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The Obvious Solution

by David Codrea

September 20, 2001

Airport security is now checking passenger carry-ons like never before, making sure that no one brings so much as a nail file on board the plane. The typical government solution: ensure that all the law abiding people are defenseless. This, of course, will prove useless at stopping terrorists, but at least the more sheeplike among us will "feel" secure. Still, I wonder why the bureaucrats haven't thought of the obvious solution?

Because just about anything can be turned into a weapon.

My 10-year-old thought it was cool when he figured out how to bend and then rip open an aluminum can, tearing it into a sharp edge... don't tell the airlines-- next time I fly, I'm ordering a soda so I won't be TOTALLY unarmed...

Perhaps those with the knowledge could put together information teaching people how a belt can be used to ward off knife attacks plus used as a garrote, how to deploy a ball-point pen as a stabbing weapon...

I wonder if the FAA will mandate trigger locks on airliner fire extinguishers, because those would be good to use in a fight, and even if you can't spray 'em, they'd still make a good mace or projectile-- or maybe they'll forbid passengers from going through the galley to go to the restroom, because we might grab a scalding pot of coffee...

But it doesn't matter, because, with training, a foot can crush a skull, a thumb can gouge an eye or an artery, an elbow or knee can incapacitate, and let's not forget all those TEETH most people are carrying around in their mouths...hmmm... it seems all one needs to become a self-contained lethal weapon is the training and most importantly, the will...

Which brings me to that obvious solution I referred to in the first paragraph -- we've had the answer for many years now in the form of one of our cultural icons -- a secure way to transport passengers wherein they CANNOT hurt their fellow travelers... and if it works on the airlines, it should also be adaptable to preventing violence in society at large... oh, man, wait 'til the government gets a load of this!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the new FAA-approved secure passenger transport system prototype:

Happy flying!