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TinotopiaLog → Airport Security ‘Improvements’ (10 Jul 2002)
Wednesday 10 July 2002

Airport Security ‘Improvements’

There seems to be a lot of talk, following last week’s shooting at LAX, about ‘improving’ airport security, and how much of a pain in the ass this is going to be. Airports will have to be totally reconfigured, the DOT is saying, and passengers will have to wait yet in yet more, and longer, lines.

Yet taking any of this seriously requires that we ignore the facts of last week’s shootings: the bad guy only killed two people before being killed himself, by an El Al security officer.

I realize that that’s probably little solace to the two people killed, or to their families. But if this kind of swift and powerful reaction were to be expected, people wouldn’t go into airports intending to shoot up the place to begin with. Even if you’re a fanatic and plan to die in a hail of bullets, you’re going to think twice about the wisdom of sacrificing yourself in exchange for only getting off a few shots.

If the gun-control laws were changed to require every adult American to carry a gun at all times — and to know how to use that gun — you’d wind up with a lot fewer shooting deaths, possibly something approaching zero.

This only works, of course, if you believe that the good guys outnumber the bad guys in society in general. I believe this myself, but I’m not so sure about the gun-control lobby.

Anyway, if every adult in an airport terminal, or in a McDonald’s, or in a high school, had a firearm close at hand, it’d be impossible for a would-be terrorist or mass murderer to shoot more than one or two people before himself being killed by a bystander. Sure, it’d still be possible to back yourself up into a corner and open up with a machine-gun, but that is not, in fact, what happens. I can’t think of a single case where the classic nut-with-gun scenario couldn’t have been brought to a quicker and happier resolution by a person with a .22.

That we’ve seen the value of a gun in the right place at the right time — and in the hands of someone on the side of civilization — at LAX recently has been conveniently ignored in all the media accounts I’ve seen.

Posted by tino at 00:11 10.07.02
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