The Associated Press has reported (via The Washington Post) that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has shuttered plans to allow small blades and sports equipment to be carried on board air planes. The proposal would have allowed passengers to carry items such as small knives, Leatherman-style multi-tools, baseball bats, and golf clubs, just to name a few. The measure was struck down, however, due to mounting opposition from flight attendants, politicians, and other related interests, who believe that relaxing the restrictions would enable terrorist attacks or hijackings to happen more easily.
“After getting the input from all these different constituents, I realized there was not across-the-board support that would serve us well in moving forward.”
— John Pistole, TSA head
Interestingly enough, some opponents of the relaxed restrictions changed their tune once the reasoning behind the proposal was explained to them.
“They laid out a case for this that I thought made a lot of sense, and I really changed my mind. The TSA is so overwhelmed with the screening process and what they are trying to keep off airplanes, that I think to lessen that difficult task or mitigate it can be a good thing. There is a safety issue. But there is a difference between safety on board an aircraft and security aboard an aircraft.”
— Debra Burlingame, sister of a pilot killed in the September 11th attacks
There are many layers to this issue. On the one hand you have those concerned with the safety of both the passengers and crew members — a position which is quite understandable, yet emotionally charged. On the other hand you have those who are concerned with the practicality and effectiveness of such security measures — an unpopular position in the current political climate. If you’ve been a Camp Campaign reader for more than a few weeks, I’m sure you can guess which on side of the fence I happen to reside.
The mere fact that you can pay the TSA $100 dollars and bypass the shoe removal and liquid container shakedown is evidence enough that these security measures are completely and utterly bogus. If that weren’t enough evidence that these security measures are not just unnecessary, but harmful, read on.
Since September 11, all airplane cockpits have added reinforcements and locks from the inside, preventing even the remote possibility of a hostile takeover of the aircraft. Additionally, an attack like that of 9/11 couldn’t possibly occur again as the passengers are well aware that a hijacking would mean certain death for all — hostage situations on aircraft are truly a thing of the past. You think 300 fearful passengers are just going to let a handful of nutjobs take over a plane on the mere chance that they might not crash it into a skyscraper? Fat chance. And since we’re on the topic of how many people might get killed in an airplane hijacking, why not talk about how many people are standing completely unprotected in the seemingly endless lines while waiting to have their bodies bombarded with radiation? I’d be willing to bet that there are just as many people in the TSA security areas as there would be on board an aircraft, and a bad guy wouldn’t need to worry about sneaking his or her bomb past anyone, either.
You think you’re safe on an airplane? You’re not. You think you’re safe in an airport? You’re not.
The fact of the matter is that if someone wants to kill you, it is likely going to happen unless you kill them. That’s life. There’s no fixing it. Crazy people doing crazy things have been a part of mankind’s history since its beginnings.
You’re not safe on a bus, or a train, or a subway line, or while you’re in the line at Subway. While you’re ordering your Five Dollar Footlong™ some religious nut with a bad attitude and a hankering for virgins might just be in line behind you with several pounds of C-4 strapped to his chest and it might just be your lucky day.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — until we stop being afraid, and until we start understanding the threat for what it is, we will forever be at the mercy of those who would rather listen to hysterics than reason.