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TSA Introduces More Relaxed Screenings For Small Chlidren, Eldery Travelers

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Nobody likes the TSA, plain and simple. And all the horror stories you hear about their attempts to stop “terrorist” grandmothers and little children doesn’t help. But now, they’re at least trying to make things easier on us.

In an apparent response to criticisms from both Congress and citizens, the TSA plans to introduce more “relaxed” screening procedures for children and passengers over 75.

The 10-year-old agency has been under fire from Congress and the public for treating all travelers like potential terrorists, inconsistently applying complex rules at checkpoints and putting people in distressing situations. Amid emerging threats, the agency has lurched through new technologies, some of which didn’t work out.

Training and supervision are factors, TSA Administrator John Pistole acknowledges, and he has put new programs in place to improve communications and even promote common sense. He also blames continued checkpoint problems on the sheer scale of checking 1.7 million people per day and the delicate nature of screening people, where agents are charged with the objective of finding underwear bombs on the bad guys without being offensive to the good ones.

Will problems keep happening? “I think there will continue to be incidents,” Mr. Pistole said, “but as we move more to risk-based initiatives, we’ll see fewer and fewer.”

But do we really need the TSA in the first place? Sure, they may have had some success in finding loaded guns and other such contraband passengers try to sneak on board. But for every success story, there seems to be 5 or 6 horror stories of TSA officials confiscating cupcakes, groping grannies or patting down frightened young children, all in the name of national security. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t feel any safer with these guys around.

If you really want to improve the TSA, you may be better off getting rid of it altogether.

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