government to spy on her and her contacts)
  2. She will be fined $500
  3. Her knife was confiscated
  4. She had no constitutional rights since she was not arrested

I can’t really protest the list. Lists are universal and everywhere, although it sounds like profiling which is illegal according to case law, I believe. Either way, a list is a list and everyone has one of some type.

The fine seems excessive and wrong. Not only was the incident unintentional, but it was also stopped before she got on the plane. She didn’t carry any weapon onto a plane, it was stopped well before she reached the plane. What was she guilty of, making a mistake? Does she get a trial?

Why was the woman not given a receipt for the knife that was stolen from her by the TSA staff? Are they now allowed to steal from people with no recourse?

Perhaps someone can point out the fault in my logic, but I do not recall anywhere in the United States Constitution where the Constitution is suspended in airports. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution ensures citizens’ right to “be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” The amendment goes on to set forth the conditions under which a warrant may be issued: “no warrant 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.”

It seems to me that this was definitely unreasonable seizure, and the use of x-ray technology in this case makes me think that it is unreasonable search since it removes my being secure in my person, effects, and “papers”. I also think that “papers” could be expanded in today’s world to include laptops, cellular phones, etc.

Am I off my rocker on this? Yes, Dave, I know you’ll have a large rebuttal.