Airport Rant - 3/17/07
I heard that they're considering having an armed guard ride along on all international plane flights. Armed. As in "carrying a gun". I believe it would be someone from the military, and that the proposal is far from being instituted, but the whole thing strikes me as a little odd. Without exaggerating or jumping to conclusions without knowing more about the matter, I would just like to say one thing: This is the dumbest idea that has ever been conceived of by man.

With all the trouble we put people though to keep guns off airplanes, now we're just going to put one onboard? Forget shoe-bombs. Forget box-cutters or plastic-alloy guns. All a terrorist has to do is figure out how to get the gun away from the guy who already has it. Then he doesn't just have a firearm; he has a cleaned, inspected, government-issued firearm. He doesn't have to bring a weapon on board - all he has to bring is an idea.

I'm sure certain security procedures are taken, like the guard is disguised, or the gun has a keypad on which you have to enter a secret code before each shot, but in this rant we care not for such procedures. As far as I'm concerned they're basically putting a gun in the middle of the floor and announcing "up for grabs!" And in the safety video they show you how to reload it.

But of course one could claim that it's fruitless to rant on and on unless one can suggest some type of useful alternative. As much as I care not for such claims, I can, in fact, suggest three alternatives. I think you will find them far from fruitless.

SOLUTION #1 - Instead of a gun, arm the guard with a slightly more abstruse weapon, such as a sai or a garrote wire. It would be much more difficult for a potential hijacker to instill terror and force submission while clumsily swinging a pair of nun-chucks, especially if they kept hitting themselves in the back of the head. Anyone can take over a plane with a gun, but it's another thing to discover which passenger is secretly armed with the mini-chainsaw, somehow wrestle said mini-chainsaw away from them, and then use that mini-chainsaw to effectively threaten the rest of the passengers. Also, they should keep varying the selection every flight, so terrorists will never know what weapon they need to train for. If a terrorist manages to master every single type of combat weapon known to manů well, then they've probably earned it.

SOLUTION #2 - Give everyone a gun. This may seem a little rash, but how much damage is a terrorist really going to do with a firearm when everybody has one? He's just not going to win. Give everyone who boards the plane a loaded handgun, or let them bring their own, and level the playing field should a mid-air shootout occur. Is elderly Mrs. Potts going to help stop a terrorist take-over? She might if she's strapped with Gats. Basically, a radical organization would really have to load up a plane with people to have any chance of winning the ensuring transatlantic gun-battle and then making it into the bullet-proof cockpit (where the co-pilot would be waiting with a sub-machine gun). And personally, I think any plane loaded with more than half terrorists is probably worth losing.

Additionally, with this you wouldn't have to worry about airport security at all - everyone could just get right on the plane as long as they're not carrying anything bigger than a sawed-off shotgun. Like they do in airports in Central America. So other than everyone eyeing each other suspiciously throughout the flight, I'm not seeing a downside to this plan. We all know you can't shoot through those super-thick airplane windows anyway.

SOLUTION #3 - Replace "armed guard" with "insanely ripped black guy". Or better yet "insanely ripped black guy with a triple black belt in Kung Fu". Who's going to mess with that guy? And that's a weapon you can't turn against the owner, unless you develop some kind of diabolical mind-control device, which at this point at least is beyond the capabilities of most terrorist organizations. Basically we're saying "OK, you can hijack our plane, but only if you can find a way to overcome this jacked-up karate master". Make sure your jacked-up karate master gets plenty of complimentary Red Bull during the flight and this plan is basically foolproof. Plus it ensures a new form of employment for insanely ripped black guys, outside of nightclub security and Under Armour commercials.

I firmly believe that these solutions are viable and desirable alternatives to the currently proposed plan. Clearly the war against terrorism is a matter to be taken with utmost seriousness, and these ideas should be taken seriously as well. It's one way America can combat this rising threat against our land, our citizens, and our freedom. Or else we could just stop imposing our will on other countries.

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