Last week when British security announced they had busted a plot by Islamic terrorists to blow up ten transatlantic airplanes in mid flight, I was in Tulsa, Oklahoma on business. Great, now I have to deal with increased probing at the airport to get home. That is more of an incovenience than anything. However, I believe that the airport security measures are window dressing to make flyers feel safe, without really doing much good.
One Tulsa TV station had a news story that featured a little white-haired grandmother lamenting that the TSA agents at Tulsa International Airport had taken away her lipstick. It is one thing to take away people's bottles of water, but a granny's lipstick? Let's see...how many grandmothers have used lipstick to blow up airplanes? How many was that? Yeah, I thought so.
Yet, the airlines continually fill the bellies of our passenger jets with unchecked cargo, packages, and mail. Is that secure? I am convinced that this country will only react to events, rather than think ahead to institute security that plugs the holes in our transportation networks. Can we be made perfectly safe? The answer is no, and even if we could be, how much intrusion and probing are we willing to take before we say, "ENOUGH!". Living in a secure cage is not living free. It appears that terrorists have already won by injuring our economy and making people avoid air travel.
What about airport shops that sell lotions, drinks, and bottled water? How about the already financially-ailing airline industry. Will it get to the point that the government has to merge together and take over the airlines?
Bottom line: We do need real security reform to make air travel reasonably safe. It will never be without risk. Let's stop taking grandma's lipstick and spend time, money, and energy on stopping real terrorist threats.