1) The people who took out the WTC and the Pentagon were passengers who could have gone through all of the above steps, so the entire approach is bankrupt from its inception.
2) Because the entire list of new "stepped up security measures" would not have stopped the single worst terrorist attack in America's history but is being presented as if it can make people safer, it is a fraud.
3) If the federal government is so contemptuous of the intelligence of the American people that they believe they can get away with this fraud, they should be set straight with questions like these:
A) Why haven't the FAA with support from other federal officials lifted the ban on pilots' carrying of firearms? Are you even seriously considering it? If not, why not? And if not, because none of the above measures would have stopped the single worst terrorist attack in modern American history, what can you do to truly make commercial air travel safe -- not just "feel" safe -- without jeopardizing civil liberties?
B) When do We The People get to offer our input on the decision-making process as to how to insure our safety where the federal government has not only failed miserably to do so but has at least partially inspired 24 people to commit suicide while taking out thousands of our own people in the process?
C) What is your exact justification for prohibiting a pilot from using a handgun with airplane-safe, frangible ammunition to save the lives of 20,000 American citizens?
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I find very few problems, in this bit about allowing even qualified passengers to carry
... policy to destroy a hijacked airliner while denying the pilots firearms with which to defend the airliner needs a closer look. Missiles can only be used to destroy an airliner that has been hijacked by terrorists and all on board will most certainly die.
The concept of arming airline pilots with firearms to prevent or stop a hijacking is viewed by some as an extreme and intrusive measure, but we think they’ve got it exactly backwards. The policy of sacrificing a civilian airliner with innocent Americans on board to keep terrorists from using it as a weapon, while at the same time refusing to allow the pilots an opportunity to offer a last resort, final line of defense is the extremist view that should be ridiculed and dismissed.
... we need to look at what motivates terrorists. Terrorists want to strike fear into our hearts by attacking us in unthinkable ways. They expect to die in the process. It is hard to imagine a more enticing scenario to a terrorist group than the prospect of forcing the United States to unceremoniously kill its own innocent citizens. Conversely, it would be nearly impossible to gain control of an airliner with armed pilots locked behind a reinforced cockpit door.
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Airline Pilots Security Alliance
The Case For Arming Pilots http://www.secure-skies.org/Arming_Pilots.php
# Airline Flts per day: 28,000
Airborne Right Now: 4988
Flights Protected by 2 Armed Pilots: <3%
Flights Protected by Air Marshals: (est.) 2%
At Risk Flights: 95%
Taxes Spent on Airline Security: $12B
Airport Screening Failure Rate against concealed weapons: 75-95%
#Pilot Volunteers Refusing to Fly Armed Due to Program Problems: 50,000
Cost to Protect 2% of flights with Air Marshals: $700M/year
Cost to Protect 100% of flights with Armed Pilots: $15 M/year
Just because a safety measure isn't good enough to stop all possible terrorist attacks doesn't mean it should be abandoned. By your logic we should have no security measures, such as x-raying luggage, at all.
Also, what makes you so sure that the current security measures we have wouldn't have prevented a group of terrorists armed with box cutters? In any event, it seems that terrorists with weapons on planes are no longer really such a threat, because cockpit doors are reinforced and passengers know to fight back. The only real danger these days is that someone will try to sneak an explosive device on board a plane, but in that situation, having armed pilots (or anyone else armed) is not really much of a help.
Since pilots can crash a plane anyway if they so choose, I don't really have much objection to them packing, but this is unlikely to make much of a difference for the kinds of threats that we're likely to actually face.
And letting non-law-enforcement passengers carry firearms on board is the kind of lunacy I've come to expect from the NRA, an organization dedicated to providing guns to criminals.
Malcolm : >Just because a safety measure isn't good enough to stop all
>possible terrorist attacks doesn't mean it should be
Nothing in that link said so. I didn't say so. Stringent common sense should be applied, IMO.
> By your logic we should have no security measures, such as
>x-raying luggage, at all.
If there's an air marshal or armed pilot, or L.E officer or military people, or a trained & trusted civilian on board armed, then I don't care if somebody wants to have their antique collectible dagger in their carry-on. (anybody remember the old movie "Warlock", where Richard Grant's warlock-hunter character wanted to hold onto the wether vane he was using to hunt Julian Sands' bad guy?)
In my daily carry backpack, I have a first aid kit that's a terrorist's heaven: pocket knife and safety razor, bandage shears, splinter tweezers (with the really fine sharp tip for taking hostages) nail clippers and the really dangerous cuticle nippers, peroxide and alcohol bottles, and all other sorts of devices of mayhem. (I started full-time carrying a kit, when I was using roller skates to get around. As you can tell, I wasn't a very good skater...)
Is such a thing in my carry-on a problem? Is it worth the time of the TSA agents or the other people in line for any such items to be confiscated? Even without armed defenders?
>Also, what makes you so sure that the current security measures
>we have wouldn't have prevented a group of terrorists armed
>with box cutters?
Ummm... 75%-90% failure to find hidden weapons?
> In any event, it seems that terrorists with weapons on planes
>are no longer really such a threat, because cockpit doors are
>reinforced and passengers know to fight back. The only real
>danger these days is that someone will try to sneak an explosive
>device on board a plane, but in that situation, having armed
>pilots (or anyone else armed) is not really much of a help.
So, taking away things like pocket knives and nail clippers and drinkable water & such makes no sense, does it?
Take all the money we're putting into TSA agents patting people down, and train more bomb-sniffing dogs, and it's all solved.
>And letting non-law-enforcement passengers carry firearms
>on board is the kind of lunacy I've come to expect from the
>NRA, an organization dedicated to providing guns to criminals.
I have yet to see any evidence for this claim. As far as I know, even the really intransigent "no compromise" gun rights groups say it's fine and advisable to enforce what we have now, and lock up the hardened career criminals.
How about the 70+year old woman who recently was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence for slapping a mouthy rude abusive teen (who later pled for her g/mother in court).
She'll carry a permanent domestic abuse record, because the police who came by because the teen was raising hell let slip that the older woman had slapped her first.
I've heard some agitation for changing the rules regarding permanent records and firearm purchase blocks on cases like this, but is she the sort of dangerous criminal we need to be wary of?
And where in the old link I provided could anyone get the idea that they were advocating for the TSA, FBI, etc to allow career criminals to get the sort of enahnced carrry permits they were suggesting which would let qualified civilians carry?
And drop the rants against the NRA. They're known as "sell-outs" by other gun rights groups for helping to write and push through all sorts of "feel-good" nonsense gun prohibitions (it helps their membership and budget to have nonsense laws passed).
For such an air-carry permit for civilians (and officials and pilots etc), they were specifying certain strict rules regarding training levels to match the over-strained air marshals. Civilians on their own dime and time can and do train to such levels. No government job is required to have good sense and attentiveness.