I’m predicting that within a few years, here’s what you’ll be wearing during your air travel:
It’s the AirSuitTM. You will come to the airport an hour before your flight boards, go into a changing room, remove your clothes, and put on an AirSuitTM given to you by a friendly TSA worker. Your clothes will be hand searched and then placed in a bin that will travel in cargo.
Now, our man modeling the AirSuitTM is demonstrating some no-nos. That watch? No sir, that’s not coming with you. Those shoes? They’re in the bin while you wear disposable booties provided by the TSA. The t-shirt underneath the AirSuitTM? In the bin.
Once you’re past security, there will be shops where you can rent reading or listening material for a nominal fee. On the plane itself you’ll be able to purchase a beverage or snack. (Since you won’t be able to bring your own as an alternative, why not charge for what’s provided?)
The idea is, nothing you bring to the airport except your actual body will go into the main cabin. Instead of having to secure thousands of passengers, you just secure an actual airport. The media shops will have all their inventory scanned before it goes on the shelves, and also on a regular basis.
Will it be more secure than what we have now? Oh, you bet. It’ll also be more efficient. People will hate it, because they’re all for anything that “stops terrorism,” no matter how restrictive, until it personally inconveniences them, but they’ll get used to it, just as taking off your shoes is now considered standard operating procedure simply because one guy once unsuccessfully tried to hide a bomb in his shoe.
Will it prevent terrorist attacks? Oh, heavens no. There will be holes in the system and those holes will eventually be found and exploited. There’s no way to make airplane travel people 100% safe, but you can enjoy having people do all kinds of ridiculous things that they think will accomplish this.
And besides, even if somehow we do close off every single vulnerability in the air travel industry, so what? Terrorists will eventually realize there are other, easier targets to hit. I’m surprised they haven’t gone after these targets yet — they’re right there, filled with innocent people, insecure as all get-out, and would instantly paralyze America with fear. And the thing is, I don’t know what targets you’re now thinking of, but I know which ones I’m now thinking of, and what if we aren’t thinking of the same things?
I’m not saying there aren’t terrorists out there, people who seek to kill innocent victims in order to spread fear and achieve some kind of political goal. In fact, for all the screaming the right wing does about how soft and naive the left is about terror, they’re the ones who don’t seem to recognize the exact brand of terrorism that got us our own fully-homegrown terrorist act, the Oklahoma City bombing. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do whatever we can to protect ourselves, within reasonable limits.
But to say we’re going to fight terror by prohibiting lipstick? This only sends a message to terrorists to keep at it, cause you can make us afraid of anything!