Glenn Reynolds, perhaps only half tongue in cheek, says,
ABOLISH THE TSA. TELL PASSENGERS “IF SOMEONE TRIES TO HIJACK THE PLANE, BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF HIM.” WE’D BE BETTER OFF.This was in response to Jeffrey Goldberg's column, "TSA’s Forced Indignities Don’t Make Us Safer." But maybe Archie Bunker had the right idea about 40 years ago.
Passengers are the first, and sometimes last, line of defense. Remember Richard Reid, a.k.a. the Shoe Bomber?
A few minutes later, Moutardier found Reid leaned over in his seat. Her attempts to get his attention failed. After asking "What are you doing?" Reid grabbed at her, revealing one shoe in his lap, a fuse which led into the shoe, and a lit match. She tried grabbing Reid twice, but he pushed her to the floor each time, and she yelled for help, and then ran to get water. When another flight attendant, Cristina Jones, arrived to try to subdue him, he fought her and bit her thumb and Moutardier threw water in his face. The 6 foot 4 inch (193 cm) tall, 200+ pound (90+ kg) Reid was next subdued by several passengers on the airliner, and then bound up using plastic handcuffs, seatbelt extensions, and headphone cords. A physician on board the airliner administered to Reid a tranquilizer that he found in the emergency medical kit of the airliner.And how could you forget Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, popularly known as the Underwear Bomber who tried to blow up NWA 253 on Christmas Day, 2009?
Abdulmutallab spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom as the flight approached Detroit, and then covered himself with a blanket after returning to his seat. Other passengers then heard popping noises, smelled a foul odor, and some saw Abdulmutallab’s trouser leg and the wall of the plane on fire. Fellow passenger Jasper Schuringa, a Dutch film director, jumped on Abdulmutallab and subdued him as flight attendants used fire extinguishers to douse the flames. Abdulmutallab was taken toward the front of the airplane cabin, was seen to have lost his trousers due to the fire, and had burns on his legs. When asked by a flight attendant what he had in his pocket, he replied: “Explosive device.”But surely we are safe now that the TSA strips 95-year-old, dying women of their Depends.