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After TSA airport showdown, John Tyner is glad he took a stand


John Tyner knows he's at minute 14.5 of his headlong rush into the national spotlight. And he couldn't be happier.

An audio recording capturing Tyner's showdown with San Diego airport security screeners a week ago brought the software engineer instant celebrity. His story has been featured on all the major news and late-night comedy shows. Bloggers have alternately praised and excoriated him.

A "Don't Touch My Junk … and Don't Touch My Kid's Junk, Either" T-shirt is reportedly selling quickly on the Internet. So are other commercial products using Tyner's widely heard challenge to a Transportation Security Administration screener: "If you touch my junk I'll have you arrested."

But after a dizzying week of interviews explaining why he refused to submit to a full-body scan or a pat-down search, the former bicycle racer who considers himself a Libertarian says he's ready to slide back into his normal life.

"I'll be back at work on Friday," said Tyner, 31, pausing at midweek for a brief interview between other media calls. "Hopefully I'll be able to get back on my bike again soon."

Tyner's story has touched a nerve with the flying public, dividing passengers into two camps: those willing to put up with invasive security measures for safety's sake and those saying enough is enough.

Read the full story here.


Oceanside man challenges airport's full-body scan

San Diego congressman demands investigation into airport scans and pat downs

-- Catherine Saillant

Photo: John Tyner. Credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (40)

There are many better ways to provide security that what Mr. Pistole and the TSA have come up with. And Mr. Pistole's claim that he stopped anything by using these machines and techniques...baloney.

Mr. Pistole and EVERY employee of TSA should have to go through a full body scan AND enhanced pat-down (by local police, not TSA) every time they go to their workplace...morning, noon, night, coffee break, lunch, etc. EVERY time in, get checked. Then they'll understand what we're going through.

I think what Tyner did was childish and doesn't make any real point.


How true those words ring true today.

TSA workers WHO KNOW THIS IS WRONG, SHOULD NOT SHOW UP TO WORK ON THE 24th. TSA workers, just because you are following orders does not mean you cannot Protest. As you dehumanize us, we too realize they are dehumanizing you. Join the protest and DO NOT SHOW UP FOR WORK ON THE 24th Till they give you back your dignity!!

Okay, lots of squawking, swell quote of Ben Franklin, but what's the solution?

While not condoning TSA's every move, I would have to disagree with Josh and his "baloney" assessment. Since 9/11, how many commercial planes have been flown to their demise? And Josh, searches for coffee breaks and lunch? Easy there, fella, the situation isn't that bad.

I have listened to Mr. Tyner and admittedly he travels by commercial airplane ONLY once a year at the most. His refusal to comply with the rules to board a plane and the overall impact it is having on the people (TSA) that have to screen passengers for OUR safety is mind boggeling to me. I do not care how anyone feels about their "Junk" being touch when I am flying 33 thousand feet in the air with the possibility of the guy sitting next to me hiding a bomb in his "Junk". The reality is that's where the contraband is hidden. I want to fly as safe as possible. If I were a bomb toting maniac I'd been cheering on Tyner. I would want such a public out cry against searches and threat of lawsuits in the air that the airport authorities would find it easier to board suspect passengers then to properly screen folks. The people that are in the air everyday are the ones that should be chiming in here. The pilots, flight attendants and buisness commuters must be wondering why a fellow that travels once a year is getting so much attention. Listen, I work in the county court house - every person that comes in is subject to a search (pat down if you will or "junk" touching) let me tell you that I have seen guns, knifes,razor blades,pocket knifes, and other weapons confiscated. We know that our air planes are a target for terrorists - let's not give them any advantages on carrying out their mission by making it harder on the people that are in place to protect us. Perhaps the TSA should wear T-shirts that say "Touching your Junk, it's a tough job but somebody has to do it" or "I should get paid extra for this service". Criminals look for the easiest targets to carry out their crimes against. The car that doesn't have the alarm, the house with the windows open, the girl walking down the street alone - the plane where no one had their "junk" touched. Think about it and put safety first.

If this whiny self-indulgent conservative had survived an incident in which a bomb was brought on board by someone in their shorts I'd lay odds he'd be one of the first to sue the airline and TSA for not providing enough safety. The fact is flying is NOT a right, you're stuck miles up in the air if something goes wrong, and there are prices to be paid for that - including going through scanners or getting a pat down (even on your junk).

Jamie Dimmel
Los Angeles

This guy is an idiot who made a stink over nothing.

Folks do not have a right to fly. Just walk through the scanner machine. No sweat.

Idiots for making a big deal out of nothing.

I applaud him. There's nothing you can hide in your junk that won't be caught by a metal detector. I'm all for extra security but full body x-rays and excessive pat-downs are too much. A brief pat-down seems fine.

I disagree with John, He does have a choice, Dont travel. Tina hit it ritght on. I would feel much safer having these safety measures than none at all. Dude are you also for alowing the borders to wide open for anyone?
And Catherine the writer in my opinion is one sided on this issue. Arent most journalists supposed to be neutral...
Then again maybe Mr. Tyner is just looking for his 15 minutes of fame

The TSA has no right to touch my junk, my wife's junk, or my daughter's junk, either. For those who are too scared that somebody might carry a bomb onto the plane in their shorts... stay home!

Nobody has a right to fly, that's true. Likewise, nobody should have the right to unreasonable searches. I say that rubbing or squeezing my wife's breast is unreasonable.

We all want to be safe when flying, but we don't need to go overboard. There are so many ways to get materials through security it's not even funny. I fly frequently and I see large security holes. So, if you're worried about somebody's shorts, you ought to be petrified to fly at all.

What do you think is more interesting to a terrorist? Blowing up a plane or blowing up a building like what was done in Oklahoma? There are so many targets and we cannot prevent everything.

I say we spend more time keeping undesirables off the planes, including those inbound to the US. That's where stuff is happening, after all! I say give an American-born citizen a break. Americans are not out against Americans. For that matter, neither are the Japanese, Chinese, Swiss, or Norwegians. I say we put more energy into profiling. There are certain people who might want to do this kind of thing and those who do not. I know people hate profiling, but it's definitely better than groping my wife!

TSA's "security" is a sham. It's theatre, making it look like they provide security while really not providing actual security. They're just counting on the ignorance and fear of the general population to keep a giant and ever more invasive bureaucracy going.

If the goal is to cripple international tourism to the US, then TSA is doing quite well at it. Nobody sane wants to fly into a country that is so totally ruled by paranoia that it sexually assaults people for the crime of buying a plane ticket.

We should never sacrifice privacy rights just because we're scared something may or may not happen. Otherwise, the terrorists have won. They have successfully terrorized us into giving up our rights little by little in favor of faux-safety. A sad day for America when the majority are being so fearful that they are willingly allowing their rights to be violated.

And to the people that say, flying is not a right. That may be true, but last time I checked the constitution and the bill of rights does not end the second you enter an airport.

The only "enhancing" measures I've seen out of TSA is that they went from white to blue shirts. What's next? Crooks have hid contraband in their body cavities (you can figure out which ones) for years. Will this get us cavity searches? TSA was a knee-jerk reaction to 9/11; they are no better or worse than the private security guards that worked at the airports prior to 9/11. However, they have more authority and appear to abuse it without remorse or remand on a regular basis . . .

Whats next bend over and cough?

Dear Paul, Tridus, Zach and Al:

Take this simple test the next time you fly - There will two planes - Plane A screened by our TSA using scanners, x-ray machines and checking luggage and "junk" - then Plane B by our TSA using pre 9/11 screening tactics that are lax, no "junk" touching, or extra measures to secure safety - tell me what plane are you going to board with your wife and kids? Be honest..I thought so.

I rest my case! - Oh, Paul in case you don't know - Profiling - can't do it. I have a Mexican friend who wears a tee-shirt that I love..it says "I just look illegal". Everyone HAS to be treated the same Paul. Plus it's keep dishonest people on their toes.

I'm tired of seeing this guy everywhere. We're around the same age, but he's behaving like a spoiled child. I'm flying out to visit my in-laws in Europe for the holidays, and I don't mind being searched, not one bit. Scan me, search me, do whatever will help me and others feel safe and enjoy our flights.

Sorry Tina, but you don't get to rest your case. The pre 9-11 security is more than fine - what really makes the difference today vs 9-11 is 1) the cockpits are secured and 2) the passengers are more aware

While you may be willing to give up your rights, the rest of us aren't.


I didn't say *no* security, but pre 9/11 security was just fine. There are only four reasonable additions beyond the pre 9/11 security that we need: 1) scan baggage (checked and carry on) for explosives; 2) actually pay attention to the x-ray screens; 3) lock the cockpit door; and 4) profiling. Otherwise, the security we had was fine.

Don't tell me profiling is not acceptable and turn around and tell me that groping my wife or child is OK. We most definitely can and we DO profile. Where do you think that "no fly list" comes from?

Let's keep in mind why the planes crashed in 2001. They were successful because we had all been taught to just sit and listen to the demands of such terrorists. Try pulling that today and they would fail miserably.

The TSA's insane security practices of not allowing me to carry a pocket knife, not allow me to take on a Dr. Pepper bought outside, not allowing me to carry more than 3 Oz of liquid per bottle in a 1 quart bag, etc. are all pointless. Most measures can by bypassed and not allowing me to carry my little pocket knife is an example of going overboard.

I'm not saying security is entirely useless, but there is a point at which it goes too far. We've passed that point.

Gays will apply to these jobs, for the express purpose of touching people's junk. The victim should be allowed to request the gender of the pat down person.

John Tyner has just put a dent in airport security for everyone that fly’s all for the self centered purpose of him grabbing 15 minutes of fame. He claims he had no intention of making a point when he went to catch his flight yet he knew he was going to create a scene and planned ahead by turning on his recorder. He planned out what he was going to respond and then distributed the recording to the media. This guy is not only lying to the world but he is lying to himself if he believes this was all an innocent incident on his part. How would you feel if you were a security person at the airport? This guy thumbs his nose at you and your authority, your bosses decline to back your authority and then the media makes this guy a hero for his staged act. If I was a TSA employee I would say screw it, the public doesn't respect the job I am doing for them, my bosses don't back me up and the media makes me out as the villain. What Mr. Tyner has accomplish is making it a little easier for anyone intending to smuggle something onto a plane, but hey, that's ok because at least John got a bunch of attention and made a few bucks off the deal.

Note to any potential terrorists out there; if per chance you are stopped by airport security, just threaten to sue them and then walk away, but don't forget to stop by the ticket counter on your way out to get a refund or to reschedule on another flight to try it again at a later date. Keep trying because airport security is slowly being demoralized and sooner or later they will just give up trying all together. Thanks in part to a self promoting man named John Tyner.

If my Tyner was wearing Middle Eastern style clothes, would people be applauding his actions?

I commend John. They can make sure nobody's carrying anything dangerous without invading one's privacy.

At last, a true American hero standing up to the forces of oppression who would destroy the Constitution.

Call your congressional representatives and senators. Obviously, Obamie the Commie and Nazi Napolitano don't give a damn about the 4th Amendement.

Napolitano is hated here in Arizona as she put speed cameras with live streaming video all over Arizona. And to all you idiots who voted for Obama, thanks for destroying our country.

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