Flying the not so friendly skies


Since the terrorist attacks in 2001, the U.S. has been devoted to national security and the safety of its citizens. The Transportation Security Administration was established in 2002 in response to the 9/11 attacks in order to create rules, regulations and guidelines for safe travelling – especially via air travel. (In response to the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Transportation Security Administration was established to create rules, regulations and guidelines for safe travelling – especially via air travel.)

These regulations seem like a hassle, with all of the security checks, removal of shoes, emptying pockets and other time consuming procedures. In reality, these are all in place to protect people traveling to and from and through the U.S.

As the years have gone by, regulations and allowances for air travel have changed, but not too dramatically – until now.

On March 5, the TSA revealed a lack of concern for the American people, announcing that it will be allowing airplane passengers to have small pocket knives in their carry-on luggage, effective April 25.

Since this announcement, the TSA has received a lot of opposition to this new guideline from major airlines and their flight crews as well as from members of Congress, and for good reason.

There’s no good enough reason to lessen security and safety, especially when it could be at the expense of the American people, or anyone travelling for that matter.

John Pistole, administrator of the TSA, recently told a House Homeland Security subcommittee that small knives do not pose as much of a security threat and that bomb detection is now their main focus.

Unfortunately for Pistole, the assumption that pocket knives are less of a security threat, with the restrictions that are placed on them, is utterly ridiculous.

Passengers will be allowed to carry knives with blades no more than 2.36 inches in length and no more than half an inch in width, which can’t be too dangerous, right?

Blades less than three inches may not sound very threatening at all, but when you measure it out it’s apparent that even a knife that small can do a lot of damage. So why does anyone think it’s a decent idea to change that guideline?

Box cutters were the weapon of choice for hijackers on 9/11, and those tools are still prohibited by the TSA. But pocket knives weren’t used, so they must be safer.

By allowing passengers to have knives on planes, that opens the door for more terrorist opportunity. Though the U.S. has not experienced any attacks recently that can even compare to 2001, we can’t allow something like that to happen again.

Terrorist attacks from outside the U.S. aren’t the only concern the TSA should have. In January, there was a threat called into the Honolulu FBI field office and U.S. military jets had to escort the plane to it’s destination in Seattle.

This wasn’t a threat from foreign terrorist groups. It was called in by someone right at home.

Allowing passengers to carry weapons on planes may make some feel safer and more protected, but with rules that are in place, passengers should already feel safe.

With screening, airport security and air marshals on several flights, there is no reason to feel threatened while travelling.

With restrictions loosening, Americans are going to feel less safe and terrorists are going to have more opportunity to hurt innocent passengers.

The TSA should be focusing on the safety of passengers entirely, and that should include maintaining safety restrictions.