The Edge of Sanity

Have we really lost all common sense?  Have we really come to the place where our security people at the airport think that an 8-month old baby is a security threat?  That is what apparently happened at Kansas City’s airport where a family was taken aside and the baby was given a pat down to make sure that it was compliant with the rules on how to travel.

The whole thing was caught in a picture that was snapped by a fellow traveler that was in line ahead of the family.  When he got through and saw the baby being screened, he stopped and took a picture of the situation.  The man that took the picture had a child of his own that was of a similar age and he felt like it was something he didn’t want to see his child go through.

The TSA, for their part, has defended their agent’s actions, saying that it was necessary after the child’s stroller set off alarms.  Their defense doesn’t go much further than that, other than to say that the family cooperated and was sent quickly on their way after the screening took place.

I know that we have to make sure we are protected when we fly.  That’s one of the reasons that I have been nothing but cooperative every time I have flown.  I know what it means to me to be on a flight that I feel safe about.  I also know what pressure that these security people are under when it comes time to carry out their duties.  One wrong move and the next 9/11 could be pinned on them.  That’s a big responsibility.  All of that said, I am wondering what the justification could be to frisk an 8 month old.  Can we see the need for the use of some good old fashioned common sense here?  Your average kid at that age is more interested in sticking things into it’s mouth than they would be in highjacking a plane or blowing themselves up for any cause.  While the parents of such a child are definately on the list of those that we need to screen, I wonder what the sense is in patting down a child so young.

In this day and age, common sense has gone out the window and while we have managed to stay safe for the most part when flying, this kind of security also ends up irritating those that go thorugh it and everyone else around them.

I know that the price of freedom is eternal vigilence, however, I do think that we need to use some intuition when screening people at the airport.  An 8 month old has less chance of being a shoe bomber than someone who appears at least suspiscious.  It’s time to figure out something different at the airport, or we’ll see a lot more of this kind of thing and something really important may just get by.