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Cryo Chamber

Time to Arm Airline Passengers?

As opposed to the increasingly absurd steps being taken to identify and keep weapons off commercial aircraft, it would be advisable and practical to identify and empower volunteer counter-terrorists among the passengers, initially at least on domestic flights or on international flights by domestic carriers. This could even extend to arming those passengers on the aircraft.

Of the four planes hijacked on 9-11, only in the case of ¬†United 93 was the death toll limited to only the flight crew and passengers. There the passengers fought back, forcing the terrorists to crash the plane in a field in Pennsylvania rather than into an occupied building in the nation’s capital. In December 2001, shoe-bomber Richard Reid, at 6’4″ and over 200 pounds, had to fight off two female members of the flight crew of American Airlines Flight 63 while trying to detonate a bomb until several passengers jumped in and subdued him. On Christmas day 2009, when underwear-bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate his bomb on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, it was a passenger, Dutch film director Jasper Shuringa, who subdued him, allowing flight attendants to douse the flames ignited in the attempted detonation.

In the war against jihadist terror, civilians have on different occasions been the first, the last, and even the most effective line of defense. Recognizing that and expanding and formalizing the role of volunteer counter-terrorist civilians can have more practical benefit for air travel security than does groping septuagenarian nuns or toddlers.-[source]

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