Lighters And The Airheads In Gov't
I just recently read a report on CNN about lighters, and their being restricted from airline travel. By going to Zippo's website, it allows you to e-mail your elected reps about the issue. Here is a letter I sent. Tell me what you think, and also, if you know of someway I could get this submitted to different news agency's, I'd be most appreciative.
To Whom It May Concern;
I just recently read in the news that all lighters are now being banned from on-board aircraft. While I believe in airline safety, and understand that the government is trying to protect the citizens, I think that this is not the right way to go about it. I understand, both from the news and from reading the laws, that this legislation was enacted due to the gentleman who tried to ignite his shoes on an airline flight. It would seem to me that this law has a few fatal flaws:
- According to all of the research I did, I could not find a single incident (NOT ONE) where a lighter was either used as a weapon on-board an aircraft, nor any case where a lighter posed a threat to the safety and security of the aircraft. ( In the case of Zippos, true, you could hide something inside of it. Unless of course you ask the person to open the lighter, remove the mechanism, and show the cotton underneath. You make people with laptops turn them on and then deem them "safe", don't you?
- If you are going to go to such an absurd length as banning lighters, lets take it a step further: Lets first ban shoes, because that was where the guy hide the contraband in the first place. So, no shoes allowed. Next, let's go ahead and ban flint and steel. As you may or may not know, flint and steel can create a spark, thereby bringing flame. Also, speaking of spark, you should definatly ban anything that runs on electricity, like cell phones, laptops, PDA's, walkmans, even flashlights. In the right hands (or in the hoplessly ignorant), you can cross wire them and get them to spark. Lets see how well that kind of law goes over with the business travelers.
- Finally, it would seem to me that if you stopped wasting money on stupid things such as this ban, and instead put it toward the screeners and the equipment, maybe you'd catch more of the stuff before it ever got on-board. It would seem to me (though I am no expert on the subject) that if you could catch the wackos, terrorists, and nuts before they ever made it on-board, you'd make flying a hell of a lot safer.
So, in closing, I would like to thank you, again, for squashing those things which you claim to hold so dear: My civil liberties. It wasn't enough that you had to ban smoking in "public venues". Now, you want to mess with us when we travel?