Saturday, July 21, 2007

Oh yeah, this really makes me want to climb on an airplane (not!)

Yesterday, this news article from USA Today was listed on my Google News homepage.

It says that come August the TSA is lifting the restrictions from taking lighters on airplanes. Now, that just makes me crazy.

I have to take off my flip-flops* and have them x-rayed as I go through security at the airport. Last time I checked, I haven't seen any reports of flip-flops being used as weapons.

However, they are going to allow lighters on airplanes when, by all accounts, Richard Reid - the shoe bomber - would have succeeded in blowing up the airplane he was on if he had a lighter and hadn't used a match. It was the sulphur in the match that alerted fellow passengers around him to his actions. Those passengers then subdued and restrained him. A lighter wouldn't have attracted any attention and it would have been an awful tragedy.

The TSA's logic for the decision is that because Richard Reid could also have used a small battery to detonate the explosives in his shoes, the ban on lighters is "security theater." By that same logic, we should skip all aviation security screenings because the 9/11 terrorists could have use a Ryder truck to blow up the twin towers, so any security that stops them from using airplanes to blow up buildings is "security theater" as well.

I flat-out don't get it. I don't.

*All of you who know John Eberle's Rules of Proper Dress for Airplane Travel know that I don't wear flip-flops on airplanes. I only wear laced-up shoes and cotton clothing. That way, if the airplane crashes, my shoes won't go flying off my feet and my clothing won't melt to my body. Then, when I climb over the seats, which I've counted both in front of me and behind me, to the exit row to get out of the airplane after it fills with smoke, I won't have to run through broken glass and burning fuel barefooted.

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