Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Also, Too, Pointless

Airport security is about preventing planes from being hijacked or blown up. We can question the effectiveness of existing practices, but that is their purpose. Yes airports are places where large numbers of people gather. Other places: malls, churches, the market near me, state fairs, amusement parks, subway stations, concerts, numerous festivals, parades, etc. Even more absurd security at airports would just divert any potential attacks to outside whatever new perimeter that is created or to other places. I get trying to stop people from blowing up planes, but you can't realistically stop them from blowing up the parking lot.
But despite a series of episodes in recent years that have targeted transportation hubs worldwide, security experts predict that the latest attacks will revive — but not resolve — a thorny public debate about the benefits of ever more costly and intensive screening systems meant to identify terrorists among the millions of people who travel each day.

“It’s always about achieving a balance between what is achievable and what is practical,” said Norman Shanks, a consultant and former manager of airport security at Heathrow Airport near London.

It's neither achievable or practical. If people want to blow themselves up or are willing to get caught, you just can't stop them. Maybe you can stop them from blowing up a plane. You can't stop them from killing people. And here you don't even need to know how to build a bomb, you just need a local gun dealer.