Liberty, Security, and the TSA

According to Professor James Otteson, there is a trade-off between liberty and security. Consider the recent procedures instituted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the name of defending us against terrorism. Are these procedures too invasive?

This is a fairly difficult question to answer. We all have different tolerances for risk. Car crashes cause many more deaths than terrorist attacks. Swimming pools kill more people per year than accidental gun discharges. Should we completely ban cars, swimming pools, and airplanes? Most people would say no. This is because, as mentioned before, that there is a trade-off between security and liberty.

Professor James Otteson feels that the TSA procedures are too invasive, as we have lost all of our liberty and privacy in exchange for security. As a result, we now have no say in our own liberty or privacy and cannot determine the best trade-off for ourselves.


  1. Brian Phillips

    The TSA is another example of We the People being guilty until proven innocent.  In the eyes of the state we are now all potential criminals.

  2. Ryan Boyd

    Well, it is a necessary question of values. In many ways, if we really valued freedom over security than the TSA would long be abolished. However, there isn’t the mass demonstrations against the TSA as there were for other restrictions including the NSA.

  3. taschrant

    Man, the terrorists won…so sad that American’s spirit of freedom is on life support.  Those terrorists scared our liberty away from us.

  4. GeF

    TSA is ineffective , aggresive

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