There’s a debate raging in Congress over whether the security personnel doing the screening and scanning at airports should be federal employees or just supervised by federal employees.
I think the folks in Congress are missing the boat. They seem to think that they can legislate a system whereby fallible human beings will always catch every terrorist. Everyone makes mistakes. What makes us think that putting the government in charge will usher in a 100 percent success rate in rooting out terrorists? Certainly not the government’s own track record. No matter who supervises whom, we cannot guarantee perfect safety. The very notion is utopian.
Just the other day, with all the heightened tension, a man accidentally carried a gun aboard a plane in his briefcase. It’ll happen again. We can’t search tens of thousands of passengers to find the needle in the haystack. To catch their flights these days, passengers have to arrive 2 or 3 hours early one big reason many are deciding not to fly at all.
Instead, airports should do better background checks of airport workers, build more secure cockpit doors, use armed sky marshals for as many flights as possible and allow armed pilots. Perhaps the biggest safety feature is free: Our new realization that as passengers we must be ready to defend ourselves. That means big trouble for any terrorist who gets past airport security.
The politicians in Washington can’t pass a law guaranteeing we’ll be safe and secure. I want real security; I’m not willing to fly Utopian Air.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.