The Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan who challenged the team's pat-down searches. Yeah boy!
For those of you that aren't aware. In 2005 a High School teacher, Gordon Johnston, challenged the use of Pat-Downs as a preventive measure to enter Raymond James Stadium, stating that the pat-downs are unconstitutional and unreasonable. He took his quest to the three lower courts and won, thus the ban of pat-downs at Raymond James Stadium last season. This past week however, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned those rulings, thus bringing pat-downs back to Raymond James Stadium for the 2007 season (its unknown whether they will be administered at the Bucs Two Pre-Season games this year). The court decided that Johnston forfeited his right to challenge the constitutionality of the pat-downs when he consented to them. The court also said Johnston doesn't have a constitutional right to watch a football game, that he was aware of the search policy before entering the stadium and that the Bucs can revoke game tickets for any reason. My take on the situation:
What is the big deal with a Pat-Down? Unless you're concealing something (alcohol, weapons, ex-lax), why would you care, especially if it could prevent a potential mass murdering? Something as little as a Pat-Down. A five second Pat-Down? I think when security administers a Pat-Down and feels dynamite strapped across someone's body, there's a good chance that individual will not make it into the stadium that day. Every team's stadium in the NFL requires Pat-Downs except Raymond James, why do you think that is? You folks should want more safety, I don't get it.
So you lose a right, big deal. What right are you losing? The right to smuggle in something illegal to the Stadium? The right to smuggle in alcohol (By the way, you have a HUGE PROBLEM if this applies to you)? The right to carry a concealed weapon into a stadium? I mean, it's not like we're losing driving privileges or free-speech. We're talking about Pat-Downs. (I can't help but hear Allen Iverson in the background, "Practice, Practice", damn you ESPN).
Obviously the system doesn't work if those who administer the pat-downs are allowing individuals with a bulge in their pocket (camera/cell phone) to enter the stadium unquestioned. That boils down to compensation or lack there of. I mean we want security, good security, but we're not willing to pay for it. I understand pat-downs are of weak value to the majority, but at least they are a prohibitive factor to an insane person entering a stadium and killing folks. I'm not naive enough to think that by implementing pat-downs we're going to eliminate terrorist threats. It's just an added obstacle a terrorist has to get around. I'm willing to pay a tax if it provides added potential safety (whether it be an illusion or not). BUT that's .... Just ..... ME!