Here’s the country I want to be a citizen of: the one that decides to buy comfort and convenience by deploying courage.
9/11 · We’re coming up on the tenth anniversary, and can we just get over our sustained episode of collective chickenshittedness? As Bruce Schneier has pointed out repeatedly, terrorists post-9/11 have lost the ability to use planes as weapons, for two reasons: The cockpit doors are strengthened and locked. The passengers have learned that fighting is their best option; butter-knives against machine guns if that’s all there is.
All the extra scanners and pat-downs and machines and line-ups are buying us, unless all the experts I read are wrong, more or less nothing.
Here’s What We Do · Go on X-raying luggage; why not? Plus, don’t let a plane take off if someone has checked in luggage but isn’t on board; easy and almost always non-intrusive. As for passengers, just lighten up. To start with, drop all the silly rules about toothpaste and shoes and laptops having to be out of the bag.
Me, I’d go further, I’d just return to the best practices of around AD 2000. Then I’d slash huge numbers of airport-security drones and replace them with one-tenth the number of elite criminal investigators. Because history should have taught us by now that counterterrorism is police work. And basically, let’s show some courage. Airplanes crash, but they’re safer than driving, and they’d still be safer even with substantially relaxed security.
Why are we letting the terrorists succeed by making us act as if we’re frightened? Most of us aren’t, really.