Thoughts on Airline Security

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, the federal government began a series of ever-increasing security changes in the screening of airline passengers to prevent future terrorist attacks. These changes all view passengers (more than 99.9% of whom are law-abiding airline customers) as potential 'problems;' thus, in an effort to increase 'safety,' passengers are searched and substances ranging from nail files to shampoo bottles are prohibited.

Of course, none of that prevented Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber,” from attempting to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 on Dec 22, 2001 using plastic explosives hidden in a hollowed out shoe.

True to form, the government's response was to require passengers to remove their shoes and put them through the x-ray machines. Subsequent changes prohibited liquids on board.

And so, on Christmas Day 2010, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded Northwest Flight 253with powdered explosives in his underwear. No liquids, no hollow shoes.

The response? The feds now believe that full-body x-rays machines, that will enable them to look into underwear, will fix this 'loophole.' Of course, the machine is unable to look through skin into body cavities….anyone want to guess how the next terrorist will hide their explosives? (Remember, these are *suicide* bombers).

It is instructive to note the similarities between the incidents surrounding Richard “Shoebomber” Reid, Umar “Christmas Bomber” Abdulmutallab, and even United Airlines Flight 93 on the day of the 9/11 attacks:

Government Security measures were unable to prevent the attacks. 100% safety will never be possible – not in the real world. Each time a new security measure is used, would-be terrorists will simply use a different ploy. Obama's 'tightening' of security on flights originating in a list of 14 nations is doomed to failure, as terrorists simply set up bases, obtain passports, and choose to depart from nations not on that list.

But there is a more important similarity between these events:

Flight 93 missed its Washington target because passengers took action and subdued the terrorists.

Richard Reid's plot failed because passengers subdued him and bound him with seatbelt extensions and headphone cords, and a doctor on the flight plied him with valium.

Umar Abdulmutallab failed because a passenger subdued him.

And in the midst of this, while pilots are asking to be armed, the Obama administration is defunding and downplaying the need and right of airline personnel and passengers to defend themselves. Passengers, Pilots, and Airline staff are not the problem: they are the solution.

In a related hair-brained, half-thought-through action, The Joint Facilities committee of the New Hampshire House just passed by an 8-3 vote (party lines) the following regulation:

“No person, except for law enforcement personnel in active duty, shall carry a firearm or other dangerous or deadly weapon or an explosive, openly or concealed, while inside the State House, the Legislative Office Building, the Upham Walker House, or any of the underground tunnels connected to these buildings. Law enforcement personnel, when requested by State House security staff, must produce sufficient identification establishing their status as law enforcement personnel.”

In other words, every would-be terrorist or nut job is now on notice that the 400+ legislators at the State House, as well the staff, is now defenseless. Once again, this turns reality on its head: an armed citizenry is the answer, not the problem! It is a rule that the full legislature should overturn immediately.

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