This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Shauna and Jesse Harris flew with their son from Salt Lake City to Boston four times last year to visit surgical specialists working to correct a birth defect afflicting the little boy's fingers, but next time they might drive.
The Harrises, of Sandy, are among those disgusted by the federal Transportation Security Administration's new airport-security measures, and Jesse organized a protest just outside of the screening lines at Salt Lake City International Airport on Saturday.
About 20 demonstrators split between two terminals and quietly hoisted signs and handed out leaflets to passengers completing their check-ins.
They believe the government's new policy of putting some passengers through full-body scanners and subjecting some to the "groping" of a careful pat-down is demeaning, ineffective and a violation of Americans' constitutional protections from unreasonable searches.
"If the real point is to find bombs," Jesse Harris said, "dogs are cheaper and more effective."
The group, organized through an online social-networking invitation, carried placards with slogans including, "My child's genitals are not a matter of national security," and "Can't see London, can't see France, until they see your underpants."
A spokesman for TSA in Utah did not return a call Saturday seeking comment.
The protesters stayed at the airport from 8 to 10 a.m., a relatively heavy time of day for outbound flights. The security line of about 100 passengers generally moved steadily, without visible complaint from those undergoing the screenings.
At one point some young women stopped to pose for a photo with the protesters and their signs, though they then walked to the security line and said they had no complaint about the TSA rules.
"I honestly don't care," said Kristen Holman, of Salt Lake City. "It's not a big deal." She added that the security measures do make her feel safer when flying.
Ally Gertsch, a passenger from Kearns, likewise said she's not worried about security going too far.
"I don't know that I completely agree [with the protesters]," she said, "but I think it's cool that they're here and are able to use the right to free speech."
Shauna Harris said she may press her husband to drive to Boston next time their son, now 2, needs a medical procedure. She is not so concerned about the invasiveness of the scanners, she said, but she doesn't want her child subjected to an agent's hands not when parents are supposed to instruct their children to avoid inappropriate touching.