The Daily Parker

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Nonsense is here to stay

Apparently cluing into my accidental theme this week of things that scare people irrationally, Patrick Smith had a pair of child safety scissors confiscated, even though he's, you know, the one flying the plane. He worries things will never change:

When it came right down to it, the success of the Sept. 11 attacks had nothing—nothing—to do with box cutters. The hijackers could have used anything. They were not exploiting a weakness in luggage screening, but rather a weakness in our mind-set—our understanding and expectations of what a hijacking was and how it would unfold. The hijackers weren't relying on weapons, they were relying on the element of surprise.

All of that is different now. For several reasons, from passenger awareness to armored cockpit doors, the in-flight takeover scheme has long been off the table as a viable M.O. for an attack. It was off the table before the first of the twin towers had crumbled to the ground. Why don't we see this? Although a certain anxious fixation would have been excusable in the immediate aftermath of the 2001 attacks, here it is a decade later and we're still pawing through people's bags in a hunt for what are effectively harmless items.

How depressing is that, to be stuck with this nonsense permanently? Not only the obsession with sharps, but the liquids and gels confiscations, the shoe removals, etc.

These policies aren't just annoying, they're potentially self-destructive. Self-destructive because they draw our security resources away from more useful pursuits.

I remember when people weren't scared all the time. I'd like to go back to that era. I can only handle so much irrationality.

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