Sunday, December 27, 2009

Airplane Security

While I suppose there is a psychological need to see the government doing something about terrorist attacks, the response to the attempted Detroit bomber is totally stupid.

Particularly worthless are the rules on international flights saying you can't get out of your seat for the last hour of the flight. Why? What is this possibly going to accomplish? Couldn't a similar bomber just detonate the plane after takeoff? Or in mid-flight? And what's going to happen when babies need their diapers changed? When someone needs to vomit? When someone has continence issues?

The only way to make flights totally safe is to strip-search passengers and to ban them from taking anything at all on the plane. And this is not going to happen. It wouldn't work politically and it wouldn't work for the airline industry.

The real lesson to take from Detroit is that passengers are simply not going to allow a terrorist attack to take place. No one has successfully used an airplane for terror in over eight years. There are several reasons for this of course, and increased airport security probably has made a difference. But the biggest reason is because passengers are going to subdue anyone suspicious. This is one case where we can count on the people to do the right thing--as they did with Richard Reid and as they did this week.

Instead of relying on this, now I have to get to the airport even earlier and be subjected to indignities so that the government can show it's doing something.