Here’s a link to a NBC San Diego report about a father who’s livid about how his 10-year-old daughter was subjected to an extensive pat-down search while going through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham International Airport on New Year’s Day. Apparently she was singled out after screeners found a Capri Sun drink in her bag. Horrors.

The father, Kevin Payne, told the TV station that he supports airport security to assure safety. But he said he and his daughter feel the pat-down was uncomfortable, long and inappropriate. He said he felt “helpless.” “It was an uncomfortable situation,” he said.

I don’t blame him. I had the same reaction in watching security people pat down my then-10-year-old son at the entrance to Candlestick Park for the 49ers game years ago. And he wasn’t carrying so much as a sweatshirt (I had everything).

As a Dad, I don’t mind being patted down, searched, scanned, interrogated, whatever. But do we really need to be patting down kids? For that matter, can we quit requiring grandparents to take off their belts and shoes as well? Are they really a threat?

– Paul Gullixson

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