Forget the cheesy little plastic knives and forks you get on the airplane. If you really want to get a knife on board, all you need to do is go to a steak-house type restaurant in the terminal (trust me, there is one) before you catch your flight, and pocket the steak knife you get with the meal.

This is because just about every “security” measure enacted since 9/11 is not intended to make flying safer, it is intended to make people feel safer so they will continue to buy airline tickets and fly on airplanes. Hence the name “security theater”.

There have been two changes since 9/11 which have really increased security on airplanes.

The first and most important (I think) is now airplane cockpits have re-enforced doors that can be locked from the inside. This way a hijacker, no matter how well armed, cannot take control of the plane.

Second, since the tragedy, passengers now know that in the event of an attempted hijacking, they need to take an active role in subduing the hijacker and not just passively wait for situation to be resolved. Attempting to subdue an armed hijacker is very dangerous but the alternative is far worse.

Besides those two changes, everything else is just security theater, a show put on for our benefit so we are not afraid to fly.

The long security lines run by underpaid TSA agents in blue shirts with little-to-no actual security training who make you take off your shoes over and over again, the no-fly lists that prevent infants from getting on planes if they share a name with someone on the list, the radiation administering body-scanners that cannot detect weapons strapped to the side of your body, pouring out your water bottle before going through the line just to fill it up again on the other side, taking away your fingernail clipper or wine bottle openers when you can simply buy a new one at the duty-free store after you get out of the security line, these are all examples of security theater measures that have zero impact on passenger safety and are meant only to make you feel more the government is doing something to protect you.

From time to time the government hires private security companies to test the TSA by attempting to get weapons such as knives, handguns, and sometimes even machine guns through security screening lines. The TSA catches these in only 6% of attempts. Meaning out of 100 people trying to get handguns through a TSA security line, 94 will get through, although not without taking off their shoes first.

It’s far simpler to just say “no knives allowed except the ones the airlines provide.”


Together We Can Survive Anything,

Dean Miller

American Survivor

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