December 8, 2005
Written by C.N.
The major news media, such as CBS News, are all reporting about the Transportation Security Agency’s new airline security screening rules, which now allow knives (up to four inches long) and scissors and tools (up to seven inches long) to be carried onto airline flights. However, several groups are opposed to these changes:
Flight attendants and some lawmakers say the changes undermine security. Reps. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., said Thursday they intend to introduce a bill to preserve the current list of items barred from the cabin. . . . “The families are outraged that the TSA is planning on letting weapons back on board,” Green said. . . .
Airlines generally support the plan. So does the pilots’ largest union, the Air Line Pilots Association, and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. . . . Bob Hesselbein, ALPA’s national security committee chairman, said pilots think it’s more important to focus on passengers’ intent rather than what they’re carrying.
I actually agree with these criticisms that it would be unwise to allow knives, scissors, and tools back onto airline flights — for safety and cultural reasons. Specifically, since these bans have been in place, airline passengers who may have had suspicions against other passengers flying with them — specifically Arab and Muslin passengers — at least could be assured that they did not have any potential weapons on them.
But with these proposed changes, my fear is that people will become even more paranoid and suspicious of Arab and Muslim passengers on their flight because they may think that they may have potential weapons on them now. In other words, I can see how these changes would ultimately lead to more racial profiling and discrimination against Arab and Muslim passengers.
In short, these proposed changes are a bad idea all the way around.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "New Airline Security Screening Rules" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2005/12/new-airline-security-screening-rules/> ().
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