/ / / / /

TSA Stops Patting Down Kids, Promises to Run Them Through Screeners Instead

June 24, 2011 at 12:55 PM | by | ()

Earlier this week the TSA changed their airport security guidelines on patting down children. Videos and pictures of toddlers getting patdowns have been going viral pretty regularly —triggering outrageously outraged outrage from parents groups, conspiracy theorists, and other demographics disproportionately unlikely to fly—and the agency decided that a change needed to be made. More changes are promised. From now on common sense will rule the day.

For instance, in this week's change, children who move too much while walking through scanning machines will be instructed to try again and again, until they get it right. Until now, kids who produced blurry images would be pulled aside and patted down just like everybody else. That was so the security line would keep moving. Now cherubic little boys and girls who wave their hands around and bump into machines will bring entire lines to a grinding halt, until they can contain their adorable selves. Oh. That should fix things.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but we warned you about going overboard over that baby patdown. As long as terrorists are willing to plant bombs on pregnant women and toddlers—and they very much are—security officials will have to do something to make sure that children aren't being used to smuggle weapons. Since the only things TSA agents are allowed to do is screen or pat down, it's going to have to be one or the other. If you insist that TSA agents absolutely can't pat down children, then screening it's going to be.

The problem isn't this regulation or that regulation, but security theater in general, and the idea that more screening is more efficient screening. TSA is using duct tape to hold together a broken and kind of irrational security system. Until someone changes that, we're going to see more and more of these absurd "fixes."

[Photo: CBS News]

Archived Comments: