Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

July 15, 2005

Security Stupidity

Filed under: — Different River @ 7:13 pm

I know just a few people in the security industry, but they all seem to agree that the post-9/11/01 airplane rules — e.g., no nail clippers on planes — are more for show than for security. If you think this is altogether too cynical, consider this account of a charted flight bringing Georgia Army National Guard troops to Kuwait (on their way to Iraq):

Speaking to 280 fellow soldiers before they boarded a chartered DC-10 at the start of their marathon flight from Savannah to Kuwait City earlier this week, King was thunderous, blunt and well armed with an M-16 rifle slung over his shoulder.

King, who in civilian life is the Doraville police chief, rolled his eyes at the FAA regulation that requires soldiers — all of whom were armed with an arsenal of assault rifles, shotguns and pistols — to surrender pocket knives, nose hair scissors and cigarette lighters.

“If you have any of those things,” he said, almost apologetically, “put them in this box now.”

It’s amazing — for some reason the rules about guns didn’t apply to them, but the rules against nail clippers did.

In what world does this make sense?

(Hat tip: Bruce Schneier.)

2 Responses to “Security Stupidity”

  1. Stuart Berman Says:

    If I were a pilot I might find the pain of a well placed nose hair scissors far more painful than an assault rilfe. ;)

  2. Different River Says:


    1) Enough more painful that the rifle is OK, but the nail clippers scare you?

    2) The cockpit doors are locked anyway.

    3) The plan is filled with another hundred or more armed soldiers. How close would the guy with the scissors get?

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