A Reticent Proposition – Solving the Security Problem on Airlines

A continuing source of frustration is often expressed by travelers in this era of terrorist attacks and widespread fear. Political sides often debate the tradeoff, does more security, longer lines, and longer wait periods, equal more security? That question will not be answered here. Is there a simple way to make people feel safe as they take to the skies? The short answer is yes. How? That answer is simpler than any of us realize.

Thus far, the focus of security checks is to keep weapons off of airplanes entirely. The problem that arises from this is best exemplified when viewing the events of September 11, 2001, when terrorists were able to hijack airplanes with weapons as simple as box cutters. Various other solutions have been put into place, such as the placing of air marshals on airplanes. The problem with this is that all human beings are subject to corruption, and if the marshals were to be corrupted, either by personal ideals, money, or other reasons, then suddenly, the only armed person on an airplane is not their to protect the innocent.

Well then, to further realize the practicality of the solution to be proposed, one must realize that it is generally human nature of help others. While a minority may not hold the best interests of others in mind, most people will help those in need when they are able. People are generally good, and in a situation where one is in danger, most people will help. While keeping this in mind, the solution is quite simple. Rather than security checks focusing on assuring that nobody boarding an airplane has a weapon, they should change their focus. Security checks should distribute guns to all adult passengers with clean criminal records who board an airplane.

Once the initial skepticism passes, one must seriously consider the validity of this proposition. While yes, there are corrupt people out there, this system would be design to avoid distribution of firearms to these people. Those with criminal records, histories of violence, and affiliations with organizations that lead to suspicion would not have the same access as the run of the mill traveler just trying to get from Point A to Point B safely. Now, in this situation, assume there are two-hundred adults on a flight. These two-hundred people each possess a firearm that they are instructed to keep concealed at all times unless circumstances dictate otherwise. If suddenly, anyone with malicious intent causes a threat, the other passengers on the airplane become air marshals, and quickly put down the threat. While it sounds harsh, this would save the lives of the innocent passengers on the plane, as well as any innocent bystanders who would be affected by a plane crash.

There are problems, yes. What if a person with malicious intent possesses superior combat skills, and would be able to shoot numerous passengers before being stopped. This problem is addressed in a simple manner. The firearms being distributed would be exclusively manufactured, each to be loaded with only one unique bullet. There would be no rolling in the aisles, firing round after round. Those interested in hijacking a plane would most likely not be interested in only firing one bullet before being killed themselves. Upon exiting the plane, the passengers will return the guns to a flight attendant or security personnel, who will assure that the bullet is still in the gun.

One final problem remains. If a large group of people with malicious intent were able to board the plane as passengers, and get access to the firearms, then significantly more people would be in danger. A group of ten would be able to dispatch many people before being taken down. To address this problem, one must first look at the goal of the hijackers. They are not there to simply kill ten innocent people before themselves being killed. Anyone at anytime in a public place could do such a terrible thing. Rather, one must consider that the motivation for a hijacker is usually a political reason, and they would target the pilot, as to obtain control of the plane, and thus, power and influence over those at their mercy. With this problem in mind, we must offer one final provision of the aforementioned solution. Supply each and every airplane pilot with a submachine gun. As it is, airplane pilots hold the lives of hundreds of passengers in their hands. This way, they possess the power to fully defend their aircraft. In the event that those with malicious intent engage the crew to try and take over the plane, pilots trained in the use of submachine guns will quickly put down any insurrection.

The solution discussed in the above paragraphs in no way is to promote the personal politics or benefit of myself. I have no stock in any gun or ammunition manufacturers. Rather, my only motivation is to see the safety and protection of my family and fellow humans. I hope you have read the above essay with a light heart and an open mind.

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