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The 9-year-old boy who snuck on a Delta airlines flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas, Nevada, should be hired by the TSA, and put in charge of all security checkpoints. Maybe he can show the TSA how easy it is to sneak past airport security, walk through the boarding gate, hop on a plane and head for the streets of Sin City. At the least, it might teach the TSA how to spot a midget terrorist sneaking onto a plane with no luggage or a boarding pass.

It is not only humorous, it also alarming that a 9-year-old child could accomplish such a feat. What is even more alarming, is how he had been seen casing the airport days earlier. At that time he stole a piece of luggage, went into a pre-security restaurant where he ordered food then asked a server to watch the luggage for him. He then went into the bathroom then disappeared. Did anyone think it was strange that a nine-year-old was in a pre-screening area with luggage and no adult then walked out?

Delta Airlines policy specifically states that children between the ages of 5 and 14-years-old may travel alone, but have to be accompanied by an airline official, escorted onto the airplane, then introduced to the flight crew. Obviously, something went very wrong here and there are a lot of people to blame.

Terry Tripler, who is an air travel expert at ThePlaneRules.com. told CNN, “While we are safer in the air, this proves there are still gaping holes.”  This gaping hole seems more like a valley, and raises some serious, security issues. One is just how relaxed security procedures have become at airports, and how safe our children are while they are wandering around in one. It also suggests the possibilities of what a trained terrorist could do, now that it has been proven – even after 9/11 – that you need little more than a stick of bubble gum and a face-full of freckles to board an airplane.

In February of this year, I had an article published, titled: “The TSA Illusion.” That article pointed out how allowing small knives on planes – because there had been no incidences of knife attacks in recent years – was setting a foolish and a dangerous precedent. The absence of incidence, is no excuse for softening security policies. In this case, just because it was a small child that easily circumvented  three checkpoints – is no reason to laugh it off and forget it did not happen. This incident needs to be investigated and closely examined.

Now that we are only 7-days away from the government possibly going into default, someone in Congress may want to decide where money should be spent – instead of taken away – when they decide on how much to raise the spending limit. Perhaps the government should take a second look and do a re-analysis of all airport security measures. It might prevent another 9-year-old from running away from home, boarding a plane and ending up in another state.

© Joseph E. Rathjen – All Rights Reserved – 2013

Joseph E. Rathjen is an Opinion Columnist/Staff Writer for WomanScope Newsmagazine and an Opinion Writer for 1World Online.

 

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