An alternative to the TSA

I have an idea. Rather than molesting and taking naked photos of airline passengers, let’s do this instead:

  1. Abolish the TSA. They’re worse than useless.
  2. Issue every adult passenger on the airliner a Taser, specially made with no “repeat shock” or “drive stun” functions (to prevent emotionally driven abuse if it needs to be used – any needed redundancy will come from other passengers with Tasers).

Sure, if there’s a terrorist on board you’ve just given him a weapon. But he gets to disable just one person with it, on a plane full of passengers (over 400, on a 747, depending on the configuration) who also have Tasers, and who remember what the terrorists did on 9-11. I wish him luck with that.

What’s that you say? With the TSA gone he got a gun onto the plane, so now he’s better armed than the passengers? Well, he still has to get past a couple hundred scared and angry passengers, all armed with Tasers, many of whom are or will eventually be behind him. Again, good luck with that.

What about bombs? Well, it’s not like the TSA has actually stopped any of those so far, is it? It’s only blind luck that the ones that got through were duds. We won’t be losing any security, there, and passengers with Tasers will have a better chance at stopping the triggerman than if they have to wrestle the detonator away from him.

Why not guns with frangible ammunition? Because using Tasers in this way actually has some advantages over firearms. 1) Bad guys using it only get one shot, vs. hundreds of similarly armed passengers, 2) Misses and “friendly” fire in the confined space of an aircraft are very unlikely to kill anyone, and 3) Someone acting oddly due to a medical issue or intoxication is far less likely to be killed by a twitchy passenger (I believe a couple of instances of “dogpile on the crazy guy” have resulted from medical issues), allowing more reasoned authorities to sort things out on the ground.

As a final, redundant measure, give the pilots guns, just in case somebody actually manages to breach the cockpit. If you can’t trust the pilots with guns, then why the heck are you letting them fly the plane?

Simple and effective. This would do more to enhance aviation security than any kind of passenger screening and searches that we could possibly do.


(Note: This post is a repeat of a comment I posted at Joe Huffman’s blog, The View From North Central Idaho. Since the original post was a few days old by the time I commented, and I like the idea, I thought I’d repost it here.)

Leave a comment


  1. With the TSA gone he got a gun onto the plane, so now he’s better armed than the passengers?

    And if a terrorist can bring a firearm onto a plane, we know that other law abiding but libertarian minded folks will do it also.

    Otherwise, I have no problem with it. I would also point out that knives would be allowed on planes again. While the terrorists could also use a knife; as you said, we remember 9/11.

    An alternative plan — require everyone to fly naked and all luggage must be checked.

    Let’s see someone smuggle a weapon on board then.

    • Fortunately, the law abiding and libertarian minded folks are the ones most likely to leave the pistols holstered and use the Tasers – after all, they’re law abiding, and for the most part would understand the reasoning behind it.

      As far as the terrorists, I would hate to be one. Imagine getting hit by a dozen or so Tasers all at the same time!

  2. Joe E.

     /  June 20, 2012

    Actually not a bad idea at all. I kinda like it…

  3. Greg Tag

     /  June 25, 2012

    This is a great idea. I personally am ok with CHL/CCW holders carrying on the plane – it saves the cost of the Tasers, but the Taser idea is really good and well-reasoned.

    The TSA is an attempt to make the unthinking “feel better” , but it merely, at great cost, inconveniences the law-abiding.

    Lets send this idea ” Curses, Foiled Again Taser Safety Solution” or CFATSS to Congress.




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