The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 1, 2013

Your View: Hardly a weapon

By Kelly Meares
Special to The Globe

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — The Other View editorial “Knives are still a threat” published March 23 takes exception to the relaxation of items defined as contraband for passengers on airplanes. It cites “knives that can cause plenty of mayhem and injury if wielded by unstable people, drunks, or an actual terrorist.”

Really? What was the record for the 70-odd years of commercial flight before punks with box cutters took advantage of unsecured flight cabins and a policy of pacification of hijackers or other on-board threats? The era of hijacking planes with words or puny knives ended in a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001. It lasted two hours, and our national and political response has made winners of the terrorists by costing us trillions of dollars.

Shouldn’t a newspaper editorial inform? Let the opinion columnist dissemble and mislead, but some journalism is expected from the actual public position of a paper. Well, here it is: The dangerous, mayhem-threatening knives can be no more than 2.4 inches long and cannot have a locking blade. Useful for cleaning your nails or opening a blister pack, but hijacking a plane? Actually, a perfect response to the 9/11 attacks would have been to put a miniature ball bat in every seat pocket. Let’s see someone pull a Swiss army knife against 30 of them held by angry passengers.

I expect the zealots of Fox Nation to oppose every thing done by the government, and it is their hatred that binds them. These restrictions have never made sense and are in the same league as arresting seventh-graders for sharing Midol in school or expelling first-graders for making finger guns and saying “bang.”

It is about time to end the security theater and the apologies for it. A lot of other nonsense ought to go as well, including the pre-flight briefing, the silly electronic blackout and even the need for Americans to be fed and liquored to sustain them for a 90-minute flight. But that’s another subject.

Kelly Meares

Carl Junction