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What can the average American citizen do?

What can the average American citizen do?

Old Sep 13th, 2001, 05:29 AM
Former Flier
Posts: n/a
What can the average American citizen do?

In my opinion, there is only one thing American travelers can do to improve security at US airports and in the air: flatly refuse to fly until security has been improved. Cancel your reservations, get your money back, and sit it out until the government forms a new agency with one purpose -- securing the nation's skies and airports (the way the Secret Service secures the president). This includes major changes in how we screen bags, carry-on bags, handle ground operations, and the addition of sky marshalls to all flights.

After the Oklahoma City bombing, the streets in front of the White House were closed off. Ever since, harried commuters have been agitating to re-open these streets. Why? Because the squeaky wheels are the people who don't want to inconvenienced by security, and the rest of us who appreciate security are shouted down and have short memories.

Giving blood is well and good, but the average American ought to be doing something far more effective: loudly protesting in favor of treating our nation's airports and skies as secure zones, and being willing to deal with the inefficiencies and delays that will result.

Note that refusing to fly does not mean the bad guys won. It is the only means that the American public can communicate that we're tired of risking our lives because the government has proven itself so inept at basic security. What other developed country allows knives on airplanes, for heaven's sake?

Also, think like a terrorist for a minute. The were 100% successful at hijacking every plane they wanted to. They hit 75% of their targets. The plan worked. Why not re-group and try it again in a few years? Next time, let's be ready.

Finally, I don't want to hear any more talk about how it can't be done, and suicide terrorists can't be stopped. "What can you do about boxcutters?", I've heard. Well, it used to be that no one thought you could make crashes due to mechanical failure as rare as they are today. But we did. We can secure the skies, too, if we try.
Old Sep 13th, 2001, 08:14 AM
plain folk
Posts: n/a
If you look at where the political contributions go, you have a better idea why there are less regulations where you think shoud be. Look for example:


"issue profile" on "airline"
"who is getting"
Old Sep 13th, 2001, 09:29 AM
Posts: n/a

Why do people hate us so much that they will take their lives just to kill us ?

This is the only question and everyone is doing their best to ignore it.
Old Sep 13th, 2001, 10:04 AM
Posts: n/a
Johnny, that's an excellent question. Why? Why such intense hatred?

I posted this link on another thread. It's to a PBS Frontline program, which aired March 21, 2000 and was entitled "Hunting Bin Laden". You might find some answers there.


Old Sep 13th, 2001, 10:50 AM
Posts: n/a
I don't agree with your solution at all, Former Flier. Yes, security has been horribly lax. That will not be the case when airports re-open. I trust the FAA and the industry (you do realise that most US airports are not government facilities?) will seriously focus on safety and security from this date forward. The terrorists have succeeded in scaring you into changing your lifestyle. Not me.

News reports suggest there may have been other hijacks that were foiled because of the quick shut-down of flights.

I think this is an enemy that has no common nation, no common religion, no sense of home and no dreams of a future. Where do these people come from? They come from places where generations have been brought up in chaos, war, civil war, neighborhood terrorism. They have no sense of well being or of compassion for anyone. They are frightening because they are so unlike us that we can not understand them. They fall easily prey to schemes of madmen like bin Laden or Saddam Hussein who provide a day to day purpose to their lives, horrible as that purpose may be to the rest of the civilized world.

I don't know how to fight this kind of enemy. But we don't need another government agency to take over airport security, and shutting down an entire industry certainly isn't going to further world peace.
Old Sep 13th, 2001, 11:02 AM
Former Flier
Posts: n/a
Uh, Oh, I don't think you're understanding me at all. I'm not "afraid" to fly. Never have been.

But I think we agree that changes ought to be made, and we ought to agree that the changes the FAA proposed are pitiful.

If you really think that there were more potential hijackings that never got off the ground, then we are all in a lot of trouble. What makes you think these people who didn't get the chance to hijack a plane will just throw up their hands and forget the whole thing?

No, the only weapon the public has is an economic one. If people refuse to fly, changes will happen, and fast. If people hop right back on the same old planes with the same old lack of security, thumping their chests about how brave they are and how they won't be intimidated, nothing will change. Refusing to fly is the only way I can think of to get the government to pay attention to this issue.

And by the way, I also disagree with your statement that we don't need a government agency to take over airport security. How can you possibly be happy with the patchwork of inconsistent equipment, procedures and training that we have now? Whatever system we now use to make sure that we have the best air traffic control and best secret service in the world is the system we ought to start using to fundamentally change airport security.

I do, however, agree with your assessment that you can't fight this type of enemy. The only thing you can do is thwart this type of enemy. Let's get started.
Old Sep 13th, 2001, 11:35 AM
Posts: n/a
We agree on several issues, but I having lived in Washington DC for most of my adult life, and having worked for both government and private industry, I do not believe a government agency is going to take responsibility more seriously than the private sector. I also think that economic blackmail on the part of American travelers is playing into the hands of the terrorists who planned their attacks specifically with the grand purpose of disrupting our government and economy.
Old Sep 13th, 2001, 11:49 AM
Sometimes flier
Posts: n/a
Let the Department of Defense take over airport security or militarize it. The stakes are too high to trust the airlines or $7 an hour security to protect us. Get better technology implemented, trained professionals and an armed deterrent.

Airlines view current security personnel as a cheap source of labor and a necessary evil. It is ludicrous twhen I pass through the gate..I swear half the time they are not even paying attention. Unless we get severe security implemented, I guarantee it is only a matter of time before airlines, worried about their bottom lines, are cutting back on security training, initiatives, etc. to meet EPS targets.

Bring back the air marshals or create a new law enforcement branch that allows law enforcement to ride the skies on domestic flights. This may not prevent all incidents, but at least give pause to those who might try again.
Old Sep 13th, 2001, 12:42 PM
Posts: n/a
Attend one of the services Friday and pray. I am Church of Christ but I will go to a Mosque to pray with my fellow Americans to support the fact that religion had nothing to do with this event.
Old Sep 13th, 2001, 04:43 PM
Posts: n/a
Good discussion. Refusing to fly is an interesting idea. How could we all get behind it? It reminds me of a sit down strike back in the 60's. I like the idea of a Sky Marshall... someone who is there to look out for us. In the past year I've notice how vulnerable the flight crew and pilots are. Particularly the pilots with their pleated plastic doors separating us from them.

Okay, here's another thing. If we in fact taught these terrorists how to fly, right here in the good ol' USA, maybe we should have a better screening program on who gets to learn to fly. Reminds me of the gun control issue. Flying a commerical plane is now associated with operating a deadly weapon (in the wrong hands, of course).

I'm returning to other thoughts now that also give me pause.
Old Sep 13th, 2001, 05:42 PM
Dallas, Texas
Posts: n/a
I think security must be improving rapidly! We just heard, the FBI has stated there are at least 50 more hijackers in the USA just floating around, and four men dressed as Delta airline pilots were arrested this afternoon when they tried to go through security with their false ID. At least these four were caught, but what about the other 48?

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