Wednesday, April 13, 2011

TSA Pat Downs of Children

Today, I saw a news item about a 6 year old girl being "pat down" by a TSA female agent. About a month ago, there was a similar article about a family traveling from Florida who were all "patted down" (children included) after they had already deboarded from a train. Apparently, there is a rule stipulating that children under 13 years of age be excluded from "pat downs." I guess the agents in the above two news accounts (and You Tube videos) didn't get the message from their supervisors. A few years ago, when I broke an ankle requiring the use of a wheelchair, I did receive a pat down, though not as invasive as performed today. I felt absolutely ridiculous as the agent felt my body while about 10 or 12 people watched. Frankly, what bothered me more, was being watched by those 10 or 12 people as the agent literally felt me all over. Today, what bothers me most, is knowing that my granddaughters, 8 and 14 years old, may be subjected to the more invasive "pat down" as they travel in the coming months.

What I have difficulty understanding is that, in a nation responsible for so many inventions to make life easier, we have not yet come up with a better way. When four people stand within four or five feet of each other in Grand Central Station, each person can talk on a different cell phone and have no electrical interference on their calls. Amazing!

I suspect that there is a much better way, invented by one of us, still sitting on some bureaucratic clerk's desk in Washington while our young children are embarrassed and, possibly, emotionally harmed by the TSA's invasive "pat down" techniques. Why aren't Americans demanding a solution to this? Years ago, one of my daughters was suffering from an illness with all the symptoms of Lymes Disease. We were completely adrift in the medical system until a New York State Senator's daughter came down with Lymes Disease. All of a sudden, money was allocated for speedier testing, which earlier had been performed just once a week because of a lack of funds. Why do the problems of the masses have to wait for our elected officials to be personally affected before we get a resolution?

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