The Federal Government, via the FDA, tells us that the risk of the backscatter machine is "minuscule".
Therefore, in the Federal government's own risk terminology, the risk from terrorism is "miniscule".
Why are we spending all this money on a "miniscule" threat? Why are sexually molesting the population over a "miniscule" threat? (Rhetorical.)
(I say "sexually molesting" on the grounds that if I personally performed those same actions on a stranger, that is what it would be called. It would continue to be called that if I tricked this person into giving "consent" for false reasons. A doctor has a compelling reason. I do not grant that excuse to the TSA. I also do not think I am being unduly inflammatory, I think it's just plain fair.)
As a thought experiment, can you imagine if diabetes was an unstoppable dude who came to your house and beat your ass in front of your wife and kids? I can think of people I know who would suddenly be a lot more afraid of diabetes than they are now.
Who is the "we" and who is the "someone else"? "We" is a bunch of random people I don't know. And "someone else" is a bunch of random people I don't know.
I'm actually way more worried about that, and I think that's the rational answer.
(Edit: Implicit in the way I phrased that, BTW, and I'm now making explicit, is that I agree you have a good point and you shouldn't have been downmodded. I believe the secondary effects of civil liberties erosion outweigh the secondary effects of terrorism as the situation now stands, but I agree that your point must absolutely be considered to make a decision based on all the facts.)
How many violations before the populace decides on another Tea Party?
I myself saw the outcomes of three of the bombs personally -- by which I mean still smoking -- and picnicked on the Regent's Park bandstand on the Sunday which was blown up on the Tuesday; the bomb would have been there at the time.
None of this changed my behaviour at the time, nor did it appear to do so for anyone else, other than being vigilant for strange packages.
So yes, the correct response is not to be influenced by it. In other words, do not give up your way of life because of murdering cowards.
It would also set a precedent for dealing sanely with terrorism in the future. The more a terrorist attack disrupts our society and undermines our values, the more money and freedom we will part with in response to one, and therefore the more it will disrupt our society and undermine our values. That's a vicious cycle we can avoid by accepting risk and not treating terrorism as a special, incomparable threat.
The prevention of terrorism is more than just the prevention of immediate deaths related to the incident itself.
Protecting civil liberties are crucial, and I'm not in anyway agreeing with what the TSA is doing. As a side point, it's worth remembering that terrorism is a world issue and if you look more internationally some Western Countries don't even enjoy the level of civil liberties and freedoms that America does even now.
In the UK you can't even refuse a Back-scatter scan and have a manual pat-down instead (which applies to US citizens returning home from a visit to London too, of course).
Currently terrorism is effecting an entire nation with backscatter radiation.
The main thing that justifies the downvotes is that the argument is both wrong and mostly rhetoric rather than argument. As other have said, the installation of vast control mechanism by no means is something with an insignificant effect on the country.
If he had actually made the argument that someone else credits him with, that terrorism's effect is disproportionate to the deaths, then he'd have argument (not sufficient but a real argument). But he didn't make that argument - instead rhetorically (and ultimately dishonestly) dismissed concerns about reaction to terrorists. Down voting seems justified in this case.
Isolating one effect of one loss, and comparing that to the complex effects of terrorism is not a fair comparison.
There are companies that are selling these things are and are making fistfuls of money, some of which goes right back into political campaigns etc. In other countries that would be called corruption. In the USA, it's legal.
Think about it - why does the government go on to spend huge amounts of money and piss everyone off? Was there a cause that means we now suddenly need these sensors and groping procedures? Was there a terrorist attack that I missed? Were there politicians campaigning for this who then got elected - I guess I missed that too?!
Kids can certainly forget about putting on sunscreen now, as you're way more likely to get skin cancer from the airport. Either that or they get sexually molested.
The terrorists have very clearly won right now.
The other is within our control. Why voluntarily subject yourself to more risk?
Also, being blown up doesn't hurt nearly as much as cancer does.