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Ron Paul: TSA Thugs On The Loose! – OpEd


If you thought the “Transportation Security Administration” would limit itself to conducting unconstitutional searches at airports, think again. The agency intends to assert jurisdiction over our nation’s highways, waterways, and railroads as well. TSA launched a new campaign of random checkpoints on Tennessee highways last week, complete with a sinister military-style acronym–VIP(E)R—as a name for the program.

As with TSA’s random searches at airports, these roadside searches are not based on any actual suspicion of criminal activity or any factual evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever by those detained. They are, in effect, completely random. So first we are told by the U.S. Supreme Court that American citizens have no 4thamendment protections at border crossings, even when standing on U.S. soil. Now TSA takes the next logical step and simply detains and searches U.S. citizens at wholly internal checkpoints.

The slippery slope is here. When does it end? How many more infringements on our liberties, our property, and our basic human rights to travel freely will it take before people become fed up enough to demand respect from their government? When will we demand that the government heed obvious constitutional limitations, and stop treating ordinary Americans as criminal suspects in the absence of probable cause?

The real tragedy occurs when Americans incrementally become accustomed to this treatment on the roads just as they have become accustomed to it in the airports. We already accept arriving at the airport 2 or more hours before a flight to get through security; will we soon have to build in an extra 2 or 3 hours into our road trips to allow for checkpoint traffic?

Worse, some people are lulled into a false sense of security and are actually grateful for this added police presence! Should we really hail the expansion of the police state as an enhancement to safety? I submit that an attitude of acquiescence to TSA authority is thoroughly dangerous, un-American, and insulting to earlier freedom-loving generations who built this country.

I am certain people will complain about this, once they have to sit in stopped traffic for a few extra hours to allow for random searches of cars. However, I am also certain it merely will take another “foiled” plot to silence many people into gladly accepting more government mismanagement of safety.

Vigilant, observant, law-abiding, gun-owning citizens defend themselves and stop crimes every day before police can respond. That is the source of real security in America: the 2nd Amendment right to defend oneself. The answer is for people to be empowered to protect themselves. Yet how many weapons might these checkpoints confiscate? Even when individual go through all the legal hoops of licensing and permits, the chances of harassment or outright confiscation of weapons and detention of citizens when those weapons are found at a TSA checkpoint is extremely high.

Disarming the highways and filling them full of jack-booted thugs demanding to see our papers is no way to make them safer. Instead, it is a great way to expand government surveillance powers and tighten the noose around our liberties.

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Ron Paul

Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul (born August 20, 1935) is an American physician, author, and politician who served for many years as a U.S. Representative for Texas. He was a three-time candidate for President of the United States, as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008 and 2012.

4 thoughts on “Ron Paul: TSA Thugs On The Loose! – OpEd

  • October 25, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    This attack on our freedom must end. Let them try that crap in Florida.

    Freedom is NOT free!

  • October 26, 2011 at 1:32 am

    Dr. Paul, what a beautiful article! Keep up the great work.

  • October 26, 2011 at 2:36 am


    Only Dr. Paul will fix this!

  • October 26, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Thanks for that insightful opinion piece Dr. Paul.

    I sure hope all the people who say they want to vote for you actually show up in the primaries to vote for you.

    I’ve been seeing people on comment boards trying to sabotage you lately by talking about how they will only vote for you if you run as an independent or third party, or how they will write-in your name no matter what, thus confusing people in states (like OH) that have restrictive write-in rules into thinking they can help you win that way.

    I believe your campaign needs to come out and remind people to contact their local elections board and arm themselves with knowledge NOW to assure they can participate in the primaries! Without an enormous showing in the primaries, all is for naught.


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