April 2, 2013
Knives on planes policy is nonsensical
It’s been almost a dozen years since 9/11. Memories of that day have faded, but not if you are an airline traveler in a long security line at the airport, questioning whether the added security actually protects passengers from terrorists.
After all this time, we’ve learned to accept the new norm in airport security. After turning over pocketknives and having the short file on nail clippers removed for all these years, the Transportation Security Administration’s new policy allows small knives back onto planes. We agree with flight attendants: Little knives can be big security risks.
The knives the TSA has decided to permit must be shorter than 2.36 inches. That’s still plenty long enough to kill a person, especially when it’s being held against someone’s throat. Maybe we’ve just seen too many movies?
Box cutters, by the way, are still forbidden, because of the “emotion associated with them” in light of 9/11, according to TSA Administrator John Pistole. In other words, TSA is allowing emotion to make decisions about what is or is not appropriate to bring on a plane. That’s no way to run a security system.
Deodorant, shampoo, perfume and sunscreen larger than a couple of ounces remain forbidden. Apparently, terrorists can do more damage by smelling fresh than by stabbing a person in the heart.
Allowing knives means potential terrorists don’t even need to try and be clever to get onboard a plane. They don’t need a chemist to give them instructions on how to cook a concoction that will blow up. They just need a trip to the mall to buy a small Swiss army knife.
The unfortunate fact is that air travel will never be 100 percent safe from the intent of those wanting to cause us harm. No list of restricted items will cover everything. But, some common sense needs to apply. Knives can be a danger to travelers confined to a crowded plane, even when hijacking is not the motive.
Knives, intuitively, should be banned.