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Blame objects, not people

There is a petition on Whitehouse.gov that is pushing to prevent the relaxing of the TSAs rule against knives on aircraft.From the petition:

Before the morning of September 11, 2001, the threat of using commercial
aircraft as a weapon was unknown. At great cost, we know better today.
The TSA was created because blades on airplanes were used to cause this
deadly attack on U.S. soil.

 It isn’t the box cutters that caused the attack. It was Muslim terrorists, aided by the prevailing attitude towards highjacking: Comply with the highjackers, get the plane on the ground, and let the government deal with them. In other words, forced helplessness. What caused the attacks on 9-11 was accomplished because people depended on government for their protection, and the terrorists found a hole in the government’s plan: the government can’t have agents everywhere, all the time.

The government’s plan depended on one thing: the assumption that the terrorists wanted to survive the encounter. Once the attackers decided that they didn’t want to survive, this changed the rules of the game, and the government’s plain fell apart. 

So would such an attack, given the rules that were in place at the time, work again? Do you really think that an aircraft filled with 30 or more people are going to sit there and allow five men to take over the plane? On 9/11, Flight 93 had the lowest ratio of passengers to highjackers, 33:5. Yet outnumbering their attackers 6:1, once they realized that they were doomed to die, the passengers of Flight 93 succeeded in overwhelming the terrorists and saving the Whitehouse from attack. The other flights had even more lopsided numbers, with Flight 11 being 76 to 5.

No, an attack using box cutters or other small knives will never work again to take over an aircraft. With alert and wary passengers, reinforced cockpit doors, and other procedures, an attack like 9/11 just isn’t possible.

Let’s blame the terrorists and the complacent attitude and not the object. The next attack will come from a direction we are not expecting, and will use a hole in our security. it won’t be like anything we are prepared for.

2 replies on “Blame objects, not people”

I wrote the same thing on a gun owners forum a couple of weeks ago.

Only not so eloquently as did you.

The 9/11 attackers changed the paradigm. Sadly the TSA is still working under the pre 9/11 rules.

If it were up to me, the only thing that TSA would be responsible for doing was handing out and then restocking any unused frangible ammunition issued to passengers before the flight.

Allowing licensed gun owners to carry on board planes would make flying a lot safer.

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