So, do you feel safer now?

The past few years have understandably seen dramatic increases in air travel security. But exactly how much safer are we in the hands of the people paid to protect us?

Exhibit A

And once you actually make it on the plane, there’s Exhibit B (warning: pdf).

The Office of the Inspector General has released a report entitled “Evaluation of the Federal Air Marshal Service,” in which it releases some rather troubling findings about the men and women charged with on-board security. Some examples:

Here is one example of the lenient adjucication procedures criticized by the report:

Now, i’ve always been of the belief that people who make mistakes should have the opportunity to demonstrate that they have changed for the better, but i think that standards should be a little bit higher when we’re deciding who is and is not allowed to carry guns onto passenger aircraft.

Quite a few people transferred to the Federal Air Marshal Service from the Bureau of Prisons. Of these,

Once someone is accepted as an air marshal, there is training involved. The report details delays and other problems with the training procedure, perhaps the most worrying of which relates to marksmanship training policies.

Once the marshals have passed their training, they get to work. Of course, we don’t really know how many of them are physically up to the task, because:

And there are also a considerable number of disciplinary problems, of varying degrees of severity.

A breakdown of the incidents is as follows:

This list only covers 9 months!

Again, there are some jobs where i wouldn’t worry too much about some of this stuff. Hell, i’m for drug decriminalization and i don’t care if someone wants to light up a joint. But this is pretty disturbing coming from people who carry guns onto aircraft. The second item in the list above suggests that some can’t even keep track of their weapons.

One has to wonder whether having some of these people on the plane makes travellers any safer.

Well, I felt safer until I read your post Colonel Scaredy Scare.

I can’t remember, are Airline security people Govt. employees or are those contracted out?

In all honesty? No, I feel more ANNOYED now. But then, I’m not a security expert, so I have no way of knowing whether or not these measures have helped overall.

I feel perfectly safe. I don’t fly*. I’ve hated it since the late 60’s.

*I don’t need to. I own a BMW! :smiley:

Well, to tell you the truth, i don’t really feel any less safe either. But then again, i haven’t felt any less safe flying at all since 9/11. I really believe that the likelihood of something happening are extremely slim, and i’ve never been nervous about flying.

I just get annoyed that the government and the security people constantly use fear of terrorism as a motivator and as an excuse for draconian new security measures, but then end up either taking stupid time-wasting steps that don’t increase security at all (e.g., confiscating nail files; making mothers drink their own breast milk), or failing to make sure that the proper security measures are adequately funded and properly implemented (e.g., the Air Marshal Service).