I oppose the recent push for full-body X-ray scanners in international airports.

I am an overseas military spouse. My family lives 4,700 miles away; the only way I can get to them is via international flight. I can’t take the bus.

Even if I don’t travel home for visits (especially helpful while my husband is deployed), eventually I will have to move back home and would have no choice but to endure this invasion of privacy. I am a very private person. I abhor the thought of having my body, or that of my children, subject to casual government inspection. I also do not want my newborn, my 4-year-old or my lactating body exposed to unnecessary radiation. I believe those are reasonable concerns in terms of both privacy and health.

Let’s not abandon good, noninvasive security measures. Go ahead, scan my luggage! I’ll take off the shoes — scan them too! I also support the use of air marshals to ensure the rule of law onboard, extra checkpoints and restriction of access to carry-ons during flight. I would just like airline policies to be reasonable, respectful and not mere “security theater.”

The best approach is for passengers to take responsibility for paying attention around them on a flight. That has proved highly effective, now that the world knows what could happen if we all stay apathetically in our seats.

Shall we tolerate policies engendered by terrorists and cowards? In “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” patriotism shouldn’t be a matter of compliance to invasive policies made based on a current of fear. That’s cowardly, because it shifts responsibility for others’ fears to innocent bystanders. I count my children, and myself, innocent. Shouldn’t I?

Frances SimmonsKatterbach, Germany

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