The travel season is upon us. As people get ready to see friends and relatives for Thanksgiving and Christmas (insert PC holiday of your choice), added attention has been focused on air screenings and the procedures of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In the search for terrorists, do we really need to be searching three-year-old kids? In the search for possible airplane bombers, do we really need to search nuns? A little common sense goes a long way, and it’s time for our government to give it a try.

First, we have the story of a three-year-old girl who became upset when she had to let go of her teddy bear at the airport. The incident caused TSA officials to “flag her” for a closer inspection. Are you serious? As reports, it just so happens that her dad works as a television reporter, so we’re all going to hear about it now.

The column makes some good points about security and searches. Is it possible that a terrorist would use a child and possibly load up the child’s toy with explosives. Of course. Al Qaeda has used children as bombers repeatedly. However, there are clearly adults involved. If the three-year-old is suspected of carrying a bomb, shouldn’t the “parents” be the ones under closer scrutiny?

Or how about a nun being given “the business?” Is this really necessary? Or the new full body scanners authorized by the Obama administration? Is it necessary to get a “peek” at people in order from them to fly?

Ok, is it just me, or did you smile when Janet Napolitano said “ping at a private area? Just sayin’.

The security procedures should be focused on those people most likely to commit a crime. Yes, call it profiling, or whatever you want. I call it common sense. ALL major terrorist attacks over the last several decades have been committed by radical Muslims, yet we are going to screen three-year-olds and nuns?

Of course, not everyone who refuses the additional pat-downs may be excluded from flying like the man in the video was. According to a story on, the Council on American-Islamic Relations “has recommended that Muslim women wearing hijabs refuse to go through the full body pat downs before boarding planes.” When asked Napolitano, “Will you insist that they do go through full body pat downs before boarding planes?”, Napolitano responded by saying that “adjustments” will be made.

Did she answer the question? I don’t think so.

Security is important, but our procedures for making Americans more secure must have some basis in fact and reality. Look at the data. Perform an analysis. Draw conclusions. Simple, right? Apparently not. Otherwise, we’d focus security on all the cargo ships that come in and out of the U.S. every day. We’d focus on people most likely to commit terrorist acts… not nuns and kids with teddy bears.

Pilots are up in arms about the screening procedures too, as they are also subject to pat-downs. Does it make you feel more secure to see a pilot being searched?

One 20-year airline pilot, Patrick Smith, recalled once being stopped and questioned because he had a butter knife in a bag. “If a pilot like me is going to be up to no good, why would he need a butter knife?” he said. “I’m in control of the entire airplane!”

Walsh argued that it sends a disturbing message to passengers for them to see pilots being searched. “They must think, ‘This is the guy flying the plane. If you can’t trust the pilot who can you trust?'” he said.

Good points. Oh what a little common sense could do.


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